Pre-production on STAR WARS EPISODE II (Lucas reportedly has a title inmind, but it has not been released) has already begun. Shooting is set tostart in June 2000 with locations at Fox Studios Australia, Tunisia, andItaly, and the release is scheduled for summer 2002. The story will focuson the romance and marriage between Anakin Skywalker (the future DarthVader) and Queen Amidala, and the Siths' attempt to gain control of thegalaxy. Whereas the budget for EPISODE 1 was $115 million, Lucas says he
Geographical Region: Australia
A BUG'S LIFE, a Walt Disney Pictures presentation of a Pixar AnimationStudios film, has climbed to $358 million in worldwide box office receiptsto become one of the top-grossing animated films of all time. With itsdomestic gross of $163 million, the film has already become the fourthbiggest animated feature released in the United States (behind THE LIONKING, ALADDIN and TOY STORY). Internationally, A BUG'S LIFE has agross-to-date of $195 million and has set records in the United Kingdom,
Siren Entertainment, an Australian company, has released eight volumesof THE MILTON THE MONSTER SHOW, available in both VHS PAL and NTSCformats. In the fall of 1964, THE MUNSTERS and THE ADDAMS FAMILY,sitcoms about families of monsters, appeared on US TV. Attempting tocash in on their subsequent success, Hal Seeger Productions produced THEMILTON THE MONSTER SHOW for ABC's 1965-1966 season. Milton is a giantFrankenstein monster-type created by Professor Weirdo and Count Kook.His creators meant Milton to be scary, but he turns out to be a
MIP TV, the international television programme market, where sellers and buyers from all over the world exchange product, takes place April 12th to 17th in Cannes, France. This years MIP is expected to reflect a rebounding international TV market. More than 100 TV series from around the world we be offered at MIP, such as DARIA, FAMILY GUY, FUTURAMA, and NORMAN NORMAL. The calendar of events include the following animation related programmes:
MONDAY APRIL 12TH
California SUN Festival will happen April 10, 1999 at California State University Northridge. This year's festival has seen an increase in the number of entries from the international animation community, with films from Australia, Canada, China, England, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Indonesia, Japan, and the USA. 57 films were chosen for screening.
Atom Corp., a new entertainment company aiming to distribute short animated and live-action films, has opened shop. The start-up firm has already established alliances with cable networks such as HBO and Sundance Channel, online services including Disney's Go Network/Infoseek, Mr. Showbiz, Reel.com, Warner Bros. Online and Film.com, the high-speed broadband service @Home, as well as airlines such as Air New Zealand, Air Canada and Continental Airlines.
"Kevin Saves the World" is Monster Productions' newest entry, based on books by Daniel Postgate, produced and directed by Kine Aune and Oscar-winning British animator Bob Godfrey ("Great," 1964). The series (13 x 5 minutes) follows the misadventures of Kevin, a boy who always manages to come out on top despite his apparent ineptitude. The series, targeted for kids 4-8, has already been acquired by Nickelodeon U.K., Nickelodeon Scandinavia, RTE and ABC Australia among others.
* Sunday, January 3 - Saturday, January 9, 1999. Sydney, Australia.
Flickerfest, 8th International Short Film Festival will consist of a main competitive program, a short documentary competition and additional programs and forums aside from the competition. For more information, visit www.flickerfest.com.au or call 61 (0)2 9211 7133.
The Attik, a worldwide design agency, has opened offices in Sydney, Australia to create a stronger global presence. In the past two years, the company has also launched U.S. offices in New York and San Francisco. The new office in Sydney will be headed up by Simon Needham who will relocate to Australia with a number of other colleagues from the London, U.K. home office. This is a natural progression for us. We are a global design company.
Hollywood Shorts, a monthly series designed to screen short films and introduce their directors to the Hollywood film community, is currently accepting animated entries for possible exhibition in upcoming programs. Submissions received by February 1, 1999 will be given first consideration for spring programming. Films must be under 30 minutes in length and submitted on VHS - NTSC only. For complete entry info, contact Kimberley Browning at Hollywood Shorts: email@example.com or (310) 358-7634.
* 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
* Thursday, October 29. Toronto, Canada.
The fourth Torontos Animators Zoetrope Association (TAZA) Digital Image Festival will showcase independent computer animation such as Macca Strewth by Momentum Animations (Australia). For information visit www.interlog.com/~dolish/taza.htm.
On October 27, Walt Disney Home Video releases "The Lion King II: Simba's Pride," a direct-to-video animated feature sequel to the 1995 blockbuster theatrical feature, "The Lion King." Disney hopes to achieve similar success to that of the film's predecessor, which has made history as both the number one animated movie and best-selling video of all time.
* Thursday, October 22 - Sunday, October 25. Brisbane, Australia.
The Brisbane Animation Festival, a biennial event, features a new international competition. Categories include Grand Prize, People's Prize, Best Use of New Technology and Best Student/Debut Film. For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
DreamWorks Pictures and PDI's computer animated feature film, "Antz" grossed $11.2 million last weekend, dropping to third place in the box office charts, following its first two weeks in the number one spot. The total cumulative box office gross to date is $51.5 million, and the film is currently running in 2903 theaters nationwide. "Antz" will make its international debut starting in New Zealand and Australia on October 29.
Nickelodeon has signed a deal with Italian broadcaster Radio Televisione Italiana (RAI) to produce the first localized foreign-language version of Blues Clues. The show will premiere on the RAI UNO network in the second quarter of 1999. In Italy, RAI will localize the series by using the same blue-screen technology used on the original production to insert an Italian, live-action host into the existing computer animation. Nickelodeon plans to make similar sales to other countries, as this production concept was designed into the show from its inception.
New York-based 4 Kids Entertainment is bringing the popular Japanese animated series "Pokémon" to the international market. The show started in U.S. syndication in September, and is signed to appear on Italy's MediaSet network, Australia's Channel 10, Mexico's Televisa, Canada's YTV and Brazil's Globo TV.
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.
Animator Mark Osborne is wrapping up production on a new short film. Titled More, the film is believed to be the first stop-motion animated large-format film. It is being shot on 65mm film that will be printed on 70mm for projection in large-format cinemas such as the IMAX chains. The film, a co-production of Swell Productions and Bad Clams Productions, is being funded by a private investor, was shown in trailer form at last weeks International Space Theater Consortium conference in Australia.
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.
Thursday, September 3. Melbourne, Australia.
Digital Divas, a networking group for women working in new media, hosts a meeting at Open Channel, 13 Victoria Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne. Existing members include Kathy Mueller, Kiera Poelsma and Maree Woolley. For information, contact email@example.com.
Toronto, Canada-based animation company Nelvana Limited has completed the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Kids Can Press Ltd., a Canadian publisher of children's books. One of Kids Cans properties is Franklin, the story of a turtle which Nelvana has already turned into an animated series. The $6.1 million (CAN) acquisition now gives Nelvana access to Kids Cans library of over 250 children's book titles. One of these, titled Elliot Moose, is currently being developed for an animated television series.
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).