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Geographical Region: Australia

Moonscoop Headline News

Moonscoop Scores Worldwide Deals for Ava Riko Teo

Moonscoop has scored a raft of international sales for its unique preschool series AVA RIKO TEO (65x7). The animated paper cutout show is a co-production with Character Plan, France 5 and EBS.

Italy's Rai 3, Al Jazeera Children's Channel in the Middle East, Disney Australia, MTV3 Finland, Israel's HOP, Venevision and CEE channel JimJam have snapped up the show which is the second highest-rated on EBS in Korea and rates number one on France 5 out of all co-produced series.

Headline News

Mandvi, Toub and Curtis to Join The Last Airbender

Aasif Mandvi, Shaun Toub and Cliff Curtis have joined the cast of M. Night Shyamalan's THE LAST AIRBENDER for Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies. Shyamalan, Sam Mercer and Frank Marshall are producing with principal photography to begin mid-March 2009.

The casting of THE LAST AIRBENDER has come under significant scrutiny, as Caucasian actors were hired in initially for the main characters, who in the animated series are of Asian descent and culture.

Film Headline News

Wild Bunch Acquires International Rights to Oceans 3D

The first feature-length film from 3D Entertainment's filmmakers Jean-Jacques and Francois Mantello (the Mantello Brothers), OCEANS 3D - INTO THE DEEP (working title), has been acquired by Wild Bunch, a Paris-and London-based sales, distribution and production outfit.

The film is set to become the first ever documentary to be both filmed and released in Digital 3D. The deal marks the first collaboration between the two companies. Under the terms of the agreement, 3D Entertainment retains the rights (all-media) for the U.S. and Canada.

Digital Headline News

Into the Pixel 2009 Submissions Open

Submissions for the annual Into the Pixel art exhibition are open for the 2009 exhibit. Now in its sixth year, this is the only juried digital art exhibition that brings together experts from the fine art world and the interactive entertainment industry.

Festival Headline News

Savannah Film Festival Accepting Entries for 2009

The Savannah Film Festival, hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design, is accepting entries for the 2009 festival, to be held Oct. 31-Nov. 7. Featuring the best in independent, innovative and influential film from around the world, the annual festival presents a full range of cinematic creativity from both award-winning professionals and emerging student filmmakers. Features, documentaries, professional and student shorts, both live action and animated, will be considered. All entries must be postmarked by July 6.

Series Headline News

Sanctuary Goes International, Preps Season Two

Toronto-based producer and distributor Tricon Films & Television has signed a series of major international deals for the series SANCTUARY, whilst at the same time preparing for production on season two. The show was recently commissioned for a second season by Sci Fi Channel in the U.S. and by the Space channel in Canada.

Headline News

Pinky and Perky Get Daily Spot on BBC1

After proving a hit on CBBC, porcine pair Pinky and Perky have landed a daily slot on BBC1. THE PINKY AND PERKY SHOW has been running on CBBC since November 3 of last year and has recently been pulling in the highest ratings on the channel. The entire first season will start airing on February 27 daily at 3.40 p.m.

Headline News

Kidz Ent. Pick up Timmy Time, Shaun the Sheep

Nordic and Eastern European licensing agency Kidz Ent. has been appointed by Aardman Animations to represent its hit animated series SHAUN THE SHEEP and preschool property TIMMY TIME.

The first toy deals have already been secured for TIMMY TIME for the Nordic region, with Top Toy and distributor AMO and products are scheduled to launch at the end of this year. Other consumer product deals are in the pipeline, buoyed by strong TV broadcast across the region. TV is also confirmed in most Eastern European markets.

Animation Headline News

Kalamazoo Cartoon-Creating Competitors Set

Ten teams from animation programs spanning North America will engage in a "24/4" cartoon-creating competition prior to the start of the fifth Kalamazoo Animation Festival International (KAFI) scheduled for May 14-17 in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Earning spots in the competition for the 2009 "Cartoon Challenge" are four- and five-person teams from:

-- San Jose State University in California.-- College for Creative Studies in Detroit.-- Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.-- South Dakota State University.

Headline News

THQ Serves Sea-Worthy Menu with SpongeBob Beach Party Cook-Off

SPONGEBOB VS. THE BIG ONE: BEACH PARTY COOK-OFF has shipped to retail stores throughout North America exclusively for Nintendo DS from THQ. Based on Nickelodeon's upcoming episode airing in April, SPONGEBOB VS. THE BIG ONE, the new SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS cooking game offers a full menu of quirky and innovative dishes that can only be prepared SPONGEBOB-style.

SPONGEBOB VS. THE BIG ONE: BEACH PARTY COOK-OFF is rated E for everyone and is available at the suggested retail price of $29.99. This game is also expected to be available in Europe and Australia later this month.

Blu-ray Headline News

Australia, Wonder Woman, Watchmen Motion Comic on DVD/Blu-ray for March 3

AUSTRALIA, WATCHMEN MOTION COMIC, WONDER WOMAN and BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA hit Blu-ray and DVD on March 3, along with the DVD releases of SPONGEBOB VS. THE BIG ONE and volumes of CHOWDER and THE SMURFS.

