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Geographical Region: Australia

Headline News Sam Raimi's Legend of the Seeker Gets Second Season

LEGEND OF THE SEEKER has been picked up for a second season on Tribune Broadcasting stations, about one third of the stations the first-run syndicated drama runs on, per VARIETY.

Filmed in New Zealand and based on Terry Goodkind's SWORD OF TRUTH book series, SEEKER has gotten a decent 2.0 average household rating in its run so far. Disney and Sam Raimi are producing the series, filling a niche in the kitschy fantasy-action genre that peaked in the late 1990s with shows like HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEY and XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS.

Headline News First Tintin Film Starts Production in Los Angeles

Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures Ent. have announced the start of principal production in Los Angeles on the 3D motion-capture film THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: SECRET OF THE UNICORN, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Jamie Bell (BILLY ELLIOT, DEFIANCE) as Tintin, the intrepid young reporter whose relentless pursuit of a good story thrusts him into a world of high adventure, and Daniel Craig (QUANTUM OF SOLACE, DEFIANCE) as the nefarious Red Rackham.

Headline News Oscar Nominations: Bolt, Kung Fu Panda and WALL-E Get Best Animated Feature Nods

BOLT, KUNG FU PANDA and WALL-E are the nominees for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Nominations for the 81st Academy Awards were announced today (Thursday, January 22) by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Sid Ganis and Oscar winner Forest Whitaker.

Headline News Oscar Nominations: Benjamin Button, Dark Knight and Iron Man Get VFX Oscar Nods

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, THE DARK KNIGHT and IRON MAN were nominated for the Oscar for Achievement in Visual Effects.

Nominations for the 81st Academy Awards were announced today (Thursday, January 22) by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Sid Ganis and Oscar winner Forest Whitaker.

Headline News Sundance Animated Shorts Winners: Lies, Western Spaghetti & I Live in the Woods

The 2009 Sundance Film Festival announced Wednesday the jury prizes in shorts filmmaking based on outstanding achievement and merit. The Sundance Film Festival runs January 15-25, 2009 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. Full awards will be announced the evening of January 24 at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony at the Park City Racquet Club.

Headline News Bigfish Fest

Bigfish FestBrisbane, Queensland, AustraliaDeadline: April 24, 2009

Bigfish FEST is looking for 60 seconds or less short Flash animations that are either unique, different, humorous, disturbed or all of the above. Finalists will be posted on the website for our database to vote on. The winner will receive US$1000. Go to bigfish.tv/fest to view the type of work we like and to get the competition details. This is a competition for those who wish festivals had a "f&*%$-ing weird" category.

Headline News Quantum of Solace Hits DVD/Blu-ray March 24

The high-octane action of the world's most famous secret agent continues when QUANTUM OF SOLACE explodes onto Blu-ray and DVD this March from MGM and Fox Home Ent.

A worldwide box office phenomenon, QUANTUM OF SOLACE has broken countless records and scored among the top 20 film openings of all time in 67 international territories. Bond... James Bond remains one of the world's largest and most successful film franchises with 22 films to date.

Headline News Digital Musings From the Editor:

The new TV season is in full-swing, so we dispatched Tara Bennett to cover 24 and SMALLVILLE this week. To freshen up the seventh season, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) relocates to D.C. to fight domestic terrorism as a new president is sworn in, with Stargate Studios providing its invaluable digital backlot work. For SMALLVILLE's eighth season, Entity FX reveals how it raises the bar with a few new wrinkles.

Headline News The Sun Shines On Aussie/Canadian Co-Production

Australia's Galaxy Pop and Canada's Amberwood Ent. have signed a co-production deal for the animated preschool series THE SUNSHINE FRIENDS.

The 52x11 2D series, created by Galaxy Pop producers Dina McPherson and Gian Christian, follows the adventure of five friends from around the globe who join Grandma Sunshine in her enchanted tree house, where they are magically transported back in time to visit her past memories from her days as an intrepid world explorer.

Headline News 64-Bit Mac OS X Is Latest SynthEyes Tracking Target

Andersson Technologies has a new 64-bit OS X version of its match-moving application, SynthEyes. The new version continues their commitment to delivering the highest performing tracking products and support for the most advanced platforms available. SynthEyes introduced support for 64-bit Windows in 2005 and now leads the market to 64-bit OS X, all with extensive multi-core optimization for the latest 8-core machines.

Headline News Aardman Partners Shaun With Weetabix in U.K.

Aardman is partnering with Weetabix to run a SHAUN THE SHEEP promotion on packs of Weetabix, Minis, bitesize and Ready brek in the U.K. and Ireland. Starting in January 2009, the promotion will run on more than 20 million packs of the cereals.

