IDT Corp., a multinational carrier, telephone and technology company that has been showering investment capital based on animation companies has created IDT Entertainment Inc., a new business subsidiary, which will incorporate Digital Production Solutions (DPS)
, IDTs existing animation company, DPS/Film Roman and its joint venture and equity interest with Vanguard Animation. Upon completion of its purchase of Mainframe Ent. in Vancouver, the CGI production house will also become part of IDT Entertainment. The new company will focus initially on animation and manage the expansion into other entertainment areas.
Morris Berger, evp of IDT Media will be ceo of IDT Ent., which is based in Newark, New Jersey. Yehuda Wurtzel becomes president of production and CTO of IDT Entertainment. Steve Brown, CFO of IDT Corp., assumes the added roles of chairman/president of IDT Ent.
The establishment of IDT Entertainment sets the stage for our expanding presence in the entertainment industry, said Jim Courter, IDTs ceo. Since last year, weve made strategic acquisitions of major production companies with worldclass animation programming and forged relationships with some of Hollywoods top players. Presently, were in production on feature films, television programs and direct-to-DVD projects. Clearly, IDT Entertainments star is rising.
IDT Ent. Now has maintains animation production hubs in New Jersey, Hollywood, Vancouver and Israel, as well as contractual agreements with numerous animation shops around the globe.
The new company will be structured for efficiency and growth, said Berger. Within IDT Entertainment, we will establish new divisions for project development, merchandising and distribution. The goal is increased entertainment production with more intellectual properties and expanded libraries in order to gain greater financial control over our many projects.
Recently, DPS recently signed a deal with BAF Berlin Animation Film to provide complete production services on HAPPILY NEVER AFTER, a full-length 3D animated film featuring the voice talents of Sigourney Weaver, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., George Carlin, Andy Dick, Wallace Shawn and Patrick Warburton.
In May 2003, DPS acquired a controlling interest in Film Roman, the animation company BEHIND THE SIMPSONS AND KING OF THE HILL. In July 2003, DPS entered into a partnership agreement with Vanguard Animation to co-produce and co-own Vanguard properties. Vanguard has a deal in place with Disney to complete four CG features. The first film, Valiant is in production. Mainframe signed a binding letter of intent on Sept. 16, 2003, toward its acquisition by IDT.
IDT Corp., through its IDT Telecom Inc. subsidiary, is a facilities-based, multinational carrier that provides a broad range of telecommunications services to its retail and wholesale customers worldwide. IDT Telecom has its own national telecommunications backbone and fiber optic network infrastructure.