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Geographical Region: Australia

Headline News Visual Effects Society Welcomes Australia

The Visual Effects Society (VES) has welcomed Australia on board as an official section to the society that represents more than 1,700 visual effects and computer graphics professionals internationally.

Australia joins San Francisco, London and Vancouver to become the fourth VES section, cementing its status as a significant hub of business and professional excellence in visual effects, computer graphics and digital production for the entertainment industry.

Headline News Loonland Signs Multi-Content Deal With ABC TV Australia

TV-Loonland has signed a multi-content deal with its long term partner ABC TV Australia. This deal seals the acquisition of top titles in TV-Loonland's programming slate, namely, the international hit THE OWL (52x1), the highly anticipated PAT & STAN (39x7), the hilarious RAYMOND (26x7) and preschool property PENELOPE (54x5).

ABC TV has also strengthened its broadcast commitment to award-winning LITTLE PRINCESS by picking up her two new seasonal specials in addition to the currently airing seasons one and two.

Headline News Northern Lights, Cameras, Action!

Most U.K. companies looking to open a new office away from the din, pollution and brutal cost of living entailed by London might turn to a nice piece of greenbelt real estate, or perhaps one of the nearby provincial towns. Framestore, on the other hand, went to Iceland.

Headline News Shaun The Sheep And Flock Return To CBBC

CBBC has acquired a second season of Aardman Animations' SHAUN THE SHEEP. The 40x7 season starts shooting in early 2009, and Aardman has already secured a number of pre-sales for the show.

Among the broadcasters who have snapped up the latest adventures of Shaun are ABC Australia, TF1 France, WDR Germany, YLE Finland, SVT Sweden, DR Denmark and Noga in Israel.

Headline News Echo Bridge Goes Exotic

Following their recent purchase of Alliance Atlantis International Distribution, Echo Bridge Ent. has finalized a slate of international licensing agreements for animated children's series LUNAR JIM, DRAGON BOOSTER and ADVENTURES OF SINBAD.

Headline News Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Sells 1.5 Million Units

LucasArts' STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED is on track to become the best-selling STAR WARS game of all time, selling more than 1.5 million units in less than a week.

Released on Sept. 16 in North America, Sept. 17 in Australia and Southeast Asia, and Sept.19 in Europe, STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED has demolished LucasArts sales records around the globe in record time.

Headline News Ottawa Animation Awards Announced

The Ottawa International Animation Festival came to an end with the highly anticipated closing ceremonies held Sunday night at the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau. Organizers announced the winners of the official competition during the ceremonies.

Headline News Ambiance Mows The Lawn With Larry The Lawnmower

Australian production company Ambience Ent., creator of ERKY PERKY, GO GO STOP and THE POP PUPS, is in production on a new children's property, LARRY THE LAWNMOWER.

LARRY THE LAWNMOWER (65x30) will be broadcast on the Seven Network in Australia and is a unique live action pre-school series that uses five colorful friendly puppets based on everyday garden tools.

Headline News World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King In Stores November 13

Blizzard Ent.'s WORLD OF WARCRAFT: WRATH OF THE LICH KING, the second expansion for its award-winning subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), will arrive in stores on November 13 in North America, Europe, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Russia, and November 14 in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.

The expansion will be available in Korea and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau on November 18. Details regarding the launch of WRATH OF THE LICH KING in mainland China will be announced at a later date.

Headline News Nine Network Australia Goes Wakkaville

Nine Network Australia has commissioned the first season of Ettamogah Ent.'s animated children's program WAKKAVILLE.

WAKKAVILLE follows the adventures of Jaz: a city girl, Buzza, a wannabe surfer who's afraid of water, Martin, a farm boy with dreams of being a NASA engineer and Flick, Buzza's high octane little sister, as they explore their country town of crazy locals, solve mysteries and right wrongs.

Headline News Activision Publishing Acquires U.K. Game Developer FreeStyleGames

Activision Publishing has acquired FreeStyleGames, a U.K.-based video game developer specializing in music-based games.

This acquisition represents the latest step in Activision Publishing's strategy to expand its global leadership position in the music-based genre. The company established the genre with the GUITAR HERO franchise, which has sold more than 22 million units worldwide. FreeStyleGames is currently developing localized downloadable content for the GUITAR HERO franchise, as well as a yet to be announced new, intellectual property in the music genre.

Headline News Disney Channels Look To Latin American Growth

Disney is looking at Latin America as a place of possible growth for the Disney Channel, per VARIETY. As it gets harder to earn money in Europe, execs predict that Latin America will be the place to be.

President of Disney Channels Worldwide, Rich Ross, in talking to reporters during a visit to London for the Disney Channel movie premiere of CAMP ROCK, said, "In the next five years Latin America is going to be an economic powerhouse for us. Poland and Australia are other growth markets for us."

Headline News DECODE Adds Martha Speaks To MIPCOM Line-up

DECODE Enterprises is bringing a diverse range of programming for all ages to MIPCOM 2008, including debut show MARTHA SPEAKS, from Studio B Productions and WGBH Boston. Also on its market slate are new episodes of established shows alongside brand new programming from DHX Media's production subsidiaries and third party producers.

