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April 17, 2007

Zigby Trots Onto International Television


Press Release / Kidscreen

Three Companies on Three Continents Join Forces to Produce New Animated Pre-School Series

Cannes, FRANCE — April 16, 2007 Gearing up to make his official appearance on international TV, the lovable Zigby is heading into production. Australia’s Greenpatch Productions together with BIG Communications (Singapore) and Thunderbird Films (Canada) have announced a new partnership to co-produce a 3-D animated series based on HarperCollins Children’s Books wildly popular literary character Zigby, the zebra who trots into trouble. Zigby will be distributed internationally by EM.Entertainment GmbH, one of the leading producers and distributors of animated children’s programming in Europe, with a current portfolio including series such as Staines Down Drains and Master Raindrop for its Flying Bark Productions.

Set on a lush jungle island, Zigby follows the wild adventures of three young friends — Zigby the Zebra, McMeer the Meerkat and Bertie the Guinea Fowl. The series – set to air on Australia’s ABC and Canada’s Treehouse TV in 2008 – targets four to six-year-olds and will be made as 52 x 10 minute programs.

Michael Hefferon, Managing Director of Flying Bark Productions, said; “Zigby is a fantastic character who will delight and excite children around the world. I am thrilled to be working with BIG Communications and Thunderbird Films on this project, in addition to our Australian broadcast and co-production partner the ABC. It’s another important collaboration to add to the Flying Bark Productions portfolio.”

“Flying Bark Productions and BIG Communications have fantastic records of creating quality, award-winning programming that appeals to a global audience, so it was only natural that we would want to join forces on such an endearing project as Zigby,” commented Michael Shepard, President, Thunderbird Films. “We look forward to working with our broadcast partner, Treehouse TV, and to introducing this series to new broadcasters in the international marketplace.”

Added Vincent Lim, Managing Director of BIG Communications: “We are extremely excited to collaborate with Greenpatch Productions/Flying Bark Productions and Thunderbird Films in bringing the hugely popular Zigby to television. This series promises to delight, entertain and educate kids all over the world. The deal also marks another milestone for Singapore’s media industry as the first Australia-Canada-Singapore co-production.”

Susanne Schosser, Managing Director of EM.Entertainment GmbH, stated: “The commitment of both the ABC and Treehouse TV imposingly documents the international appeal of the program: Zigby is a truly colourful comedy/adventure series for preschoolers around the globe — full of fun and stacked with surprises.

HarperCollins Children’s Books first published Zigby, created by children’s author Brain Paterson, in November 2002. The series has now been extended to five picture books and four board books sold in 15 different countries.

Flying Bark Productions PTY. Ltd. (formerly Yoram Gross-EM.TV PTY. Ltd.), a wholly-owned subsidiary of EM.Entertainment GmbH, is one of Australia’s leading producers of high quality children’s animation programs and family entertainment formats. Flying Bark Productions is active in the production, licensing, marketing and interactive sectors and is the parent company of Greenpatch Productions, Forest Interactive and Trackdown Digital (TDD). www.flyingbark.com.au

About Thunderbird Films, Inc.

Vancouver-based Thunderbird Films, Inc. is recognized worldwide as a producer, distributor and financier of high-quality television and films. Thunderbird Films’ founding partners—Tim Gamble and Michael Shepard—have been responsible for internationally acclaimed scripted drama and action series, award-winning theatrical features and movies-of-the-week produced for and aired on every major U.S. network, as well as on major broadcast and cable outlets around the globe. Thunderbird Films’ commitment to high production values, its unique focus on global, high-value territories for distribution, and the economical benefits of its British Columbian location have distinguished the company among its competitors in the world marketplace. For more information on Thunderbird Films, visit www.thunderbirdfilms.net.

BIG Communications Pte Ltd is fast becoming one of Singapore’s most valuable media entertainment companies and content creators, with its original HDTV documentaries, and 2D & 3D animation TV series, which uniquely blend Asian story ideas with western storytelling. Its current flagship animation project is the 3D animated TV series “Master Raindrop,” co-produced with Australia’s Flying Bark Productions and New Zealand’s Flux Animation Studio, and distributed internationally by EMTV. In production, as well, is a HD documentary “FestivAsia” co-produced with Korea’s Creo Contents. For more information on BIG Communications Pte Ltd, visit www.bigcom.com.sg

Media Contact:
EM. Entertainment
Devika Patel/Rogers & Cowan
+44 (0) 1634 832324
Flying Bark Productions
Kathryn Thomson
+61 2 9519 1366
Big Communications
Vincent Lim/Wilson Solva
+65 68 36 76 36
Thunderbird Films
Melissa Ford/Priority Public Relations
+1 661-964-0333