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M’sian animation studios will be showcased at Expo 2020 Dubai, here’s why it matters

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[This is a sponsored article with MDEC.]

Our local digital creative content industry is worth a lucrative RM7 billion according to Mahadhir Aziz, CEO of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).  

However, the country should aim bigger. The global digital content market is projected to be worth US$32 billion in 2030, and for us to get a slice of that pie our local players must shine on the international stage. 

In that vein, MDEC has chosen three of our best animation studios to display their works at the upcoming Expo 2020 Dubai conference during the Malaysia Digital Economy week this January 9-15. 

The objective of being there is to establish Malaysia’s presence in the global digital content space, secure up to RM300 million in trade and investment opportunities, as well as land 50 international business leads and partnership agreements. 

Here are the three studios representing Malaysia in Dubai and what they do.

Editor’s Note: Information in the above paragraphs have been edited to reflect greater factual accuracy.

Early-childhood Islamic education made accessible

Durioo was co-founded by Sinan Ismail, who you may know as the former CEO of Digital Durian, the creators of the popular YouTube series Didi & Friends and Omar & Hana. 

Despite Durioo being formed only in 2021, Sinan’s nearly 10 years of experience in creating animated content helps drive the new company forward. 

Sinan Ismail, co-founder of Durioo / Image credit: Durioo

His mission is to create educational content for children that teaches about the virtues and values of Islam. 

To do that, the studio will be launching five originals in the form of Little Anmar, Mina Mila, The Zehni, and POLYTAKO and Bubu Lala. Sinan expects these content to be available within the first quarter of 2022.

They’ll be published on the company’s own subscription-based streaming service Durioo+, which is expected to launch in February 2022. In March, the studio is also putting out a games platform, aptly named Durioo Games.

The Durioo team / Image credit: Durioo

All these new offerings will be shown off at Expo 2020 Dubai. Sinan believes this is the perfect opportunity for Durioo to penetrate the Middle East market and give the company some global exposure.

At the same time, he’ll be looking to land partnerships with investors, co-production partners within the region, and gain licensing deals to push Durioo+ and Durioo games in the market there. 

Levelling up marketing activations with virtual technologies

If you’ve watched any online product launches during the pandemic, they would have been decked out with fancy graphics and digitally-rendered presentation spaces that look like augmented reality (AR). 

These cool effects were likely the work of Zappy Production, which are known for its AR, virtual events, and interactive multimedia services.

They run a green screen studio called GreenRobot Studio that allows companies to make virtual events just as exciting as physical ones through the help of AR technologies.

A virtual event using Zappy’s green screen technology / Image credit: Zappy Production

Prior to the pandemic, Zappy also used projection mapping to light up the stage at the 2017 SEA Games’ closing ceremony. You can watch the presentations here to jog your memory.

Founder Kenneth Chan told Vulcan Post that with all these expertise, he hopes that Zappy’s presence in Dubai will allow him to set up a new studio there, opening up opportunities for the company to take advantage of a business events market that’s worth about RM10.43 billion.

During the expo, Zappy plans to show off their non-fungible token (NFT) projects, AR technologies, as well as virtual event platforms.

Telling local stories to an international audience

With a decade’s worth of experience, The R&D Studio were able to put Malaysia on the map with their award-winning short films Batik Girl and The Dalang’s Tale. They’ve also worked with the likes of Disney, producing the Wizards of Warna Walk live-action sitcom for the channel. 

Batik Girl and The Dalang’s Tale posters / Image credit: The R&D Studio

These works have one thing in common: they are imbued with elements of Malaysian culture and art. 

By bringing these films to Expo 2020 Dubai, the studio can not only showcase their work but also present Malaysian heritage to an international audience. 

Cartoon sketch of The R&D Studio team / Image credit: The R&D Studio

Co-founder Irwan Junaidy told us that he’ll be looking to explore opportunities for collaborations to create content that melds both Middle Eastern and Malaysian cultures together.

Also during the conference, The R&D Studio will celebrate their 10th anniversary by launching the Crafting Batik Girl book, as well as a special short film that Irwan admitted is his love letter to Malaysia. 

  • Register for the Expo 2020 Dubai event here. 
  • Read more of what we’ve written about MDEC here.

Featured Image Credit: The R&D Studio

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© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

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