SINGAPORE, 8 December 2023 – On the heels of the Asia TV Forum, Robot Playground Media (RPM) officially announces the greenlight towards production of the animated feature film THE VIOLINIST together with its Valencia-based co-producer TV ON Producciones (TOP) at a special presentation attended by the representatives of Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Spanish Embassy in Singapore.

The 2D animated historical/romance/musical feature film is co-directed by RPM’s Ervin Han and Spanish animation veteran Raúl García with support from the IMDA and the IVC (Valencian Institute of Culture). RPM has created an international production framework working with European and Asian talent with work split between Singapore and Spain, as well as Malaysia where animation studio Inspidea will undertake part of the production work. The film’s release will be in late 2025, which also marks the 80th year since the end of the second World War.

Co-director Ervin Han, who also co-wrote the screenplay, said: “The film traverses eighty years of Singapore’s past, from our colonial days to the Japanese Occupation and the decades after. It’s a story of hope, courage, and conviction in turbulent times. It is not lost on Raúl and me that this remains a reality today in many parts of the world. Hopefully our film shines a light on the extraordinary courage of survivors in times of conflict and oppression.”

Paloma Mora, CEO of TV ON Producciones, added: “THE VIOLINIST is a marvellous project and the perfect opportunity to create and consolidate bonds between Asia and Spain, a reference country in the international animation industry, by joining creative teams from both countries in all phases of production. We are delighted that our studio is co-producing a project directed by Raúl and Ervin and trust that THE VIOLINIST will undoubtedly be a success.”

As one of the most anticipated projects coming out of Singapore, RPM has meticulously developed a sweeping story of courage and resilience set during World War 2-era Singapore and Malaya following two young violinists, Kai and Fei, whose dreams are shattered with the Japanese invasion of Southeast Asia. Kai abandons his music career to join the Resistance in Perak, Malaya, while Fei becomes a war survivor in Japan-occupied Singapore. Their lives take vastly different paths over the span of decades as they try to hold onto the promise of performing a 2-violin sonata together one day.

“IMDA congratulates Robot Playground Media on the announcement of its first-ever international animation feature film, THE VIOLINIST, in collaboration with Spain-based TV ON Producciones. We are pleased to support RPM through its development and are deeply appreciative of the confidence that our international partners have in our local media enterprises. We are keenly looking forward to more global partnerships,” said Chris Tan, Director, Media Industry Development at IMDA.

In development for 7 years, THE VIOLINIST was first presented at the Southeast Asia Film Financing Forum in 2017 and was later selected for Annecy MIFA Pitches (2019) and Tokyo Gap-Financing Market (2023). It previously received funding support from the IMDA for its script development. The original story by Ervin Han is based on RPM’s award-winning animated short film, THE VIOLIN, that was produced as part of the Singapore Memory Project to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Singapore’s independence (SG50) in 2015. 

Global IP and financing firm 108 Media is the primary financing studio for the film and holds worldwide rights (outside Spain) with Japan's Throne Inc. also onboard as part of the executive producing pool. The feature film is produced by Justin Deimen, Bernard Toh (Singapore), Paloma Mora (Spain) and is executive produced by Abhi Rastogi and Takafumi Yuki.

About the Directors:

Ervin Han is a veteran in the Singaporean animation scene and co-founded animation studio Robot Playground Media in 2013 as a home for more regional and local animated storytelling that traverses genres and demographics. He's produced and directed projects for Disney and Cartoon Network and won multiple Asian Academy Creative Awards and an Asian Television Award. THE VIOLINIST is his first feature animation as a director and co-writer.

A veteran of Spanish animation, Raúl García was with the animation department at Disney and worked on classics such as BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ALADDIN, THE LION KING, HERCULES, POCAHONTAS and FANTASIA 2000, among others.  THE VIOLINIST will be his new feature film as a director after EXTRAORDINARY TALES, an Annie Award-nominated horror film that featured the voices of Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Julian Sands, Roger Corman and Guillermo del Toro.


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