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.
Geographical Region: Africa
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.
The Video Lab Johannesburg has two announcements: not only has renowned international colorist Catherine Pantazopoulos joined the group, but they have secured the latest in grading wizardry: Discreets lustre 2.5, the only one in South Africa.
Joining luminaries such as Pixar Animation Studios and Sony Pictures Imageworks, The Video Lab plans to have the lustre up and running by mid-October in a custom, designed, world-class grading room.
The latest Acrobat version of Animation World Magazine is now online and ready for download. The theme for this edition is Independent Animation. Chris Robinson conducted an extensive poll of leading independent animators and asked them how they get the financing for their films. Indie animator Mark Simon writes about how not to budget yourself out of business. Janet Hetherington looks at the struggle to bring indie comic NEXUS into animation. And Joe Strike takes a look at how independent artists work within the studio system.
Boomerang, Turner Broadcasting's top-performing cartoon channel in the U.K. for kids 4-9 is getting a brand new look with its best loved characters taking center stage.
The reface aims to make the channel more accessible and appealing to its large pre-school audience and create a fun environment for viewers of all ages to watch its lineup of shows, which include TOM & JERRY, THE FLINTSTONES, WACKY RACES and SYLVESTER & TWEETY, from its library of Hanna-Barbera and Looney Tunes cartoons.
Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) Europe has promoted Finn Arnesen to the joint roles of svp of Original Animation and Acquisitions for Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Toonami throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) as well as international head of Program Production with responsibility for all areas outside the U.S.
Telefilm Canada will sponsor the International Tête-à-Tête at the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), a series of one-on-one meetings designed to foster co-production activity and international sales. In association with the festivals Trade Forum, this initiative offers the occasion for Canadian industry players to discuss projects face to face with international producers, distributors and sales agents during private half-hour meetings.
Fred Basset, star of the famous comic strip by Alex Graham syndicated in 20 countries will star in his very own television series to be produced and distributed worldwide by VGI Entertainment Ltd.
VGI, an independent U.K. producer, distributor and licensor of childrens programming, said it is delighted to be involved in such a landmark project and will be working in close consultation with Arran, Grahams daughter who continues to be very much involved with the daily comic strip.
Entertainment Rights (ER) is one of the fastest growing independent global media groups specializing in children's and family entertainment, recently recruited three new territory managers to bolster its strong international sales team. These include Gillian Calvert for Scandinavia and Benelux, Karen Vermeulen for Germany and U.K. and Leila Ouledcheikhfor Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The family of THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT composer Solomon "Mbube" Linda has filed a suit against The Walt Disney Co. for the use of the song in the film, THE LION KING, reports VARIETY. The copyright infringement suit, filed in South Africa's Pretoria High Court, is for $1.6 million. Disney has until Aug. 12, 2004 to respond to the claims or be ruled against by default.
Montreal-based Toon Boom Animation Inc. has opened an office in London to provide support and training services to European customers, as well as it customers based in the Middle East and Africa. Piers Godden is the main contact and may be reached at +44 7843 679095.
Sesame Workshop has made it much easier for kids around the world to have a playdate with Elmo and Big Birds cousins from around the world via the new International section of its Website (www.seaameworkshop.org) featuring a multi-lingual game and information on co-productions of the award winning SESAME STREET.
Richard Kilgarriff has been promoted from consultant to svp/gm for all of Turner Broadcasting's U.K. Entertainment channels Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Toonami and TCM with the managers of each channel now reporting directly to him. He will also continue as a consultant to Turner's news network, CNN International.
Well its not like talking on visaphones as they did in the Hanna-Barbera cartoon THE JETSONS, Cartoon Network, the broadcaster of many HB favorites has gone futuristic, launching the CN channel on three-inch UTMS videophones in Italy.
Turner Broadcasting System Inc. signed its first mobile TV agreement with mobile operator "3" Italy to distribute Cartoon Network to the operator's videophone subscribers, enabling users to watch a daily block of CN programming on their videophones.