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9's Acker Curates Kodak-Presented Animation Showcase

Press Release from Focus Features

NEW YORK, September 4, 2009 - Student Academy Award winner Shane Acker, whose first feature film, the animated fantasy epic 9, opens nationwide from Focus Features on Sept. 9th, has curated an animation showcase of short films, presented by Kodak.

Free of charge, some of the best and most original animated short films from around the world can be found at Mr. Acker's new action-packed adventure 9 is the feature-length expansion of his Academy Award-nominated 2004 short film of the same name, for which he also won the Student Academy Award.

The short films selected by Mr. Acker for the showcase are as follows;

* Li Marhaban's END OF THE LINE, about a lonely young woman; Mr. Marhaban, a former furniture designer, deploys architectural perspective in mixed media and makes striking use of cut-out models

* Tomek Baginski's BAFTA Award-winning FALLEN ART, a statement on the haunting impact of war; Mr. Baginski favors stylized pictures and was an Academy Award nominee for his earlier short THE CATHEDRAL

* Géza M. Toth's MAESTRO, an Academy Award-nominated short film that follows the Maestro as he readies for a big performance; Mr. Toth is the founder of the Tuesday Animation Studio, and his other shorts include Ergo and Mama

* OKTAPODI, also Academy Award-nominated, is about two lovestruck octopi; directors Julien Bocabeille, François-Xavier Chanioux, Olivier Delabarre, and Emud Mokhberi, all graduate students, worked for over seven months on the short

* Jérémy Clapin's SKHIZEIN, about a man who gets struck by a meteorite and lives, was nominated for a César Award (France's Oscar equivalent); Mr. Clapin graduated Saint Martin's College and also directed Une Histoire Vertébrale

Focus Features and Focus Features International (FFI) ( together comprise a singular global company, dedicated to producing, acquiring, financing, selling, and distributing original and daring films from emerging and established filmmakers -- films that challenge mainstream moviegoers to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world. The company's flexible and nuanced approach to distribution allows it to support a wide range of films, from those geared to a single local market to worldwide hits. The company operates as Focus Features domestically, and as Focus Features International overseas.

In addition to 9, upcoming Focus Features movies include writer/director Richard Curtis' rock and roll comedy PIRATE RADIO; the unique nonfiction feature BABIES, directed by Thomas Balmès; GREENBERG, the new film from writer/director Noah Baumbach, starring Ben Stiller; Academy Award winner Kevin Macdonald's Roman epic adventure THE EAGLE OF THE NINTH, starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland, and Mark Strong; Academy Award-winning writer/director Sofia Coppola's SOMEWHERE; TAKING WOODSTOCK, the new film from Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee; and Academy Award-winning writer/directors Joel and Ethan Coen's A SERIOUS MAN, which world-premieres next week at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Focus Features and Focus Features International are part of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.

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Rick DeMott
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