The Ottawa 00 International Animation Festival has completed this year's pre-selection for the official competition. Once again, the festival set a record for entries, receiving 1,300 films from over 50 countries. To ease the pressure on the selection committee, this year's selection was divided into two committees. Festival organizers Chris Robinson and Hayden Mindell judged the Independent Film Competition (graduate films, first professional films, independent short works under 50 min. and films for children).
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The 6th Cartoombria International Animation Festival will happen in Perugia, Italy, November 23-25, 2000. The artistic committee of the festival has put together a number of computer animation-related retrospectives, exhibits, workshops, screenings, premieres and artist tributes. This year, Cartoombria will focus on Web animation and video games. The festival will also profile European animation schools, and more specifically schools offering computer animation, new media and Web animation programs.
Creative Planet's Visual Effects forum is not about specific software packages, but about how to improve and educate yourself by asking questions and getting constructive and honest feedback from those who have gone before...
Animha Productions, a unique association of professionals dedicated to independent film production and animation workshops, presents its latest production: Old Boro Town - Our Town Story. The aim of the project was to provide a sequence of film as a backdrop for the performance of 'Our Town Story' to be held at England's Millennium Dome in October 2000. Through a series of children's workshops, a variety of subjects were brought to life through cut-out animation and a film was produced to the script of "Old Boro Town" - a folk song written by local children.
Plympton's new series of comics extracted from the comic book, "Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton," is for ADULTS ONLY...
Following up on the hugely successful television show "Walking With Dinosaurs," BBC British Television and The Discovery Channel have set into production on "Walking With Prehistoric Beasts." The 3-hour miniseries will start where "Dinosaurs" left off. The budget is set at US$10 million, which was the price tag for the original miniseries. In addition, the two channels will create a "science behind the series" special to air after "Beasts" sometime in 2001.
With nods in Brazil and Hong Kong, Disneys DINOSAUR roams atop the box office charts. In Brazil, the special effects spectacle landed $2.65 million in its debut. Whereas in Hong Kong, the blue-green beasts stomped out an amazing $1.29 million on only 43 screens! The prehistoric pic adds another name to the long time three way battle between MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2, GLADIATOR and GONE IN 60 SECONDS for international box office glory. Back in Brazil, M:I 2 fell to second with a gross of $1.89 million, bringing its Brazilian cume to $5.63 million.
Making a big bang at the U.S. box office, 20th Century Foxs THE X-MEN finished at #1. The mutant mayhem, with primary visual effects by Cinesite, CORE Digital, Digital Domain, Hammerhead Productions, Kleiser-Walczak Co., Matte World and POP Film, grossed an outstanding US$54.47 million. This gross marks the second highest three-day take of the year, behind MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2, and the fourth highest three-day gross of all time. Last weeks top film, SCARY MOVIE, finished in second with a gross of $26.2 million.
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* Friday, July 28 Saturday, July 29, 2000. Los Angeles, California. Saturday, September 23 Tuesday, September 26, 2000. Berkeley, California. Friday, October 13 Sunday, October 15, 2000. Cambridge, Massachusets. Saturday, October 28 Sunday, October 29, 2000. Washington D.C., U.S.A.
Sony Pictures Imageworks' Rob Legato has been named the CGI supervisor for Warner Bros.' HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE. Legatos credits include TITANIC for Digital Domain and the upcoming WHAT LIES BENEATH for SPI. The flick, set to bow in November 2001, is being produced by David Heyman and directed by Chris Columbus. The cast includes Maggie Smith, Tim Roth and Robbie Coltrane. Based on the best-selling book by J.K. Rowling, the film version will be an effects extravaganza with flying broomsticks and an all-CGI villain Voldemort.
Fox Kids Europe NV has locked a deal with Turkish cable service provider Turk Telecom that will put the family-friendly channel in 790,000 Turkish homes. The launch date was July 15. The new distribution deal brings Fox Kids Europe to major cities including Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. The Turkish-language broadcast will air from 7 am to 8 pm seven days a week. Just two months ago Fox Kids entered the Turkish market via an agreement with digital satellite television platform DigiTurk.
Janie Grace has been named ITV's new controller of childrens' entertainment. Starting in September, Grace will head all ITV's kids' output, which will include on-line services and a new digital channel that is under construction. Formerly, she served as Nickelodeons U.K. managing director "Janie's achievements as the architect of the most successful children's channel in the United Kingdom give her a valuable perspective of ITV Children's future competitive strategy and digital development," ITV head of programs David Liddiment said.
