Vince Roberts has been promoted to the newly created position of evp, worldwide technology and operations, Disney-ABC Cable Networks Group and Walt Disney Television International. He will be responsible for the global technical and operational strategic direction and ongoing management of all television and IT functions across the Disney-ABC Cable Networks Group, including Disney Channel, Toon Disney, SOAPnet, ABC Family and JETIX; and Walt Disney Television International, including, Disney-branded networks in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Japan and Canada.
Geographical Region: Africa
Buena Vista International Television (BVITV) has promoted four senior members of its sales teams in Europe. Carsten Fink, based in Munich, Damian Newton, in London and Francesca Tauriello, in Rome, have been promoted to vice president, sales & distribution, German-speaking Europe, vice president, sales, Pay TV/New Technologies and executive director, sales, Northern Mediterranean markets respectively. Tatjana Vucanovic has also been promoted, to executive director, sales, Central & Eastern Europe.
Michelle Rodriguez (RESIDENT EVIL), Taryn Manning (8 MILE), Oliver Hudson (TVs THE MOUNTAIN), Hill Harper (THE SKULLS) and Eric Lively (TVs THE L WORD) have signed on to star in Wes Craven-exec produced horror film THE BREED, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. First Look Media and DEJ Prods. are handling worldwide rights. Cravens longtime collaborator Nick Mastandrea will make his directorial debut on the film, which starts filming next week.
DIC Ent. (DIC) has promoted Jedd Gold to vp of marketing. In his new position, Gold will oversee all marketing and promotional initiatives for DIC, including marketing strategies for the company's brand properties STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE and the upcoming release of TROLLZ. He will be responsible for creating and executing multi-layered retail and consumer campaigns, including advertising, promotions and publicity. Gold will manage the efforts of DIC's internal marketing team and outside vendors.
Walt Disney Branded Television has promoted James Neal to vp, programming, Disney Channel UK, responsible for leading the programming teams for Disney Channel, Playhouse Disney and Toon Disney. Neal will also oversee the program planning of general entertainment channel abc1.
DICs Growing Worldwide Consumer Products Division has promoted 10-year DIC veteran Ryan Gagerman to vp, International Consumer Products for DIC Entertainment. It also named Lorne Bloch, director of Licensing and Stephanie Mente, manager of International Consumer Products.
American Greetings Corp. and DIC Ent. (DIC) kick off the spring season with a STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE Seaberry Beach national promotion. Developed by DIC, on behalf of American Greetings, the promotion features a sweepstakes with tropical prizes.
Creative director Paul Song, exec director Casey Gelvin and exec producer Valerie Schadt have launched Liquid Images, a new visual effects company in Santa Monica that will be located within the offices of Cut + Run/Los Angeles. Liquid Images provides effects and motion graphic design for commercials, main titles and broadcast design. The company is independent of Cut + Run, but will serve as the companys visual effects and finishing arm on a project-by-project basis.
On March 1, 2005, Turner Broadcasting, the creators of Cartoon Network, will launch Boomerang, the home of classic shows and stars from the Hanna-Barbera library in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Swaziland, Lesotho and Southern Angola. Boomerang will offer MultiChoices DStv channel 81subscribers a channel dedicated to shows such as WACKY RACES, CAPTAIN CAVEMAN, THE HAIR BEAR BUNCH, DASTARDLY AND MUTTLEY and INCH HIGH PRIVATE EYE.
On March 5, 2005, the New York International Childrens Film Festival (NYICFF) will screen the highly anticipated U.S. premiere of the animated feature STEAMBOY, directed by Katsuhiro Otomo (AKIRA). This retro sci-fi anime was 10 years in the making and is the most expensive Japanese film ever produced. The film features the voices of Patrick Stewart, Alfred Molina and Anna Paquin. Director Otomo will be on hand for a Q&A immediately after the screening. A VIP reception will follow.
MTV Networks announced its first-ever global program acquisition, securing the worldwide broadcast rights to Animation Collective's property KAPPA MIKEY, for Nicktoons in the U.S. and Nickelodeon's international channels. The deal comprises 26 half-hour episodes of the animated action comedy that will premiere on the channels in 2006. Also part of the agreement, MTV Networks International secures international distribution rights for third-party broadcast sales.
Cecilia Persson has been appointed director of acquisitions for Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Toonami channels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
David Hulbert, former president, Walt Disney Television International, will be leaving the company in the wake of the Disney-ABC Television Group reorganization its television businesses in the European, Middle Eastern and African territories, promoting of two key executives to oversee this new organizational structure.
