Tata to fund news kids initiative with US TV veteran

Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 11-12-2011

A joint venture between US children’s TV veteran Andy Heyward, his marketing executive wife Amy, and Indian conglomerate Tata has been established to create, develop and distribute original content for kids.
A Squared Elxsi Entertainment is reportedly fully funded by Tata but 50% owned by the Heywards, who will co-chair and manage the outfit. Tata holds the remaining 50% stake in the private company.
Elizabeth Daley, dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, will also be on the board of directors, alongside Tata Elxsi chief executive Madhukar Dev, and its visual computing lab chief operating officer S Nagrajan.
“This venture will combine the best of creative and marketing skills from Hollywood and the animation production experience and scale of Visual Computing Labs of Tata Elxsi to create meaningful and purposeful content of which we can all be proud of,” said S Nagarajan.
Andy Heyward sold children’s animation company DIC Entertainment in 2008 and formed A Squared Entertainment the following year, producing web based series such as Secret Millionaire’s Club and Martha & Friends, featuring ten year old Martha Stewart.
Design company Tata Elxsi meanwhile includes computing, visual effects, 3D and animation facilities used for its own productions and those by Visual Arts. Last year it won an award from the Visual Effects Society for Roadside Romeo, a 3D film produced by Yashraj Films and Disney.
One of the ventures first projects in India is expected to be the first animated feature for the Marvel Comics character Stan Lee, which will be officially announced in 2012, according to Hollywood Reporter.
A Squared Elxsi Entertainment is reportedly also set to launch its own foreign sales company at the MIP Market in Cannes next April.