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Starz Animation Toronto Details Animated Adaptation of Yes, Virginia

Starz Animation Toronto will animate the beloved Christmas story of “Yes, Virginia” for a 30-minute holiday special, presented by Macy’s, set to air on CBS on Friday, Dec. 11/09 at 8pm, Head of Studio David Steinberg announced today. The CG animation studio is producing the animation for the television feature in conjunction with The Ebeling Group (TEG) and director Bitstate.

Press Release from Starz Animation

Toronto – November 23, 2009 – Starz Animation Toronto will animate the beloved Christmas story of “Yes, Virginia” for a 30-minute holiday special, presented by Macy’s, set to air on CBS on Friday, Dec. 11/09 at 8pm, Head of Studio David Steinberg announced today. The CG animation studio is producing the animation for the television feature in conjunction with The Ebeling Group (TEG) and director Bitstate.

The timeless tale, based on a letter sent from little Virginia O’Hanlon to the New York Sun, will also be available for viewing in Canada.

“We’re honored to be working with some very talented and creative people to craft what is sure to be a new holiday classic,” Steinberg said. “Our studio team is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring many of the high-quality feature tools we’ve developed in-house to raise the production value of this TV production.”

“The talent at Starz Animation Toronto is mind-blowing,” said Pete Circuitt, director for the Ebeling Group’s Bitstate.   “After seeing the work this team did on movies like ‘9’, we knew we had to look no further to make this piece as rich and enduring as it deserves to be.”

Set in New York City during Christmas season of 1897, eight-year-old Virginia has second thoughts about the existence of Santa Claus after her friends tease her and insist that he doesn’t exist. Virginia poses the question of whether Santa really exists to her local newspaper, at the suggestion of her father, who tells her, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.”  Editor Francis Church takes the opportunity to rise above the simple question and addresses the philosophical issues behind it.

After reassuring her that there is a Santa Claus, the editorial goes on to say that “He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.” To this day, it remains the most reprinted editorial to ever run in any English-language newspaper.

YES, VIRGINIA was created and produced by Macy's and JWT in conjunction with The Ebeling Group and MEC Entertainment, a division of Mediaedge:cia.

About The Ebeling Group

The Ebeling Group (TEG) is a production company that represents some of the world’s leading design and animation directors.  The most well-known recent projects are the main titles for the 007 film, ‘Quantum of Solace’, and the ever-referenced Stranger than Fiction graphics.   In 2009 alone, Ebeling Group director work garnered awards and accolades from ADC, Clios, D&AD, Creative Review, One Show and Cannes.  In addition to the annual industry accolades, TEG films and work has been showcased at the Sundance Film Festival, Slamdance Film Festival, Resfest, OFFF, FITC, Onedotzero, and in the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

About Bitstate

Bitstate is a director collective based in London, England. Their work has been showcased at film festivals in London, Berlin, and Sydney. Through an innovative blend of 2D/3D, live-action and photography techniques the diversity of the collective’s work has attracted a dynamic range of clients including Adidas, Microsoft, Havaianas, Knorr, Hewlett Packard and MTV.  In August of 2006, Bitstate completed their first US commercial project, “Zune Monster”, which went on to capture an AICP Award in 2007. In 2008, Bitstate was selected for SHOOT Magazine’s New Director Showcase, holding rank among 30 other directors selected out of a pool of over 800 candidates.

About Starz Animation Toronto

Starz Animation Toronto, a unit of Starz Media, LLC, is one of Canada’s leading high-quality digital animation studios, providing world-class computer-animated content for feature films, DVDs, television series, commercials, visual effects and shorts for Studios and independent producers, as well as proprietary productions. Starz Media, LLC, is a programming, production and distribution company operating worldwide. It includes the Film Roman, Anchor Bay Entertainment, and Manga Entertainment brands. Its units create animated and live-action programming – including theatrical films – and programming created under contract for other media companies. It distributes that programming, and programming acquired from outside producers, through home video retailers, theaters, broadcasters, ad supported and premium television channels, and Internet and wireless video distributors in the US and internationally. Starz Media (www.starzmedia.com) is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation attributed to the Liberty Capital Group.

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