John Hardie, former svp/md, branded television, EMEA moves up to evp/md, Branded Television, EMEA while Tom Toumazis, former svp/md, Buena Vista International Television, EMEA advance to evp/md, Buena Vista International Television, EMEA.
Prism Ent. and Nickelodeon U.K., are rolling out their online kids environment the BIN WEEVILS into new territories in a far-reaching agreement with pan-European kids network, Nickelodeon Europe. From early 2005, children visiting the Websites of Nickelodeon channels in Sweden, Italy and Spain will all be able to join in the comedy-driven animated characters. To date, 281,632 children have registered as BIN WEEVILS at www.nickelodeon.co.uk and in November 2004 alone the site received 2,671,516 hits.
Jean-Michel Cousteau, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and 3D Ent. announced the upcoming release of SHARKS 3D, a film that brings the viewer face to face with a multitude of the world's great shark species, including the Great White, Whale Shark and Hammerhead. Audiences will experience them as they truly are in their natural habitat: not wicked man-eating creatures, but wild, fascinating and highly endangered animals.
French producer/distributor Moonscoop has signed a major deal with FUNimation Productions Ltd., the brand management company behind the wildly successful DRAGON BALL Z franchise, making the company the exclusive licensing agent for CODE LYOKO in the U.S. The far-reaching deal also makes FUNimation the exclusive home video distributor to CODE LYOKO for the U.S. and English-speaking Canada.
Young creators from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania successfully completed a series of animation productions; a first in the East Africa Region, under the patronage of the UNESCO led initiative Africa Animated! The trainees followed an introduction to animation, drawing techniques, scriptwriting for animation and storyboarding.
The training started in Zanzibar International Film Festival's (ZIFF) in June 2004, followed by a four-week workshop in Nairobi at the Kenya College of Communication Technology (KCCT), where the films were produced.
Animation master Hayao Miyazaki' continues his box office success in his home country of Japan with the record breaking debut of his new feature, HOWLS MOVING CASTLE, reports VARIETY. The film made $14.3 million on 448 screens last weekend, accounting for 72% of the territory's entire box office. It is expected that a third of Japans population will see the film. The film had the third highest debut, behind the first two HARRY POTTER films.
Award-winning vfx company E=mc2 Digital, which was recently acquired by Double Edge Ent., a privately held film production company based in Los Angeles and Taiwan, has launched a sister animation/vfx studio, Double Edge Digital, in a major expansion of its facility, staff and capabilities in Glendale, California. In addition, Double Edge Digital execs and creative staff are overseeing the formation of a digital production infrastructure in Taipei, which will mirror the California facility, for the efficient throughput of select aspects of the company's visual effects projects.
Danny Goldman has been promoted to the created position of vp/gm London Sales for Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI). Goldman assumes direct management of the team of London-based international sales executives and the oversight of Northern and Central/Eastern European sales territories, as well as Africa and the Middle East.
His portfolio already includes sales distribution of SPTI product throughout the U.K. and Ireland. He continues to be based at SPTI's European headquarters in London.
Comcast Corp., HIT Entertainment Plc., PBS and Sesame Workshop today (Oct. 20, 2004) announced plans to launch a 24-hour digital cable television channel for preschool children and a companion video-on-demand (VOD) service. The channel will bring together some of the best-known classic and contemporary childrens shows and is expected to launch in fall 2005.
Tiger Aspects documentary for the Discovery Channel, VIRTUAL HISTORY: THE SECRET PLOT TO KILL HITLER, airing Oct. 24 at 8:00 pm throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, adopted cutting edge CGI from The Moving Picture Co. (MPC) to transform the faces of actors into exact replicas of Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Josef Stalin. The program unfolds on the momentous day of July 20, 1944.
The Hollywood Film Festival's Board of Advisors has announced the nominees for the 2004 "Hollywood Film Awards" competition. The announcement was made today in Hollywood by Carlos de Abreu, founder/exec director of the Hollywood Film Festival.
"This year's Hollywood Film Festival continues its tradition of honoring the very best talent within our community. It is a celebration of all aspects of Hollywood filmmaking and the artists who help to create its lasting legacy on our culture," festival co-chair Paula Wagner said.
Jo Sweby joined the Contender Entertainment Group (CEG) in the newly created post of international acquisitions manager, responsible for growing CEGs catalog of intellectual properties across the television, video and merchandising divisions by acquiring and expanding both third-party and wholly owned general entertainment and childrens titles internationally.