AUSTRALIA on DVD and Blu-ray

Headline News

Spectacular Spider-Man Happy Meal Swings Into McDonald's

Sony Pictures Television and Marvel Ent. join forces with McDonald's with a branded Happy Meal program based on the animated series THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN, which will be available for a four-week period (February 27-March 26) at participating restaurants in the United States while supplies last.

THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN U.S. Happy Meal will feature a collection of eight action figures, including Spider-Man Suction Cup, Doctor Octopus, Spider-Man Swinging, Venom, Spider-Man Launcher, Green Goblin, Spider-Man Crawling, and Sandman.

Headline News

Toei Animation Appoints Bandai Asia as Licensing Agent

Toei Animation and Bandai Asia have finalized a toy licensing agreement for the animated kids' series, DIGIMON DATA SQUAD.

Bandai Asia has acquired the rights to sell DIGIMON toys in Australia, including a digivice data link, 1.5" collectible figures and 3.5" lightning digivolving figures. These products are currently available in retail stores.

Series Headline News

Taffy Gasps at Canal+ Deal

The MoonScoop Group's Taffy Ent. has signed a worldwide (except Australia, New Zealand, China and parts of Southeast Asia) distribution deal with SLR Productions for the animated comedy series GASP (52x11), based on the popular comic book series. The company has also secured a broadcast deal for the series with Canal+ of France.

Licensing Headline News

New Sales for Franny's Feet

DECODE Enterprises, the distribution subsidiary of DHX Media, has scored further deals for its property FRANNY'S FEET (52x22 or 104x11) including sales into new territories.

Disney Channel U.K. has licensed season three and renewed its commitment to the first two seasons. In addition, Italy's RAI has picked up all three seasons with RTV Slovenia renewing season one and TV3 Catalunya in Spain and IRIB in Iran acquiring seasons one and two. The deal with RAI was brokered through Gary Kallenbach.

Headline News

Kid vs. Kat Debuts on Disney XD on Saturday

Disney XD is set to premiere the KID VS KAT, a new animated series, its regular timeslot on Saturday, February 21 at 9 a.m. The 26-episode series, about a 10-year-old boy who is at war with his sister's evil cat, is created by Rob Boutilier and produced by Studio B Productions.

Headline News

Ubisoft and Midway Partner to Publish Wheelman

Midway Games has entered into a strategic relationship with Ubisoft to publish WHEELMAN, the open-world driving game starring action-film star Vin Diesel as an expert driver for hire.

Ubisoft will handle sales, marketing, and distribution of the title in North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Austria, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Midway will continue to direct the development of the title and retains all future rights to the franchise and will sell the title in all other European territories.

Brand Headline News

Cuppa Coffee in Zoo Discussions

Cuppa Coffee is in discussions with a U.S. distribution and media company to utilize their mock-reality animated comedy show LIFE'S A ZOO.TV as a cross platform brand.

Cuppa Coffee President Adam Shaheen said, "ZOO has a huge appeal for the 18-34 demographic who are also consumers of music. The brand speaks to the ROBOT CHICKEN generation who like smart, irreverent and edgy humor and also consume indie music -- LIFE'S A ZOO offers all that."

Company Headline News

Rising Sun Seeks New CEO

Rising Sun Pictures has commenced the search for its next CEO as it enters a new growth phase. Current CEO Didier Elzinga will be stepping back after five years at the helm, and 13 years in total with the company, to spend more time on other projects.

Didier said, "After being entrusted with the direction of this innovative company for five years, I am excited and confident in the future, knowing our current leadership team is strong and ready to grow to take RSP forward."

Headline News

PorchLight and Hidden City Games to Ride Together

PorchLight Ent. has partnered with Hidden City Games to create an animated television series and long-form film content based on the magical world of BELLA SARA horses. Under the agreement, PorchLight will have worldwide rights to the animated productions based on the BELLA SARA brand, and will simultaneously pursue feature and direct-to-DVD opportunities.

Effects Headline News

Autodesk Helps Shape Movie Magic

This year's most celebrated movies feature groundbreaking work created by artists at movie studios and visual effects boutiques all over the world. Throughout the film production pipeline--from film set to theater screen -- many of these artists rely on Autodesk digital filmmaking tools. For the 14th consecutive year, every film nominated for the Best Visual Effects Academy Award (THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, IRON MAN and THE DARK KNIGHT) was shaped with Autodesk technology.

The Third Floor

Headline News

Taffy Ent. Completes Deal with Wiesner Products for Dive Olly Dive

The MoonScoop Group's Taffy Ent. has new apparel and footwear deals with Kids With Character and Wiesner Products, Inc., respectively. The new licensing agreements are focused on DIVE OLLY DIVE!, the environmentally-conscious preschool series from Taffy Entertainment and Mike Young Productions that airs on PBS Sprout in the U.S.

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