Chinese animation studio Mili Pictures Worldwide has opened an office in Los Angeles, headed by producer Bill Borden.
Borden’s credits include the High School Musical series, Stephen Chow’s Kung Fu Hustle, Mission: Impossible 3 and Spike Lee’s Get On the Bus.
Mili’s debut production, Dragon Nest, will be premiered on July 31 at China’s biggest video gaming convention, China Joy. Directed by award-winning animation director Song Yuefeng, the adventure tale is based on a hugely popular online game, which has 100 million registered users. All Rights Entertainment is handling international sales.
Mili also announced that its next production, family comedy Ping Pong Rabbit, has started pre-production in Los Angeles.
Directed by Mike Johnson, who co-directed Corpse Bride with Tim Burton, the film will move into the animation process in China this autumn and is scheduled for release in early 2016. The film is scripted by High School Musical writer Peter Barsocchini.
Backed by online games giant Shanda Games, Mili aims to bring together Hollywood production standards with the artistic skills and economies of filming in China.
Jack Zhang, chairman of Mili, said: “While some other companies are exploring the strategy of releasing big-budget movies in the China market, we feel there is even more potential in making family entertainment at a reasonable cost that can travel all over the world.”
Based in Shanghai, Mili has also attracted financial backing from Chinese venture capital firms Shenzhen Capital Group and Ivy Capital. The studio also has offices in Suzhou, China and Auckland, New Zealand.