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Animated Centaur Comedy Wins $70,000 Grand Prize in Project Greenlight, Tongal Contest

Variety logo Variety 5/2/2017 Todd Spangler
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Tongal and Project Greenlight Digital Studios have announced Alec Pinkston’s stop-motion adult comedy series “Senataur” as the winner of their Next Great Animated Series Contest.

Pinkston and his two collaborators — Gregory Hinchman and Peter Stepnoski — won the top prize of $70,000, from a field of more than 200 entries. Crowdsourcing content site Tongal and Project Greenlight Digital Studios, created by Adaptive Studios and Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, launched the contest last fall.

The “Senataur” animators are receiving the funding to produce an 11-minute pilot episode based on the winning proof-of-concept, which was shot at Chicago’s Odd Machine production facility. Created for adults, “Senataur” is a political satire about a half-man/half-horse from the planet Beaurocratica who has come to Earth to save it from itself. Once the pilot is finished, Tongal and PGLDS will help Pinkston market it for distribution and potential series pickup.

In the contest, “Senataur” and four other finalists were selected and received $5,000 to create their proof-of-concept animation, pilot script and series bible based on their original ideas. The other finalists were James Kwan for “Moon Rider”; Doug Lieblich and Chris Cimino for “Journeyus & The Journeynauts”; Addie Snider for “The Woodland Post”; and Jared Hedges and Brandon Ray for “Kid Engine.”

“We loved working with Tongal to bring this contest to creators and can’t wait to see Alec’s vision come to life on screen,” said Brittany Turner, VP of digital at Adaptive Studios.

Adaptive Studios was behind HBO’s “Project Greenlight,” from executive producers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who together created Project Greenlight Digital Studios to sponsor contests to showcase the talents of emerging filmmakers.

The “Senataur” short, which runs 3 minutes and 23 seconds, and the other finalists’ projects can be viewed at Tongal’s site at tongal.com/nextgreatanimatedseries.

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