The main offer will give consumers the chance to collect two sets of exclusive SHAUN THE SHEEP books only available via this promotion. Supporting the on-pack competition, consumers will have the chance to design Shaun a woolly scarf. The best designs will win a framed still of Shaun wearing the winning scarf.

Headline News Disney Unveils Blu-ray Slate for 2009

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (WDSHE) is introducing its new Blu-ray + DVD Combo Packs and has announced a Blu-ray release date for SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, A BUG'S LIFE and MONSTERS, INC.

Headline News 11th Rushes Soho Shorts Festival Now Calling for Submissions

The entry form for this year's Rushes Soho Shorts Festival can now be downloaded at www.sohoshorts.com.

Celebrating the previous year's best director in each of the six competition categories Short Film, Animation, Documentary, Music Video, Newcomer and Broadcast Design, the festival has built a phenomenal following and maintains a significant bridge between the independent and commercial film making communities.

Headline News Seven in Running for 2008 Visual Effects Oscar

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveiled the seven films remaining in contention for Achievement in Visual Effects for the 81st Academy Awards. Expected contenders include THE DARK KNIGHT, IRON MAN and THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, along with surprises like AUSTRALIA and JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH.

VFX houses Digital Domain, Double Negative and Framestore all got multiple nods.

The films are listed below in alphabetical order:

Headline News Melbourne International Animation Festival 2009

The deadline for submissions to MIAF09 is Friday January 16, 2009. To read full festival entry guidelines and to download your entry form, visit: www.miaf.net/2009/entries.html

Entry is free and to be considered eligible, films should have been completed after January 1, 2007.

Headline News Third Annual aniBoom Awards Announced

aniBoom has unveiled the winners for its Third Annual aniBoom Awards designed for independent animators across the globe. After receiving roughly 1,300 entries from 93 cities in 27 countries, the grand prize was awarded to Joaquin Baldwin from Sherman Oaks, California by a high profile executive jury and millions of viewers.

Headline News ASIFA-SF's Annual Open Screening for Animators And Studios

This will be an evening of new work by local artists and friends from around the globe. Anyone is welcome to bring animated/special effects work unannounced the night of the show (DVD and 16 mm) and it will be shown. Wednesday, January 14, 7:15 p.m. at the Exploratorium's McBean Theatre in San Francisco, free, public invited. The open screening for student films will be in May.

Films include:

Headline News Disney Bails on Dawn Treader

Disney will not co-finance the third CHRONICLES OF NARNIA film with Walden Media, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Without elaborating, the two entities confirmed Tuesday that for "budgetary and logistical reasons," Disney will not co-produce and co-finance THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER. The third book in the series by C.S. Lewis follows the younger two Pevensie siblings, Lucy and Edmund and their tiresome cousin, Eustace Scrubb, as they voyage to the end of the world with now-King Caspian.

Headline News Audiences Say Sure To Yes Man

Winning its opening weekend, Jim Carrey's comedy YES MAN (Warner Bros., vfx by LOOK! Effects) earned $18.26M, lower than expected because of bad, snowy weather covering much of the U.S.

Will Smith's mysterious drama SEVEN POUNDS (Sony, vfx by CafeFX) opened in second place with $14.85M. Animated feature THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX (Universal, animation from Framestore Feature Animation) placed third in its opening weekend with $10.1M.

Headline News Baz Luhrmann Buys Great Gatsby

AUSTRALIA director Baz Luhrmann has bought the rights to F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel THE GREAT GATSBY, the trades are reporting.

Both THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER and Nikki Finke's DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD DAILY say that Luhrmann will get this project out more quickly, with less of a delay than between his last few films.

The director has taken between four to seven years between projects STRICTLY BALLROOM (1992), ROMEO + JULIET (1996), MOULIN ROUGE! (2001) and this year's release of AUSTRALIA.

Neither a script or an attached studio has come about yet.

Headline News Drux Flux One of Canada's Top Ten Shorts

The National Film Board of Canada has several titles in Canada's Top Ten list of best films in 2008, including Theodore Ushev's animated short DRUX FLUX. The list was announced on December 16, 2008 by the Toronto International Film Festival Group.

Headline News DECODE Wins New Sales for Kid vs. Kat

Kids and family entertainment specialist DECODE Enterprises, the distribution subsidiary of DHX Media Ltd., has signed two major deals for KID VS. KAT (52x11 or 26x22), an animated series produced by Studio B Productions in association YTV Canada and Jetix Europe.

Nickelodeon South East Asia has acquired the show alongside a deal with ABC in Australia, bringing the series into brand new territories. KID VS. KAT is also set to air on YTV in Canada, Jetix Europe and Jetix U.S.

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