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Lion Forge Entertainment Sign First Look Deal With Nickelodeon Animation

Lion Forge Entertainment
and Nickelodeon Animation have announced a new first-look deal covering animated series and features. Under the deal Nickelodeon Animation get first look at all Lion Forge kids and family IP across series, features, short form and digital content. They may also bring select Nickelodeon and Paramount IP to Lion Forge to develop and produce.

The deal optionally allows for Lion Forge to co-finance certain projects that they bring to Nickelodeon, as well as serve as the animation studio on select Nickelodeon projects.The relationship underscores a commitment by Lion Forge and Nickelodeon to create content that features diverse talent both behind and in front of the camera. Lion Forge is one of the very few Black-owned animation studios in North America (or in fact anywhere) and is recognised for telling diverse stories in an authentic way.

Lion Forge currently develops and produces animation and live-action targeting kids and family, YA and adult audiences, building on the success of past projects such as the Oscar-winning short Hair Love and the upcoming Iyanu on Cartoon Network and Max.

Series identified as possible for development under the deal include Born Driven, a story based on the life of Wendell Scott, the first Black NASCAR driver; a comedy adventure of warrior Iron’s story Iron Dragon - original IP created by Jay Kim at Mostapes studio in South Korea and Lion Forge; and Marley and the Family Band -  an animated series based on Cedella Marley’s picture book of the same title, co-produced by Polygram Entertainment, a film production and development division of Universal Music Group, and Tuff Gong Collective.

Lion Forge Entertainment CEO David Steward II and President and Chief Content Officer Stephanie Sperber oversaw the deal, which was brokered by by Activist Artists Management’s Greg Suess and Jon Kanak. The deal follows a successful relationship between Sperber and Nickelodeon in which she oversaw creative IP development and production of the Annie Award-winning The Tiny Chef show.

"I am thrilled to work with Ramsey and her world-class teams at Nickelodeon Animation. Nickelodeon has always been a creative north star, and the opportunity to partner in creating new content that features diverse characters and builds a path for diverse talent in the animation industry is incredibly exciting,"  David Steward II said. 

“Lion Forge Entertainment is on the vanguard of so many exciting and new stories being told in animation, and we are so incredibly happy to be entering into this deal to create new content together for our global audience,” said Ramsey Naito, President Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation.

“I look forward to continuing the wonderful creative partnership with the Nickelodeon team. Together, we have a fantastic opportunity to impact kids and families around the world by showing diversity on screen as well as creating a pipeline for young diverse talent within the animation industry,” added Sperber.  “Plus, Nickelodeon is one of the best franchise-builders in the business and will be an amazing partner as we together launch into other extensions.”