Korean company Samsung Entertainment Group is launching a new animated series for adults called "Alexander." Peter Chung, creator of "Aeon Flux," is designing the characters for the fantasy-adventure show, which is set in 4th Century B.C. Macedonia, and is based on the novel "Alexander's War Chronicles" by Hiroshi Aramata. The executive producer is Haruki Kadokawa, the producers are Masao Maruyama and Rintaro, and the supervising director is Yoshinori Kanemori. Animation is being produced at Mad House in Japan. Screenmusic Studios in Los Angeles will handle post-production.
Geographical Region: Asia
Bonjourno, Mickey! The Italian version of THE DISNEY CHANNEL will begin broadcast on October 3, launching with the country's first TV broadcast of the animated feature, "The Lion King." All programming will be dubbed in Italian. The channel is being transmitted daily from 6 a.m. to midnight, as part of a digital bouquet of channels offered by Telepiu. Disney Channel Italy is headquartered in Milan and headed up by vice president and managing director Janet Scardino. The former Sunbow Entertainment VP joined the company in March 1998.
NICKELODEON plans to launch a 24-hour version of its network in Russia, per a recently-signed agreement with Metromedia International Group. Programming will consist of Russian-language dubbed U.S. shows such as "Rugrats." This will be Nickelodeon's sixth territory-specific network, following existing channels in Australia, Latin America, the Nordic countries, Turkey and the U.K.
Santa Monica, California-based Epoch Ink Animation and Phoenix, Arizona-based Todd McFarlane Entertainment collaborated on a fully-animated music video for Pearl Jam's song "Do the Evolution." The four-minute video was produced in just 12 weeks with a budget of U.S. $220,000.
The 11th Society of Animation Studies Conference will be held in Australia for the first time. The conference, to be held in Brisbane in August or October 1999 (exact date to be confirmed), is timed to coincide with the Third Asia Pacific Triennial exhibition of Contemporary Art at the Queensland Art Gallery. The theme of the conference is "Animation: Contexts and Identities," with a focus on Asia Pacific animation. A call for papers and presentation proposals is now open. Proposals should contain a 50-word summary and a 250-word abstract.
BILL DENNIS has been named Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mumbai, India-based UTVI ANIMATION and RM/USL STUDIOS, the largest animation studio in India. Dennis will be responsible for overseeing and growing the operations of the companies' studios in Singapore and Bombay and for developing new animation studios around the region. He will also oversee all in-house development and co-production deals. Dennis, now based in Los Angeles, was previously president of Fil-Cartoons in Manila, a studio which serviced Hanna-Barbera and Turner Broadcasting before they merged with Time/Warner.
The 7th biennial Hiroshima International Animation Festival ended on Monday, August 24 with a grand awards ceremony. The top winners are:
Grand Prize: "The Old Lady and the Pigeons" by Sylvain Chomet (Canada).
Hiroshima Prize: The Mermaid by Alexander Petrov (Russia).
Debut (first film) Prize: Busby by Anna Henckel-Donners-Marck (Germany).
Renzo Kinoshita Prize: "L'Aréne (Série "Vermillion")" by Nicolas Jacquet (France).