Japanese post-production company Imagica Corp has formed a joint venture with Malaysia’s Khazanah to set up a post-production facility, Imagica South East Asia, at Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios (PIMS).
The joint venture will provide a full range of digital post-production and archiving services from March 2014, as well as move into digital distribution services, such as digital cinema delivery and digital distribution management.
Imagica SEA will also launch training programmes to teach digital post-production skills to the local Malaysian population.
“Through this partnership with Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios, which has one of the largest facilities and advanced film-based technology, Imagica will offer comprehensive and highly creative digital post-production services,” said Imagica president Yukihiro Fujikawa. “The company will target major Hollywood feature films and television.”
Fujikawa added that the joint venture also aims to boost the digital distribution of Japanese content into South-East Asian markets.
Imagica has established a wholly-owned subsidiary, Imagica International Asia, at Iskandar Malaysia in the state of Johor, through which it has set up the joint venture with Khazanah subsidiary Candelon Ventures. Imagica International Asia holds 49% of the joint venture while Candelon holds the remaining 51%.
Michael Lake, CEO of Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios, said that the move was part of Khazanah’s plans to build a content industry and ecosystem in Iskandar, located in the south of Malaysia within a 45-minute drive from downtown Singapore.
“The great thing about this partnership is that Imagica is planning to create a training academy here,” said Lake at a press conference at the studios on Wednesday morning. “It’s about training the local skills base.”
Imagica head of strategic business development Shinichi Noguchi, who will head Imagica SEA, said that with Malaysia’s 30% rebate for production and post-production, the facility would be able to compete with other post-production operations in the region. Bangkok is currently the post-production hub in South-East Asia.
Imagica SEA marks the Japanese company’s first overseas presence. It also has a strategic partnership with India’s Reliance MediaWorks to provide restoration and archiving services.
Khazanah, which is the Malaysian government’s strategic investment fund, is investing $120m (RM400m) in building Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios, which should by fully operational by June 2014.