Rubicon, Layalina, and Fat Rock Announce Arab/American Children's Production

'Jordanian Animation Studio, American Foundation, and Hollywood Distribution

Company Join Together to Produce and Distribute a Unique Animated/DVD Series

For Arab and American Audiences'

Nov 12, 2003, 00:00 ET from Fat Rock Entertainment

    AMMAN, Jordan, WASHINGTON and LOS ANGELES, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Ms.
 Randa Ayoubi, CEO of Rubicon in Amman, Ambassador Richard Fairbanks, Chairman
 of the Board of Washington, DC-based Layalina Productions, Inc. and Mr. David
 Pritchard, CEO of Los Angeles-based Fat Rock Entertainment, announced today a
 first-ever co-production of a thirteen episode series created specifically to
 address the cultural void that currently exists between the United States and
 the Arab world.  Distribution will be principally for the fast growing
 worldwide DVD market.   The production will also air on satellite and
 television broadcast networks both in the Middle East and in the United
     The production will follow the exploits of two pre-teen boys, one Arab and
 one American.  The boys meet in Amman, Jordan, where their respective
 grandfathers, who are life-long friends, are working on a massive archeology
 excavation project. There, the mischievous boys become friends, and through
 their adventures uncover an ancient treasure room containing a time travel
 mechanism that takes the boys back to great historical moments in the Middle
 East and the United States that illustrate to the boys the similar values and
 cultural developments that are shared by both cultures today.
     Layalina Productions, Inc. was created by Richard Fairbanks in 2002 as a
 non-profit TV production corporation to produce and license thoughtful Arabic-
 language programming for the Middle East.  Layalina's educational,
 entertainment, and children's shows aim to strengthen the existing bridges of
 mutual understanding between the U.S. and the Arab world, and to create new
     "This production, entitled "'Ben & Izzy' is the first step in helping
 children from both cultures discover and appreciate the deep, rich history and
 shared values from each others' past", said Ambassador Fairbanks.  Based in
 Washington, DC, and supported by an impressive list of individuals from the
 United States, Layalina will also assist in the financing and distribution of
 "Ben & Izzy. "What attracted us to the project in the beginning" remarked
 Ambassador Fairbanks, a former Special Middle East Peace Negotiator and
 Chairman of Layalina, "was the unique format of using a children's adventure
 story to explore the cultural differences and similarities in the two boys'
 upbringing. We are delighted to have Layalina involved with this exciting
     Ms. Randa Ayoubi, CEO and founder of Rubicon in Amman, which will be the
 principal animation studio and production company on "Ben & Izzy," said, "This
 project is the culmination of a lot of creative cooperation and hard work by
 the staff at Rubicon and our partners in the U.S., Fat Rock Entertainment.
 Rubicon, as a shareholder in Fat Rock, has been working to create a project
 that we could co-produce and that would both educate and entertain a worldwide
 children's audience.  Rubicon's state-of-the-art production facility in Amman
 was built for just this kind of production."
     David Pritchard, founder and CEO of Fat Rock Entertainment, and the
 creator of the "Ben & Izzy" project, stated, "As a distribution company, Fat
 Rock is always looking at creative ways to bring new content to targeted
 audiences and to have relationships with content creation companies that feed
 our pipeline. The parties that have joined together to make this happen"
 Pritchard continued, "are a compelling and credible combination. Laylina is a
 group of caring world leaders who share Richard Fairbanks' vision to use media
 and especially "edutainment" to bridge the cultural and social rift that has
 formed between the Arab world and the West. Rubicon is a talented group of
 animators, artists and software techies in Amman who set out three years ago
 to build a high quality 3-D animation and computer graphics hub which takes
 advantage of the Middle East's highly educated and technically skilled labor
     Fat Rock will supervise the production through their US production
 partner, Sabella Dern Entertainment, one of the premiere US independent
 animation studios.
     The parties plan to announce shortly the entire creative team who will
 produce the series.  That team will be lead by the multiple Emmy winning
 animation producer, David Pritchard ("The Simpsons", "King of the Hill", "Dr.
 Katz, Licensed Therapist") and SD Entertainment, headed by animation director
 Paul Sabella (formerly of Hanna-Barbera and MGM Animation) and animation
 producer Jonathan Dern (formerly of DIC and MGM Animation).  Writing teams and
 animation teams selected from both the Arab and American creative communities
 will soon join these executives.  Distribution partners are being lined up and
 will be announced shortly.  The series will be produced in both Arabic and
 English languages and the programs will be marketed on television and as a
 boxed DVD / Home Video set to the over 300 million Arab language consumers in
 the world.
     Rubicon and its investment partners, along with Layalina, have joined
 together to contribute and raise the production budget for the thirteen-
 episode project, estimated at $5,000,000.  The three party agreement and the
 financing strategy for the project was put together by Baman Rusby of Atoka
 International in Washington, DC.

SOURCE Fat Rock Entertainment