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RELEASES industry / Finland

While Niko 2 is flying worldwide, Finland's Anima Vitae has other plans

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- The Finnish animation studio behind the series of CGI-animated young flying reindeer with vertigo sets up business in Malaysia, signing US partner for financing and distribution

While Niko 2 is flying worldwide, Finland's Anima Vitae has other plans

Finnish director Kari Juusonen's Niko 2 - Little Brother, Big Trouble [+see also:
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- the second installment in the series about the 3D CGI-animated young reindeer who defied his vertigo and set out to find his father, a member of Santa Claus' Flying Forces - is currently trying to fill the footsteps of its predecessor (2008), which sold 199,000 tickets domestically, and played in more than 100 countries.

So far Juusonen's sequel, co-directed by Denmark's Jørgen Lerdam, has reached 132,581 admissions in Finland (November 17) through Nordisk Film, 198,572 in Germany (Universum), 28,133 in Denmark (Nordisk Film). Germany's Global Screen launched the film at the recent American Film Market.

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Meanwhile Finnish animation studio, Anima Vitae - the company behind Niko & The Way to the Stars and its sequel - has signed a joint venture agreement with Malaysia's Creative Media Point to start a new studio in Kuala Lumpur, based on a production line developed by Helsinki-based Anima, which was instigated in 2000.

"A local partner, of Chinese mother tongue, with its own animation school, coupled with Malaysia's 30% rebate for international producers, was a tempting combination," said CEO Petteri Pasanen, of Anima Vitae. Malaysia is an upper-middle income economy aiming to attain high-income status by 2020.

Pasanen has also contracted the Max Howard Consulting Group (in the US) to help finding financing and distribution partners for the new Helsinki-Kuala Lumpur structure - "and the long-term vision is excellent and offers great potential for both organisations", said its President Max Howard.

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