Headline News Dora The Explorer Live! Coming to 40 U.S. Cities In 2009

Nickelodeon and Broadway Across America are teaming up to bring DORA THE EXPLORER LIVE! SEARCH FOR THE CITY OF LOST TOYS, starring the world's most famous Latina explorer, to cities across the U.S. in 2009. DORA THE EXPLORER LIVE! will be performed in 40 cities including Chicago; Detroit; and New York City at the legendary Radio City Music Hall on April 8-12.

Headline News Ricky Sprocket Gears Up For International Stardom

Executive production and distribution company, Bejuba! Ent., has secured Ricky Sprocket's rise to global stardom with sales of the namesake animated comedy series, RICKY SPROCKET -- SHOWBIZ BOY, to 29 new international territories through a deal with Nickelodeon. The series is co-produced by Studio B Productions, a subsidiary of DHX Media Ltd., and Snowden Fine Animation in association with Bejuba! Ent.

Headline News Cartoon Network Reveals Shortlisted Projects From Snaptoons

Cartoon Network continues with its intensive search for the next generation of iconic cartoons with the pioneering batch of developed concepts and ideas.

These ideas were culled from more than 300 entries received for Snaptoons (Short New Asia Pacific Cartoons), the network's pan-Asian original content development initiative. Cartoon Network's in-house Snaptoons team has been working with the shortlisted creators in developing 10 ideas and will produce at least five completed shorts this year, with a view for further development of the most promising concepts.

Headline News Under The Sea 3D To Splash Into IMAX February 13

Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAX have confirmed the release date for the next original IMAX 3-D release, UNDER THE SEA 3D, will be February 13, 2009. The film follows the box office hit DEEP SEA 3D, also shot by award-winning Cinematographer/Director Howard Hall, which has grossed more than $72 million to date.

Headline News The Force Unleashed Demo Shatters Download Record

The demo for LucasArts' STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED has crushed download records since its release on August 21 on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace.

Eager to experience over-the-top Force powers and a brand-new STAR WARS storyline that bridges the events between the two movie trilogies, fans downloaded the STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED demo more than one million times in just eight days, topping the previous record by an entire day.

Headline News Fox's Slow Summer May Mean X-Men Spinoffs, Daredevil Return

VARIETY's piece about Twentieth Century Fox's unremarkable summer, includes speculation that Fox is considering more X-MEN spinoffs, as its superheroes were missed in 2008.

A young X-MEN project is being considered, as well as DEADPOOL, based on a character played by Ryan Reynolds in WOLVERINE. Fox is also thinking about reviving the DAREDEVIL franchise.

Headline News TV-Loonland's RAYMOND Starts His First Term

TV-Loonland has completed the first round of deals for its animated comedy series RAYMOND (26x7). Broadcasters confirmed include ABC Australia, M-NET South Africa, VOOM HD/Animania USA, DR TV Denmark, RTBF Belgium, Noga Communications Israel, PTS Taiwan and Truevisions Kids Thailand.

RAYMOND is also set to take to the skies with Air France (France Vision Service) and Malaysian Airlines (Inflight Productions) onboard for Inflight Entertainment programming.

Headline News Activision Blizzard Two-for-One Stock Split Now Effective

Activision Blizzard, Inc. announced today that its two-for-one stock split is effective and its common stock will begin trading today on a split-adjusted basis. As a result of the stock split, there are approximately 1.3 billion shares of Activision Blizzard's common stock issued and outstanding.

Activision Blizzard maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Romania, Australia, Chile, India, Japan China, South Korea and the region of Taiwan.

Headline News AJA KONA 3 Enables Post Production For Las Meninas

AJA Video Systems' KONA 3 video capture and playback cards were used on LAS MENINAS, the first full-length feature film from the Ukraine to employ an all-digital workflow.

KONA 3 is AJA's top-of-the-line uncompressed capture card for SD, HD, Dual Link HD and 2K for PCI Express (PCIe) Apple Mac Pro systems, and was an integral part of the Final Cut Pro editing pipeline for the film, which premiered in Tiger Awards Competition at the 37th Rotterdam International Film Festival on January 25, 2008.

Headline News Butcher, Wolf Wins Animation Prize At Portable Film Fest

Director Diego Mauricio Alvarez's THE BUTCHER AND THE WOLF is the winner of the Portable Film Festival 2008 in Australia under the category Get Animated.

The competition was attended by works from Australia, U.K., U.S., Russia and Germany among others. To see the winners list, click on the white arrow at the right side of the frame Film of the Day on www.portablefilmfestival.com. See more animated films that competed at Portable on the site as well.

Headline News Del Toro Adds Projects, Booked Through 2017

Guillermo del Toro has plans for the next decade, including remakes of FRANKENSTEIN, THE HOBBIT two-picture project and an adaptation of DROOD, per VARIETY.

Universal has a three-year first look deal with del Toro they signed a year ago, and have committed to him with four directing projects, including remakes of FRANKENSTEIN, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE and SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE. Project four will be an adaptation of Dan Simmons' novel DROOD that is set for publication by Little, Brown in February.

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