France Télévisions’ production arm france.tv has acquired a majority stake in Montpellier-based Dwarf Animation Studio.
Under the deal, france.tv plans to provide Dwarf with a more “robust operational infrastructure.” In return, the partnership will accelerate france.tv’s plans to establish a creative hub in the south of France.
Dwarf has worked on several big-budget international film and tv productions, including Netflix’s My Dad the Bounty Hunter and Trash Truck as well as Disney+’s Monsters at Work. The studio also works on several French programs including La tribu des Monchhichi, Pirata et Capitano, and Drôles de Petites Bêtes.
The studio was founded in 2010 by Olivier Pinol, a vfx veteran who worked at major global studios including Weta Digital (senior lighting director on the original Avatar), Dreamworks (vfx on Shrek), and Passion Pictures. Based in Montpellier, France, the company prides itself on embracing and adapting to new technologies.
Of the new partnership, Pinol said, “I’m incredibly delighted to join forces with the amazing team at france.tv studio to welcome the creative community to the South of France. Having such an opportunity to grow and develop Dwarf Animation Studio as well as build a creative hub together is a truly gratifying and eye-opening experience.”
He went on, “Our ambition is to help shape the next phase of the animation production pipeline by adding greater flexibility through a quicker iterative process. We’ve initiated a Discord server dedicated to real-time animation and vfx to help build community and share knowledge with other studios around the world.”
France.tv CEO Laurence Schwob added, “This partnership with Dwarf Animation Studio, who is pushing the envelope in real-time animation, comes at an exciting time as france.tv studio was recently awarded an endowment by the French Ministry of Culture as part of the France 2030 initiative which aims to develop advanced technology in France associated with production innovation of new forms of entertainment.”
Under the new deal, France.tv and Dwarf plan on building out the studio’s front-end pre-production offerings including visual development, storyboarding, and editorial.