Kids programming syndicator Bohbot Kids Network (BKN), the fourth US broadcast kids network scheduled to launch August 29, 1999, has acquired Los Angeles-based Epoch Ink Animation (founded by Joe Pearson) to establish BKN Studios. Epoch was founded in 1995 and has since completed original and for-hire animated projects for television, home video, interactive and theatrical distribution.
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Last Tuesday was a dark day for the comic book world when legendary writer/artist Bob Kane, best known for creating DC Comics Batman, passed away as a result of natural causes at his California home. Kane, 83, created the dark hero along with many other famous supporting characters including Robin, the Boy Wonder, the Joker, Catwoman and the Riddler. His creations have resulted in a continuously published comic book for fifty years, a live-action TV series, four feature films, at least five animated Batman series, and merchandising beyond words.
After six weeks of US release, Dreamworks/PDIs computer-animated bug pic Antz saw a rare 20% boost in box office business this weekend placing fifth. Despite losing 300 screens and new competition for the family crowd from the re-release of The Wizard of Oz, the film grossed an estimated $5.4 million in 2,604 theaters bringing the films cume to $74.8 million.
The first annual New York Animation Festival, slated to take place in New York City during April 1999, is now accepting entries in all categories. This comprehensive festival will encompass all types of animation including film, video, and digital animation of any genre. Student and international entries are also encouraged. For entry forms or information, call (212) 982-7781 or NYAFest@yahoo.com
The longest-running prime-time animated family in television history, The Simpsons, will be getting their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in September 1999. Among the celebrities that will be inducted next year include Alex Trebek, Freddy Fender, Wesley Snipes, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dennis Franz, Samuel Jackson, James Woods, Bob Newhart, Jane Seymour and Reba McEntire. Animation World Magazine will be there to cover the ceremony.
San Francisco-based WILD BRAIN, INC. has launched its first of a multi-spot animated campaign for Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurants. The Young & Rubicam campaign, which combines 2D and 3D animation with live-action, introduces The Colonel, KFCs new animated spokesperson, new KFC products and a new overall look for the fast food company.
CURIOUS PICTURES East and West coast offices teamed up with Cartoon Network to create Sound Hound, a two-minute animated interstitial featuring the classic Hanna-Barbara character, Huckleberry Hound.
PASSION PICTURES finished eight 3-second inserts for a new Adidas campaign featuring British World featherweight boxing champion Prince (Naz) Naseem and an overweight animated ex-boxer, the Cornerman. The spots were directed by Chris Hauge and animated by Chris Hauge, Chuck Gammage, Marco Piersma and Kevin Spruce through the Leagas Delaney agency.
* Thursday, November 5 - Friday, November 13. New York City, New York, U.S.A.
The Anthology Film Archives is presenting selected screenings from the First Light series. Films from Jordan Belson, James Whitney, Norman McLaren, and Oskar Fischinger, among others, will be shown. There will also be discussions from scholars and filmmakers following a number of the programs. For screening times and ticket info, contact the Anthology Film Archives at (212) 505-5181.
* Saturday, November 7 - Monday, November 9. West Hollywood, California, U.S.A.
1001 Nights, a film from Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano and director Mike Smith, will screen at the Laemmle Sunset 5 this weekend. Show times are 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM on November 7 & 8 and 12:00 PM and 12:30 PM on November 9. For screening info, call (323) 848 - 3500.
* Friday, November 13 - Sunday, November 15. Coffs Harbour, New SouthWales, Australia.
The 1998 STANLEY AWARDS AND CARTOONISTS' CONFERENCE, hosted by the Australian Black and White Artists' Club, will take place at the NovotelOpal Cove resort and Pacific Bay resort. The annual event features thepresentation of the Stanley Awards, the Australian "Academy Awards forcartooning," in 10 categories. The two day conference following willexamine topics including comic strip syndication, marketing, and using
* Friday, November 13. Glendale, California, U.S.A
The 26th Annual Annie Awards, a yearly awards ceremony honoring the best inanimation will be held this year at the Alex Theater located at 216 N.Brand Blvd. The event is hosted by the Los Angeles chapter of theInternational Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood. A champagne receptionstarts at 5:00 PM with the awards ceremony following at 7:00 PM. For moreinformation and tickets, call ASIFA-Hollywood at (818) 842-8330 and see the
* Friday, November 13, - Sunday, November 22. Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A.
