Justinian Huang

Animation company Pearl Studio has promoted Justinian Huang to head of development as it lines up a slate that includes new project Tiger Empress.

Huang is based in Shanghai and reports to the company’s chief creative officer Peilin Chou.

Huang joined Pearl, formerly known as Oriental DreamWorks, as a creative executive in 2015 and most recently served as director of development.

He has been part of the team that developed Pearl’s upcoming Abominable directed by Jill Culton, and Over The Moon directed by Glen Keane.

Both films and filmmakers will be highlighted next week at Pearl’s studio focus spotlight session at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France.

Tiger Empress tells of a young tigress who grows from the obedient daughter of a Tiger Mom into a leader when a prophecy convinces her that she’s the only one who can save their kingdom. David Henry Hwang will write the screenplay.

Also new to Pearl’s development roster are Kelvin Yu and Steven Davis, who have been brought on to write the previously announced comedic adventure Untitled Chinatown Project on which Alan Yang serves as executive producer.

Prior to joining Pearl Studio, Huang was a development executive at Lynda Obst Productions, where he assisted Obst with early development for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, as well as Ricky Gervais’ The Invention Of Lying.

He also worked in development for Bob Cooper at Landscape Entertainment, and Gary Ross at Larger Than Life Productions. Before that he established Faded Film, which struck a deal with Lionsgate where he served as executive producer on the first US documentary series featuring an all Chinese-American cast.

“Justinian is a passionate champion of great storytelling, and over the past few years, he has brought so much to Pearl in terms of his understanding of bridging Eastern and Western culture, as well as his unique ideas, insights, and industry relationships,” Chou said. “Justinian is truly dedicated to and energised by Pearl’s mission to create original world-class films that enchant and inspire audiences around the globe, and I could not be more excited to continue collaborating with him in his new role at Pearl.”

“It’s truly an honour to work with Pearl and Peilin as we develop and produce a slate of movies that empower through art and animation,” Huang added. “Today more than ever, we need to tell stories that represent the world as a diverse community, and that will uplift and inspire young people in creative and thought provoking ways. This is a dream job for someone like me who grew up loving animation as I now get to work everyday with some of the most extraordinary artists, writers and legends in our industry.”