Digital Domain Announces Abu Dhabi Expansion, Receives $100M Grant for Animation Studio and Educational Institute
At the Cannes Film Festival today, digital production company Digital Domain Media Group (NYSE: DDMG), and twofour54, the Abu Dhabi government-backed media and entertainment hub, announced that they are collaborating to drive development of the local film, TV and media production industry in the Middle East.
Digital Domain Media Group (DDMG) will establish an animation, visual effects and motion capture studio and Digital Domain Institute media school in Abu Dhabi. The collaboration is designed to support the Emirate's goal to become the region's center of excellence for media content creation, growing both the industry and national talent.
DDMG will begin production of visual effects and animation in studios in twofour54 at the beginning of 2013, with plans to recruit and hire staff immediately from local and international talent pools. Over time the studio will employ upwards of 500 people. DDMG will develop a purpose-built 150,000 square foot (14,000 square meter) state-of-the-art entertainment production complex, which is expected to be operational by the end of 2015.
The new Digital Domain studio will create animated feature films, produce visual and 3D effects, engage in the production of original Middle Eastern-branded entertainment for global audiences and contribute to international productions. The studio will become part of Digital Domain's global feature film VFX and animation pipeline, connected to its studios in Los Angeles, Vancouver, San Francisco, London, Florida and Mumbai.
The Digital Domain Institute/Abu Dhabi, modeled after the Digital Domain Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida, will train students in the essential skills of digital media production for entertainment, simulation and related applications. Classes at the Digital Domain Institute/Abu Dhabi are scheduled to begin early in 2014. The market development initiative and creation of the DDMG studio and school are funded by $100M (US) in grants from the Abu Dhabi government.
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