‘Octonauts’ Movies Set as Silvergate Launches China Unit, Pacts With Wanda (EXCLUSIVE)

Silvergate Media, producer of global hit children’s series “Octonauts,” has set up shop in China. It’s making two “Octonauts” movies with Wanda’s kids entertainment division, and will also work up new properties for the local market that it will also push out internationally, Silvergate CEO and co-founder Waheed Alli told Variety.

The company’s China launch comes after it teamed with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV to co-produce Season 5 of “Octonauts,” an animated preschool series that follows a band of animal aquatic adventurers. Silvergate also makes the “Peter Rabbit” animated series and Nick Jr. show “Sunny Day.”

Its creative team is mostly based in New York and L.A., with commercial activity run out of London. Alli is based in the U.K. but spends 10 days a month in the U.S. “Building a franchise is what we’re good at, but it does mean you have to be present in the U.S. and the U.K. in the English-speaking world, and you have to be present in China these days, and you have to build a structure to allow these things to perform,” he said.

William Astor, Silvergate’s chairman and other co-founder, has built the Chinese business, developing the broadcast and licensing relationships. He will lead the Silvergate China team with Ron Allen, EVP, commercial. Alex Jenn and Victoria Astor, both of whom live in China and are Mandarin speakers, are also on the China team.


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