Currently the #1 recording artist in America, rapper Eminem has signed a deal to create a new animated Web series. Hookt.com, a New York-based hip-hop entertainment site, will host the rappers site www.slimshadyworld.com. The toon will be based on the rappers alter ego Slim Shady and other characters created by the rapper. Eminem will provide the voice for the main character. The first of the scheduled 26 Webisodes will premiere in mid-July. Gene Jimenez is producing the site, which will also feature games, news, charts, trivia and interviews.
Walt Disney-owned DIC Entertainment and Korea-based animation firm Ameko Entertainment Co. have signed a multiyear deal to produce half-hour animated series. DIC will hold the worldwide distribution rights except in Korea. The first project, SUPER DUPER SUMOS, has already begun production. Executive producing the series will be DIC execs Andy Heyward, Robby London and Like Maliani along with Amekos Dong Chung and Robert Scharf. "The relationship between the company and Ameko has been very productive," DIC CEO and president Heyward said.
PRINCE OF EGYPT-director Simon Wells has signed on to helm live-action flick, THE TIME MACHINE. Brad Silbering (CITY OF ANGELS) was first rumored to direct the DreamWorks/Warner Bros. pic based on H.G. Wells novel. This project will be Wells first foray into live-action. He was in talks to helm CASPER 2, but that film fell through due to budgetary concerns. The picture seems to be going to the right person as Simon Wells is the great-grandson of H.G. Wells.
STAR TREK: VOYAGER-producer/writer Brannon Braga has signed a new three-year TV deal with Paramount, which will see the creation of a new TREK series. The seven-digit plus deal will have Braga teaming with Rick Berman to develop and create the next TREK-based series. Braga started at Paramount as the writer and producer of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION. As part of the deal, Braga will produce other series for Paramount as well.
UrbanEntertainment.com has signed HOUSE PARTY director Reginald Hudlin and WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE-writer Tina Andrews to produce two new Net series. Hudlin, who just finished directing the live-action flick LADIES MAN, will write and executive produce the Webtoon MACKIN, which allows Net surfers to control a young man as he tries to seduce women. Andrews will write and executive produce SISTAS N THE CITY, which follows the lives of three black women living in Chicago. Andrews just finished penning the CBS miniseries JACUELINE BOUVIER KENNEDY ONASSIS.
Stan Lee Media, Inc. (SLM) has signed a deal with R&B superstar Mary J. Blige to create a new series portraying the multi-platinum singer as an original Stan Lee Hip-Hop Super Heroine. The Web series will be based off an animated short, featuring the Blige super persona, which shows before each of Blige's concerts. The short, created by Blige and SLM, has garnered a tremendous fan response. The agreement is modeled after Stan Lee Media's partnership with the Backstreet Boys (www.backstreetproject.com) with joint ownership of the superhero franchise.
Curious Pictures has signed a deal with Cartoon Network On-line for nine original Web toons. The nine shows are being created and directed by Curious directors and artists Denis Morella, Nick Hewitt, Mike Bade, Damon Ciarelli, Molly Schwartz, Sam Crees and Patricia Ross. Four of the Web Premiere Toons are being created in Curious' New York City flagship studio, while five others are being developed out of the company's San Francisco SoMa office. UNCLE SQUIRLY will follow the crazy antics of a wacky children's television show.
HEAVY METAL 2000 co-creator and illustrator Kevin Eastman has inked a content deal with TheThreshold.com. No monetary details were released. Threshold Entertainments CEO and chairman, Larry Kasanoff told the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, "Kevin is an incredible creator and entrepreneur. Wed want to be involved with him even if he didnt have HEAVY METAL but HEAVY METAL is ripe with opportunity, talent and ideas. Its extraordinary what its already accomplished, and we think its just the beginning." Eastman and Threshold are planning several sci-fi oriented projects.
On Thursday, July 13, 2000, Imax Corporation announced that the company has brought in financial advisors Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Wasserstein, Perella & Co. to help maximize revenues for the company, which could include the sale or merger of the company. Imax co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler said, "Imax has made tremendous strides in the last few years on several strategic initiatives including establishing the IMAX theatre network as a release window for Hollywood films and securing a role in the digital future of entertainment.
THE RUTH TRUTH, Oxygen Media's award-winning animated on-line series, makes its TV debut in Oxygen's X-CHROMOSOME series on Saturday, July 15, 2000 at 10:30 pm. X-CHROMOSOME is the first half-hour animated television series created primarily for a female audience by the developers of LIQUID TELEVISION. THE RUTH TRUTH chronicles the adventures of Ruth Decker, an actress/comedian who lands a job working undercover for a detective agency that specializes in busting vendors who traffic in counterfeit designer goods, and is based on the life of the writer and lead actress Sheila Head.