Pokemon USA, Inc. has announced that Akira Chiba, who has led the American branch of the company since 2002, will resign at the end of the year. Chiba joined Pokemon USA when the company's New York office was established -- the brand's first corporate headquarters outside of Japan and helped to re-establish Pokemon as a successful global brand.
Russell Bekins takes in the animation family reunion at I Castelli Animati, a festival where filmmakers come to connect with colleagues in a laid-back atmosphere.
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind SESAME STREET and other educational programs, has announced the addition of Aura Kenny Dunn to its staff as Assistant VP, Government Affairs. In this capacity, Dunn will manage government relations efforts and advance Sesame Workshop's visibility in federal policy and funding arenas to promote education and well-being for children around the globe. She will report to Myung Kang-Huneke, VP, General Counsel.
Jacquelyn Martino, a renowned researcher and graduate from MIT, was recently selected to chair SIGGRAPH 2008, the 35th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques. With the theme Evolve, SIGGRAPH returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center. The conference will take place Aug. 11-15, with the exhibition occurring Aug. 12-14.
Sue Troyan has joined Brickyard VFX's Santa Monica facility as exec producer after departing Method Studios as head of production.
"I have known and worked with Sue on and off for over 15 years, and she has a deep knowledge of the visual effects process and a fantastic reputationamong top commercial production companies and advertising agencies," said Steve Michaels, managing partner, Brickyard VFX. "We're really excited to have her on board."
Entertainment Rights (ER) Plc, the U.K.-based media group specializing in the ownership of children's and family programming, characters and brands, has announced the appointment of Adam Selly as Head of Sales (excluding the U.S., Canada and Japan). In the newly created position, Selly will be responsible for generating and maximizing revenue across the ER group's entire television and home entertainment businesses, exploiting opportunities within existing successful markets and identifying new revenue streams in emerging markets.
Jon Hofferman surveyed a host of filmmakers to find out what we can expect from them in the near and distant future.
As part of an effort to accelerate the growth of its presence in the Asia-Pacific markets, Twentieth Century Fox has announced the appointment of Grant Kahn to VP of International Licensing. Kahn has more than 13 years of international business development experience, representing U.S. companies in strategic planning, marketing and selling to Asia-Pacific countries.
Veteran animation executive Sam Register (BEN 10, TEEN TITANS, HI HI PUFFY AMIYUMI) has entered into a multi-property development and production deal with Warner Bros. Animation. Register will also continue to work with sister company Cartoon Network through a first-look development deal that was announced last fall.
Leading children's entertainment producer Animation Collective today announced it has appointed Doug MacLennan COO. Mr. MacLennan previously served as VP of Finance for the company, where he oversaw the budgeting and financing of its co-productions. In his new role, MacLennan will be responsible for leading Animation Collective's corporate strategy and multi-platform initiatives.
MacLennan will report directly to Larry Schwarz, Animation Collective's founder and CEO, and replaces Michael Gold, who left the company to pursue an educational software venture.
Mark Miller has replaced Carl Stork as CEO of Digital Domain. The former ILM exec will continue as president and retain his seat on the board of directors. Stork will now serve as vice chairman of the board.
"Mark Miller has two decades of experience in the visual effects industry," said Stork, "and he has demonstrated effective leadership of the company.It's great to recognize Mark's contribution with this promotion to CEO. I certainly plan to remain an active voice in the direction of this company, and I look forward to my new role as vice chairman."
Scholastic Media, the entertainment and media division of children's publishing, education and media company Scholastic, has hired Daisy Kline as Director of Marketing & Brand Management, reporting to Leslye Schaefer, SVP, Marketing and Consumer Products. Kline will be responsible for overseeing all marketing initiatives and brand strategies for Scholastic Media properties, including CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG, GOOSEBUMPS, WORDGIRL, I SPY, THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS, and DRAGON for the multimedia and consumer products arena.
DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. today announced that senior team members Bill Damaschke and John Batter have been promoted to Co-Presidents of Production for Feature Animation, with Damaschke also being appointed to the newly created position of President of Live Theatrical.