The WorldFest Film and Video Festival, an event which focuses onindependent works which have not yet been picked up for distribution,features eight animation categories this year. For information onattending, contact Worldfest at tel (713) 965-9955, fax (713) 965-9960 oremail at email@example.com.
* Tuesday, November 17, - Thursday, November 19. London, U.K.
The fifth London Effects & Animation Festival (LEAF) will take place duringthe Digital Media World Convention at the Wembley Conference Center inLondon. For more information, call Julie Marshall at (44) 01 81 994 7354 oremail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Wednesday, November 18, - Sunday, November 22. Holland.
The 7th Holland Animation Film Festival, organized by the Holland FilmFestival Foundation, will be held in Utrecht, Netherlands. To find out moreabout the festival, visit their web site at http://www.awn.com/haff/>/a> oremail to email@example.com.
* Thursday, November 19, - Saturday, November 21. Hollywood, California,U.S.A.
Short Pictures International Film Festival (SPIFF) was originally createdto highlight short films, animation, music videos and documentaries created by Sony Pictures Imageworks employees, however thisyear the program has been opened up to all filmmakers. Visithttp://www.spiffest.com to find out more about the event.
* Friday, November 20, - Sunday, November 22. Perugia, Italy.Although there will be no competition section this year at the Cartoombria4th International Animation Film Festival, the artistic committee ofCartoombria '98 has put together a number of retrospectives, exhibits,workshops, screenings, premieres and artist tributes. To find out moreabout the festival visit http://www.awn.com/cartoombria/.
* Tuesday, November 24, - Saturday, November 28. Mendrisio, Switzerland.
The Mendrisio Swiss International Animated Film Festival includes a short,feature and animated "pilot" competition, as well as student films, 3Dcomputer animation, retrospectives, exhibitions, conferences and more. Forinformation call (41) 91 646 16 54.
For the first time in the 26-year history of the Annie Awards, the show will be nationally televised. FoxFamily Channel will air the presentation honoring the best of the animationindustry at a yet-to-be-announced date in December. Confirmed presentersfor this year's show include voice artists Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson)and the legendary June Foray, as well as actress T'keyah Krystal Keymaa("Cosby," "In Living Color," "Waynehead"). Submissions of animated TVshows, feature films, short subjects and commercials will be awarded in
Five thousand spectators attended theanimation programs during the five day 41st annual Leipzig InternationalFestival for Documentary and Animated Film which wrapped up on October 31in Leipzig Germany. The prize for Outstanding Film went to "Underground" byMatti Kütt (Estonia), and the Audience Prize went to "Hoelenangst" byBenjamin Quabeck (Germany). For more information about next year'sfestival, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Red Giant Television has reached a deal with Discovery International and Teletoon to produce a third season of "Splat!", the weekly half-hour TV series devoted to animation. This will bring the total number of episodes to 39 half hours. Red Giant is also in the process of creating a two hour, prime-time TV special celebrating animation. Splat! currently airs in 120 countries around the globe.
Fox Family Channels is creating two new digital cable/satellite networks, The Boyz Channel and The Girlz Channel, offering gender-specific entertainment and educational programming for 2-14 year-old boys and girls. The full-time, ad-supported services scheduled to launch sometime in 1999 will also be available as basic analog channels. Much of the programming will come from the library that Fox Kids already owns mixed in with some original productions. In the evenings, the channels' focus will target parents with programs dealing with raising and parenting children of that specific gender.
Silicon Graphics, Inc. has reported negative first quarter results for the 1999 fiscal year. The company announced a net loss of $44 million, or $0.24 per share, compared with a net loss of $56 million in the same quarter a year ago. "Reporting a loss is never satisfying, but I am very encouraged with the progress demonstrated in this quarter's results," said Richard Belluzzo, CEO and chairman of SGI.
Pixar, the company behind "Toy Story," posted a third quarter net profit of $2.5 million, or $0.02 per share, down from a third quarter profit of $5.3 million last year. The positive profits however did surprise financial analysts who had forecasted a third quarter loss of $0.02 for the third quarter. The upcoming release of "A Bug's Life" is expected to help further rejuvenate Pixar's revenues.
Bandai's AnimeVillage.com is the first video releasing company in the US that enables consumers to purchase Japanese animation directly through the Internet. The site also features the latest animation news from Japan, real-time chats, games, message boards, and contests. AnimeVillage.com's initial release slate includes the "Gundam" series and "The Vision of Escaflowne" with plans to expand their library up to 200 titles by the end of 1999.