Buena Vista International Television (BVITV) has appointed Philippe Maigret svp of portfolio development. Maigret will be based in London and report directly to by Tom Toumazis, svp/md, BVITV EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). Maigret is charged with implementing an acquisition and co-production strategy and focus on closer liaisoning with all internal and third party producer groups including Walt Disney Studios, Miramax, Touchstone Television and ABC Cable Network Groups as well as TV Animation.
Geographical Region: Africa
The UK's Entertainment Rights has chalked up a number of recent licenses for its kids properties resulting from MIP-TV, in Europe and in North America, via its New York City office. The NYC office has placed several shows with U.S. and Canadian networks. Discovery's Hispanic channel has acquired CGI preschooler CUBEEZ for a 2003 launch and HAMILTON MATTRESS has been sold to HBO while TeleQuebec in Canada has taken PRESTON PIG, SHORT CUTS and MERLIN THE MAGICAL PUPPY. ER's new boy action series TRANSFORMERS ARMADA debuted well on Carton Network in the U.S.
Take the animated adventures of a family of wildlife documentary filmmakers out in Africa home by way of Paramount Home Entertainment's release of THE WILD THORNBERRYS MOVIE on DVD and home video. The movie, produced by Klasky Csupo and Nickelodeon Movies, based upon the hit TV series, features the Oscar-nominated song by Paul Simon, "Father and Daughter" as a music video.
Just in time for MIP TV 2003, international producer-distributor TV-Loonland has brought on Jamie Lynn as sales executive in its distribution division. Based in the London office, Lynn will be responsible for TV-Loonland's extensive rights portfolio of children's programming throughout Asia, Southern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Lynn headed SSA Public Relations' London office for three years where he spearheaded several successful publicity campaigns for a wide range of high profile clients from the international television and film business and generated new business. David Ferguson, COO at TV-Loonland said," Lynn has developed vital and strong relationships with many top executives within the film, television and licensing industry. His acquired knowledge of the international television distribution business is highly valued and I look forward to working with him." TV-Loonland (www.tv-loonland.com) is an integrated media company producing and distributing internationally animation for children, youth and families. With its own development teams and production facilities in Europe, Great Britain, Asia and the U.S.A., a comprehensive rights catalog as well as a focused distribution effort for Europe, North and South America and Asia; TV-Loonland has become a world leader among the independent majors in the industry.
Umbrella organization European Broadcasting Union is coproducing an animated series PITT & KANTROP (26x26) with Millimages (France), using funding from nine EBU member broadcasters ARD (Germany), BBC (U.K.), France 2 and France 3, RAI (Italy), RTBF and VRT (Belgium), RTVE (Spain) and SRG-SSR (Switzerland). Targeted at kids 6-12, the toon features 13-year-old Pitt and his pterodactyl pet Kantrop, created by Isabeau Merle and Fethi Nedjari. The series is an off-beat modern comedy set in prehistoric times, which recounts the adventures of Pitt, and Kantrop, the last pterodactyl, as they try to bring progress to Pitt's tribe. Wolfgang Wegmann (ARD), Theresa Plummer-Andrews (BBC) and Babette Vimenet (France) are set to exec produce. Millimages Licenses, Millimages UK and Millimages USA will handle international distribution rights when the series launches in fall 2004. "We are confident that the series PITT & KANTROP will be another success for the EBU and its members in providing quality European programming to children across Europe," said Philippe Jacot, head of the EBU coproduction unit. Millimages, based in Paris (www.millimages.com), is one of the largest producers and distributors of animated programming with its own post production and stop-motion service studios. The Geneva-based EBU (www.ebu.ch) is the largest professional association of national broadcasters in the world. It serves 71 active members in 52 countries of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and 45 associate members in 28 countries around the world. Working on behalf of its members, the EBU negotiates broadcasting rights for major sports events, operates the Eurovision and Euroradio networks, organizes program exchanges, stimulates and coordinates coproductions, and provides a full range of other operational, commercial, technical, legal and strategic services.
France Animation, one of Europes leading production and distribution companies specializing in youth programming, has a number of MIP-TV 2003 offerings for the teen and pre-school markets. COSY CORNER is a preschool series (52x6 or 13x26) that features a host of soft, cuddly CGI animated animal characters with strong merchandising potential. It tells the story of a group of Stella, Margot, Arthur and Jacky, who have been thrown together by chance. Living as neighbors in a huge tree, called COSY CORNER, they soon discover that it isnt always easy to get along and put up with each other! Produced by French production company Storimages and co-produced by France 5 and Teletoon France, France Animation has worldwide distribution rights. Also on France Animations MIP-TV 2003 slate, is the second season of hit show WHEEL SQUAD 2 (13x26) which completes the series of 39 episodes. WHEEL SQUAD combines wheel sports, rap, hip-hop and techno for older children. Is a co-production between France Animation, M6, Praxinos, Colorland, RAI and for series one Canal + Belgique. The show can already be seen on the Disney Channel in Asia, Hong Kong and the Middle East, and in Latin America (Fox Kids), Spain (Antena 3), The Netherlands (Kindernet), Portugal (SIC) and Poland amongst other territories. Concluding France Animations animated lineup is the well-known TITEUF (78x7 or 26x26), a successful property all over Europe based on the comic books by Swiss cartoonist Zep. Already a major hit on France 3, the series has already sold to broadcasters in Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Greece, Turkey, North Africa, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Korea, Ukraine, Singapore, Hong Kong, Israel, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Iceland, Japan, Korea, Ireland and the Middle East. In addition, TITEUF has inspired lucrative product ranges across a variety of markets with 250,000 GameBoy games sold by Infogrames in Europe alone and 250,000 video cassettes selling in the last 12 months through Universal Pictures Video France. Other merchandising available includes Lafuma school bags, a confectionery deal with Cadbury and a pan-European card deal with Hallmark. Various deals have also been struck with Hasbro, McDonalds, Danone and Kellogg's. TITEUF is a co-production between France Animation, Editions Glenat, Canal J, France 3 and SMEC, in partnership with RAI, Infogrames and Universal. France Animation also brings factual entertainment to MIP-TV with new completed episodes of the fascinating documentary series INSECTOSCOPE and live-action kids series CYBERGIRL. Maia Tubiana, managing director of France Animation said: "We are maintaining our strategy of seeking quality properties for our catalog, partnering at the earliest possible stages on new projects and developing or co-developing series in formats varying from 5 to 26 minutes. We are also happy to announce that we have started production on PETIT VAMPIRE (working title LITTLE VAMPIRE) which we launched with our co-production partner Story at Cartoon Forum this year. The 52x13 series will be ready for delivery in 2004. PETIT VAMPIRE is a Story, France Animation, France 3 and Telegael co-production." Formed in 1984, France Animation (www.france-anim.com) is subsidiary of Wanadoo (France Télécom) and has a sales catalog with more than 1,200 half-hours sold in more than 100 countries.
The Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), the international association of the leading Internet-based cinema journalists, has released its choices of the Top 100 Animated Features of All Time with TOY STORY placing first according to a vote of the 138 reviewers.
Creative editorial company Lost Planet has added editors Saar Klein and Peter Mostert. Kleins notable feature film credits include THE THIN RED LINE, which earned him an Academy Award nomination; the 2000 film ALMOST FAMOUS, which won him an ACE award and another Academy Award nomination; and the 2002 action film THE BOURNE IDENTITY.
ICE AGE, LILO AND STITCH, THE WILD THORNBERRYS MOVIE and SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON received nominations in both best sound editing and music in animated features from the Motion Picture Sound Editors, which will present its Golden Reel Awards at the Century Plaza Hotel March 22 during the group's 50th annual awards banquet. TV series CSI, FASTLANE, JOHN DOE and SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS took two noms each as well.
And the nominees are
Best Sound Editing In Domestic Features: Sound Effects/Foley
The animated adventures of MR. BEAN is heading to Scandinavia. The 26 x 30-minute series has been sold to SVT, Sweden and YLE, Finland by Fremantle International Distribution, which distributes both the original live-action series and the animated series. SVT will start to broadcast the series on December 23, 2002 and it will run through early February. The series launch date on YLE is still to be announced. MR.
In the wake of last week's announcement of the departure of Michael Hirsh, CEO of Nelvana, Corus Entertainment Inc. announced that it will combine the operations of Nelvana and its television division into one integrated business unit under the leadership of Paul Robertson. "As president of Corus Television, Paul has consistently delivered outstanding financial results and programming schedules, always with customer service as a top priority," said John Cassaday, president and CEO of Corus Entertainment.
Cartoon Network has added Hungarian and Romanian to its language services making it available in no less than eleven languages in Europe. Starting out as a pan-European channel in 1993, Cartoon Network now has seven dedicated regional channels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa where it can be enjoyed in English, Danish, Dutch, French, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Spanish and Swedish.
After successful screenings in San Francisco and New York, the 6th Annual RESFEST will come to Hollywood's Egyptian Theater October 30-November 3, 2002. Showcasing innovative digital films, music videos and animation, the directors of RESFEST created seven thematic shorts programs from over 1,500 submissions. Notable animation screenings include Robert Bradbrook's Cartoon d'Or winning film HOME ROAD MOVIES and the U.S. premiere of Phil Mulloy's THE INVASION.
Cinar's library of over 2,200 half-hours of family programming will soon be traveling to new territories thanks to a distribution agreement with VGI Entertainment Ltd., a UK-based distribution company. Under the terms of the deal, VGI will distribute Cinar titles such as CAILLOU, ARTHUR, MONA THE VAMPIRE and THE BUSY WORLD OF RICHARD SCARY in sub-Saharan Africa. "We are very pleased to add VGI's expertise and knowledge to the Cinar team," said Louis Fournier, head of distribution for Cinar. "We are confident that our fascinating cast of characters will find a welcome home in Africa.
CineGroupe has joined with Fox Kids Europe (FKE) to distribute its new animated TV series PIG CITY. The series is a co-production of CineGroupe and AnimaKids (France), in association with Merchandising Munchen and Fox Kids France. The agreement with FKE includes the television, home video and merchandising rights to the series across Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. CineGroupe will continue to distribute the series in Canada, the U.S., Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Animakids will handle the rights in France and Merchandising Munchen in Germany.
On October 6, 2002, MIPCOM Junior wrapped up its 10th year with the market reaching its all-time high in number of buyers. According to organizers, 433 buyers of childrens programs from 53 countries attended the two-day event, with animation remaining the favorite category and scoring the highest number of screenings. The total number of buyers represented a 19.3% increase compared to last year.
If you live in Los Angeles, don't miss this final opportunity to check out two amazing animation exhibits: "Oscars In Animation" at the Academy and "William Kentridge" at LACMA. The "Oscars in Animation" exhibition, currently on display at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, showcases animated films that have been nominated for or have won an Academy Award. "Oscars in Animation" features rare and original animation art spanning seven decades -- from 1932, when the Academy awarded the first Oscar for animation, to the present day.
On Sunday, October 6, 2002 MIPCOM Junior's "Talking With" sessions will host Gary E. Knell, president and CEO of Sesame Workshop. He will be interviewed by George Winslow, director of special projects, Reed Television Group. "Talking With" is an informal interview session that offers market participants an opportunity to interact with major players in the TV industry. Knell will unveil the story of the organization that revolutionized television with the legendary SESAME STREET and tell how its mission to create educational and challenging content for children is carried out.
Germany's EM.TV found success with its first installment of the whimsical series FAIRY TALE POLICE DEPARTMENT (FTPD), which has sold to broadcasters in France, Italy, Spain, Latin America, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Africa and the Ukraine. Therefore, EM.TV will be bringing another round of FTPD to this year's show. The second series of FTPD (13 x 24-minutes) follows a special unit of the secret service that fights crime in the fairy tale world. FTPD agents Johnny Legend and his partner Chris Anderson ensure that all fairy tale favorites really do live happily ever after.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is the sole West Coast and final U.S. venue of South African artist William Kentridges haunting drawings and animated films. The exhibition remains on view through October 6, 2002. This is the first American retrospective of Kentridge's work and includes eleven animated films, more than 60 drawings, two sculptural installations and video presentations of theater and opera productions designed and scripted by Kentridge.
A new 13 x 10-minute series being billed as the first CG series from Africa is currently in pre-production at Johannesburg, South Africa studio AnimMate. "The series will be entirely produced by African talent in South Africa," Tanja Botha of Johannesburg-based Animation Africa, which is distributing the series, told C21 MEDIA. "It's a first for Africa.
The Art Institute Online, a division of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, will offer a bachelor of science in Game Art & Design beginning in fall 2002. The Art Institute Online currently offers programs in graphic design and multimedia and Web design in an interactive, faculty-facilitated, asynchronous format that allows students to log in to complete their classes 24 hours a day, seven days a week at their convenience, making it ideal for students with irregular schedules or those who live in areas far from a brick-and-mortar school.
Program distribution anddevelopment company CABLEready has inked a deal with Tokyo's SSAProductions for key international TV rights to SLAMMIN' SAMMY, ananimated one-hour biography of Sammy Sosa, the Dominican-born MajorLeague Baseball star. The deal includes all of South and CentralAmerica, the Caribbean (except the Dominican Republic), Asia'sPacific Rim, Europe, Canada and Africa. SLAMMIN' SAMMY -- THE SAMMYSOSA STORY traces Sosa's life from the hardships of his youth as a
Hallmark Entertainment has named Michael R. Oesterlin as director, International Sales where he will oversee Hallmark Entertainment programming sales throughout French-speaking territories, Turkey and Russia, and video worldwide. Before joining the company, Oesterlin was a sales executive for Warner Bros. International Television. While there, he was responsible for selling Warner Bros. programming to Free TV broadcasters throughout Africa, Israel, the Middle East and Turkey.
TAKALINI SESAME, the South African version of the popular children's series SESAME STREET, will be introducing an HIV-positive role model into the Muppet cast. The ASSOCIATED PRESS has reported that, at the urging of the South African government, representatives of the Sesame Workshop have decided an HIV-positive Muppet character will join the series in September 2002. "We want to build hope and address the issues of stereotypes against HIV," said Yvonne Kgame of the South African Broadcasting Corp., which airs the program.