Viacom's MTV Networks Argentina has appointed Juan Frontini Creative Director of MTV Latin America. The appointment is part of MTV Networks Latin America's strategy to regionalize and expand its programming and production operations locally. Based in Buenos Aires, Frontini will report to Sean Saylor, Vice President of Creative for MTV and VH1 Latin America, based in Miami Florida.
Veteran programmer Lauren Corrao has been named president, original programming and development for Comedy Central. Corrao, who is based in the network's offices in Los Angeles and was formerly exec VP, original programming and development, will continue to report to Doug Herzog, president, MTV Networks Entertainment Group.
Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group has expanded Nicktoons Network GM Keith Dawkins' position to SVP, Nickelodeon Programming Partnerships. In this new role, Dawkins will be responsible for forging new creative partnerships and co-productions with non-traditional programming partners, while overseeing the international and domestic acquisitions of series, films and short-form programming for both Nickelodeon and Nicktoons Network. Dawkins reports to Marjorie Cohn, EVP Development and Original Programming, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group.
Indias Pune-based Anirights Infomedia has added two new vice presidents as part of an expansion spree, reports ANIMATION XPRESS. Praful Gade joins the company as VP, 3D Animation Pipeline and Shamboo Phalke is the new VP, 2D Animation Pipeline.
During his 20-year career, Gade has worked in various capacities, leading teams at Prasad Studios and Chromatic Technologies, among others. Prior to joining Anirights, he was Chief of Operations at Delhi-based Escotoonz.
The Visual Effects Society (VES) has elected a new board of directors for the upcoming year. The new members will take office at the Jan. 9, 2008, board meeting.
"This group of people represents an amazing array of talent and diversity," said Jeff Okun, outgoing chair. "They range from heads of companies and model makers to Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisors and producers.VES has always attracted the most talented, experience and knowledgeable individuals to it and we will surely be in good hands with group talented individuals at the helm."
Universal Studios Sound (www.filmmakersdestination.com) announces the addition of supervising sound editor Michael Geisler, expanding the department's services in animation and gaming. The facility offers sound editorial and design, mixing, Foley, ADR and transfer for features, television, commercials and trailers, along with animation and gaming.
Alexa Amin has joined Sony Pictures Animation as VP of development and will report to Nate Hopper, SVP of development. Among the upcoming projects she will be working on are CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS (opening March 27, 2009), HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (opening Sept. 25, 2009), BIG ALIEN MUSICAL, (described as a hip-hop alien musical) and Jon Favreau's Imagemotion performance capture NEANDERTHALS (titles subject to change).
San Francisco-based W!LDBRAIN has announced the appointment of erstwhile Cartoon Network exec Bob Higgins to serve as Head of Creative. Higgins, who served as SVP, Programming and Development for CN's kids businesses, will oversee the company's television and feature film development, production and acquisition activities and will report to Charles Rivkin, W!LDBRAIN President and CEO. Higgins is scheduled to begin working out of the Manhattan-based offices of Kidrobot, a subsidiary of W!LDBRAIN, on January 1, 2008.
Time Warner Inc. has announced the election of Jeffrey L. Bewkes as CEO of Time Warner Inc., effective January 1, 2008. Bewkes, who currently serves as president and COO, will retain the title of president. He will succeed Richard D. Parsons, who will remain as chairman of the board.
Sanjay Das, formerly director of R&D at DreamWorks Animation, has joined Tippett Studio as CTO. Prior to Dreamworks, he was the director of Research and Engineering at Loudcloud/Opsware and before that spent nine years at HP in various management and worldwide leadership positions.
Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group has announced the promotion of Stacey Kaufman to VP, Digital Marketing and Tony Zito to VP, The N Online. The announcement was made by Steve Youngwood, Exec VP, Digital Media, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group, to whom they report. Ms. Kaufman will simultaneously report to Pam Kaufman, CMO for Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group.
Veteran television executive and producer Robert Sorcher has been named chief content officer for Cartoon Network, where he will be responsible for driving the network's overall content development strategy, including original series, acquisitions, long form and special events. Along with managing the team of content executives, he will also oversee production and Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank.