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Geographical Region: Europe

Disney Headline News

Newly Completed Destino Premieres at Annecy

It was destiny after all that the curious, unfinished 1946 animated collaboration between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali be completed. Long considered a lost cause, DESTINO was recently produced by the Disney Co. and given a surprise world premiere June 2, 2003 at the opening of this year's Annecy International Animation Film Festival. The five-minute short will also screen June 3 on the lake at 10:00 pm, with free access to all Annecians.

Media Headline News

Ascent Media Gains New CFO

Ascent Media Creative Services Group, a technical and creative services provider for the entertainment industry, has promoted Robert T. Wenrich to the position of cfo. In his new role, Wenrich will handle the strategic and financial management of the company's the entertainment television, commercial television and creative sound services operations. He originally joined the firm in 2002 as cfo for the Creative Sound Services unit.

Digital Headline News

Digital Video to Unveil New Paperless Software at MIFA

As a companion to its popular 2D animation software, Toonz, utilized on the Oscar-winning SPIRITED AWAY, Digital Video premieres its new paperless software, TAB, at MIFA 2003. More suited to animation than graphic design, TAB is intended to streamline computer-based cartoon production with speed and power.

Headline News

Meissner Joins EM.TV Supervisory Board

Dr. Andreas Meissner has joined the Supervisory Board of EM.TV & Merchandising AG, replacing Dr. Ralph Wollburg who resigned his seat due to additional commitments in his full-time occupation as a lawyer. Meissner, a lawyer, had various sojourns abroad in places such as France and Saudi Arabia before he began working for Taylor Wessing in 1988, where he has been a partner of the law firm since 1992.

Games Headline News

Scott K. Tsumura Joins Amaze Entertainment/BlackShip Games

Gaming industry veteran Scott K. Tsumura has been named svp of Japan/Asia business strategy at Amaze Entertainment and exec studio director of Amaze Entertainment's BlackShip Games. Tsumura was president of Nintendo Software Technology Corp. managing the production of a variety of Nintendo games, such as POKEMONPUZZLE LEAGUE. A native of Japan, Tsumura has more than 25 years of gaming industry experience in both the U.S. and Japan.

Disney Headline News

Disney Wants Out of Retail Stores

Walt Disney has announced that Disney Stores president Peter Whitford is stepping down and the firm is looking to sell its 548-store chain with locations throughout the U.S. and Europe. The retail stores have struggled in the past few years and U.S. stores have been downsized from 522 to 387. In 2001, Disney sold all its stores in Japan to Oriental Land Co., which runs the Tokyo Disney Resort theme park. However, Disney says it will hold onto the six Disney Stores in Hong Kong, in anticipation of the opening of Hong Kong Disney in the beginning of 2006.

Kids Headline News

Italy Double Dips Cartoon Channel Flavors From Turner

Italy will double its cartoon TV fun when boomerang launches on July 1, 2003 on sky italia. building on the success of its parent channel, cartoon network Italy, Boomerang will join the new sky italia line-up with a schedule of classics including TOM AND JERRY, YOGI BEAR, THE FLINTSTONES, POPEYE and THE PINK PANTHER.

Entertainment Headline News

Entertainment Rights Gains Barbie Swan Lake, Loses Licensing

London-based Entertainment Rights (ER), a leading media firm in the ownership and distribution of children's and family entertainment, has some good news and some bad news. ER has a distribution deal with Mattel Inc. for U.K. rights to the next Barbie CGI feature, BARBIE OF SWAN LAKE, but has also announced that Mattel will not be renewing the licensing agreement with ER subsidiary Link Licensing for the U.K. representation of certain non-doll Barbie merchandise and publications.

Series Headline News

FOX BOX Adds 4 New Shows to '03-'04 LINE-UP

4Kids Entertainment, who handles the Saturday broadcast programming for Fox, has announced their FOX BOX line-up for the 2003-04 season. New to the schedule is 4Kids' first original animated series, CUBIX, as well as SONIC X, SHAMAN KING and FUNKY COPS. Returning to the Saturday morning block will be TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, KIRBY: RIGHT BACK AT YA!, THE CRAMP TWINS and ULTIMATE MUSCLE: THE KINNIKUMAN LEGACY.

Film Headline News

Animated Asterix Film To Be Europe Most Expensive Production

Based on the popular comic strip, ASTERIX AND THE VIKINGS will boast a $25 million budget, making it the most expensive European animated feature in history, reported THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The film is an adaptation of a 1967 album, which has Vikings kidnapping little warrior Asterix, so they can learn fear, thus gaining the power to fly. The film will be completely financed by French firm M6 and Denmark's Stefan Fjeldmark (HELP, I'M A FISH) will helm the 75-minute film. Fjeldmark also co-wrote the script with Belgian Jean-Luc Goossens.

Headline News

Click 3x Draws Blueprint for Food Net Sweepstakes

New York-based Click 3x recently finished up production on a spot promoting Food Network's "Dine In Dine Out Sweepstakes." The idea for the 30-second spot germinated with the cable net's in-house creative staff, after which Click 3x's Creative Director Iain Greenway and his compatriots were enlisted to design the visuals and produce the ad. The commercial interjects Food Network personalities into a stylized 3D kitchen and/or restaurant setting. The visual concept is reminiscent of architectural blueprints, featuring objects rendered in stroked outlines.

Film Headline News

IDT Media Calls Up Controlling Interest in Film Roman, Inc.

Newark, New Jersey-based IDT Media announced May 15, 2003 that its animation production unit, Digital Production Solutions (DPS), will acquire a 51% interest in Film Roman, Inc., a leading independent animation company, through the purchase of newly issued shares of Film Roman common stock. Film Roman produces the animation on the primetime hits THE SIMPSONS and KING OF THE HILL. IDT Media is a subsidiary of IDT Corp., a multinational carrier, telecommunications and technology company.

Series Headline News

Salsa Gets Animated For L.A. Screenings

Jerry Diaz, evp of Salsa Entertainment, is offering up some animated and sci-fi offerings for international buyers at the L.A. Screenings. Salsa, the distribution arm of TV-Loonland, will be screening series at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Los Angeles in Suite 1007 from May 15-22, 2003. The offerings include:

THE CRAMP TWINS, SERIES IIGenre: Animation, 8 years +Producers: TV-Loonland, Cartoon Network EuropeRights: Latin America & Brazil, 26x30 (or 52x30 for series I & II)

Final Headline News

Square Enix Unveils Epic New Role Playing Games

Making its first E3 appearance since the recent merger between Square and Enix, Square Enix U.S.A. is poised to take role-playing games (RPGs) to the next level with a variety of titles. The highly anticipated FINAL FANTASY XI, the company's first venture into online gaming, will make its North American debut for PlayStation2 and PC. The company brings several high caliber role-playing games to the North American market for PlayStation 2, including UNLIMITED Saga, FINAL FANTASY X-2, STAR OCEAN TILL THE END OF TIME and DRAKENGARD. Square Enix U.S.A.

Studio Headline News

Pelling Leaves Cosgrove Hall Films

Iain Pelling, Cosgrove Hall Films md said he has decided to move on from the Manchester, U.K.-based animation company. Under his direction, the studio has become one of the leading animation companies in Europe. He spearheaded adding capabilities to the studio, including a CGI unit, Cosgrove Hall Digital, as well as new talent and better production management for its award-winning 2D and stop-frame production crews. Since he joined CHF in 1996, the studio has won three international and six national programming awards, plus one Childrens BAFTA and five BAFTA nominations.

Digital Headline News

Bitfilm Festival 2003 Call For Entries

The 4th Bitfilm Festival for Digital Film and New Media is looking for entries for the event that will take place in Hamburg, Germany on September 19-26, 2003. Prize money totaling 45,000 Euros will be awarded in five categories: Digital FeaturesFilms that run 90 minutes, which use 3D animation and digital effects as an artistic means.Bit ShortsShort films, music videos and ads which use 3D animation and digital effects as an artistic means. FlashLinear films and interactive works made with Macromedia Flash.Machinima

Headline News

Infogrames Becomes Atari

Leading videogame publisher Infogrames Entertainment SA (IESA) has changed its corporate name to Atari. Infogrames (New York City and Lyon, France) acquired the Atari brand when it bought the interactive assets of toymaker Hasbro in January 2001 and has periodically used the name, one of the oldest (30 years) and most legendary in videogame history, for titles such as DRAGON BALL Z, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, SUPERMAN, TERMINATOR 3 and ENTER THE MATRIX, which debuts on May 15, 2003, day and date with the film, THE MATRIX RELOADED.

Award Headline News

International 3D Awards Winners Announced

Winners for the 1st Annual International 3D Awards were announced at the evening ceremony May 9, 2003 at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark, running in conjunction with the 3D Festival 2003. The winners each picked up a Digital Hero trophy, hand sculpted by Dan Platt, at the ceremony The winners are:

Feature Film VFX

Headline News

Chatsworth TV Sells The Ticket For Busy Buses On DVD

Chatsworth Television Distributors has signed a number of video deals for its pre-school animation series BUSY BUSES (39 x 5), which will see its animated characters go multi-lingual.

Video distributor UFG will release the first French version title of the series on video and DVD in fall 2003 in France with more titles to follow. In Korea, two video titles have been released in Korean, as well as an English-language version accompanied by a teaching aid to help children learn English in a fun and effective way. BUSY BUSES airs on EBS, Korea and Kids Station, Japan.

Television Headline News

SPTI Promotes Wald To SVP Of Worldwide Pay Television

Mike Wald has been promoted from vp to svp of Worldwide Pay Television at Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI), reporting to Peter Iacono, evp of sales, SPTI. Wald will remain based at the studio's Culver City, California headquarters and continues to oversee all worldwide pay television activities for the studio, managing SPTI's relationships with major domestic and international pay television clients.

International Headline News

DIC Racks Up International Sales

DIC Entertainment recently inked deals with leading networks for international distribution for shows including SUPER DUPER SUMOS, MADELINE, MARY-KATE AND ASHLEY: IN ACTION and SHERLOCK HOLMES IN THE 22ND CENTURY. "MIP-TV was a success for us, even considering the state of the world at the time," said Pat Ryan, evp of international sales.

Special Headline News

Tremendous! To Preview New Garfield Special At LA Screenings

Minnetonka-Minnesota based TV and film production/distributor/acquisition company Tremendous! Entertainment, Inc. will attend the Los Angeles Screenings for the first time this year, offering international buyers a peek at the newest Garfield 25th anniversary special. GARFIELD'S WORLD EGO TOUR celebrates the fat cat's 25th birthday in a live-action prime-time special. It chronicles the lasagna-loving feline as he visits his millions of fans around the globe.

Television Headline News

BVITV Appoints SVP Of Portfolio Development

Buena Vista International Television (BVITV) has appointed Philippe Maigret svp of portfolio development. Maigret will be based in London and report directly to by Tom Toumazis, svp/md, BVITV EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). Maigret is charged with implementing an acquisition and co-production strategy and focus on closer liaisoning with all internal and third party producer groups including Walt Disney Studios, Miramax, Touchstone Television and ABC Cable Network Groups as well as TV Animation.

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