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
Geographical Region: Europe
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nominees for the 1st Annual International 3D Awards have been announced and Jason Schleifer, animation lead at Weta Digital (LORD OF THE RINGS), will host the Short Films category at the ceremony to be held in the evening, May 9, 2003 at the 3D Festival 2003 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Schleifer also chaired and oversaw the judging process for the Short Films category with an international panel of jury members from the 3D industry. The short film nominees are: - SHOW & TELL, Kapow Pictures, Australia- THE CHUBBCHUBBS, Sony Pictures Imageworks, USA
Portland, Ore.-based Vinton Studios will produce its first full-length feature, Tim Burton's stop-motion animated film THE CORPSE BRIDE for Warner Bros. Pictures, it was reported by THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER and confirmed by a WB spokesperson.
BRIDE is an offbeat fable about a young man who inadvertently becomes betrothed to a corpse. Based on a 19th century Eastern European folk tale, which is being adapted for the screen by Caroline Thompson (EDWARD SCISSORHANDS), Burton is producing the film with Mike Johnson making his directorial debut.
The UK's Entertainment Rights has chalked up a number of recent licenses for its kids properties resulting from MIP-TV, in Europe and in North America, via its New York City office. The NYC office has placed several shows with U.S. and Canadian networks. Discovery's Hispanic channel has acquired CGI preschooler CUBEEZ for a 2003 launch and HAMILTON MATTRESS has been sold to HBO while TeleQuebec in Canada has taken PRESTON PIG, SHORT CUTS and MERLIN THE MAGICAL PUPPY. ER's new boy action series TRANSFORMERS ARMADA debuted well on Carton Network in the U.S.
The animated series MIMI & MR. BOBO will return to Spain's RTVE at 1:45 pm on May 7, 2003, which co-produced the series with MB Productions. It was a ratings success when it launched on the channel in September 1999. The re-broadcast is being managed by Icon Prods., the new production and distribution company recently created by Sergi Reitg and Myriam Ballesteros in February 2003 in Barcelona. MIMI & MR. BOBO features the misadventures of an enthusiastic girl and her gang of friends. While innocent looking these youngsters get into mischievous adventures. Storekeepers, mafiosos, rock stars and reality show hosts no one is safe when they decide to turn the town upside down.
Icon's animated catalog includes MIMI & THE GANG (26x6 or 7x26), THE LIVING FOREST (82 mins.), LOLA & VIRGINIA (52x11) and RIP XL (52x11). The distributor is also in negotiations with different companies regarding other properties. Before forming Icon, Reitg worked at Cromosoma for the last seven years, working in different areas, until becoming managing director. In 1992 Ballesteros launched MB Producciones. For more information on Icon, check out www:icon-productions.com
Kim Hatamiya has joined Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) as svp, sales and marketing, based in Culver City, California. Hatamiya brings 20 years of experience and extensive expertise in marketing for international television ventures, Internet content and children's television. Hatamiya has launched and managed international channels, including Canal Fox, Fox Kids U.K. and Fox Kids Latin America. She also has in-depth experience with new product launches and business development.
THQ Inc. has entered into a two-property, multi-year publishing agreement with development studio Relic Entertainment Inc., creators of the critically acclaimed real-time strategy (RTS) titles HOMEWORLD and IMPOSSIBLE CREATURES. The first of the two projects included in the agreement is already in development at Relic and scheduled to release in the second half of 2004. More details and the name of this project will be released later this year. "We've identified the RTS category as a strategic imperative for THQ as we begin to compete more aggressively in the high-end PC market," said Jack Sorensen, evp of worldwide studios, THQ, explaining why his company pursued the relationship with Relic, regarded as a leader in the RTS genre. Alex Garden, ceo, Relic said his studio sought a publisher with global brand management expertise and tremendous influence at retail.
NXN Software, a leading supplier of asset management solutions for the digital entertainment and computer graphics industries, has appointed Ernie Cicogna as its new general manager of U.S. operations, hired Neil Leshner to manage major account sales, and promoted Katja Reitemeyer to director of account management. These appointments support NXN's ongoing expansion into the games, film and simulation markets.
Spellbound Entertainment has granted an international toy license for its new pre-school property, THE KOALA BROTHERS, to leading toy company Hasbro Inc. The deal covers key merchandise categories including plush toys, figurines, play sets and Play-Doh. Items will be available in stores next year following the show's premiere on the BBC later this year.
Take the animated adventures of a family of wildlife documentary filmmakers out in Africa home by way of Paramount Home Entertainment's release of THE WILD THORNBERRYS MOVIE on DVD and home video. The movie, produced by Klasky Csupo and Nickelodeon Movies, based upon the hit TV series, features the Oscar-nominated song by Paul Simon, "Father and Daughter" as a music video.
Manex Entertainment, Inc. reported revenues of approximately $1,750,000 with an operating profit of $400,000 in its preliminary unaudited results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2003. Manex Entertainment has been best known in the past for providing Oscar-winning visual effects for big-budget feature films such as THE MATRIX, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME and CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON. It has west coast facilities in Los Angeles and Hayward, California and is proposing to build east coast facilities in Trenton, New Jersey.
Haim Saban's plan to buy KirchMedia has hit a snag because KirchMedia creditor banks are refusing to accept some terms of the deal, which they claim are different than what Saban originally proposed. "The most recently presented business plan (11 April) has substantial disadvantages for the banks' position in comparison with the originally presented business plan," credit bank, cooperative DZ Bank said in a two-page letter, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
A TRON retrospective and confidential, extensive explorations of how visual effects and digital animation were achieved in films such as X-MEN 2, THE MATRIX RELOADED and FINDING NEMO will be part of the 5th Annual VES 2003: A Festival of Visual Effects line-up at The Los Angeles Film School in Hollywood from June 27-29, 2003. Presented by the Visual Effects Society (VES), the festival offers detailed, frequently proprietary, looks at the visual effects process through viewing certain segments of the works featured.
Willing to be daring, or could they just not know what they're undertaking, new game publisher Whiptail Interactive makes its publishing debut delivering POSTAL 2, the highly anticipated action game developed by Running With Scissors. "We wanted to make a bold statement with our first game," said Fred Heslop, president, Whiptail Interactive. "There's no bolder statement we could make than a partnership with Vince Desi at Running With Scissors to publish POSTAL 2.
Creative solutions company mOcean is expanding its business outreach to the worldwide marketplace by naming Javier Prelooker director of new business development, international markets. Prelooker will focus on bringing the Venice, California-based studio's entertainment marketing services across all media to the Ibero-American marketplace. Kevin Aratari, managing director of mOcean, said, "The international Hispanic market has grown and matured enormously in recent years.
Lisa Gregorian has been promoted from sr vp of marketing and research at Warner Bros. International Television Distribution to sr vp, Television, Warner Bros. Marketing Services. In her new position she will continue to oversee all marketing for WBITD and will take on marketing for WB Television (network television production) and WB Animation. She reports to Bruce Rosenblum, exec vp at Warner Bros. Television Group and will work closely with Jeffrey Schlesinger, president of WBITD, WB Television president Peter Roth and WB Animation president Sander Schwartz.
The United States won half of the 10 main Pulcinella Award statuettes, including those for the Best Program and the Best Character of the Year, at the 2003 edition of Cartoons On The Bay in Positano, Italy, on April 12, 2003. KIM POSSIBLE, produced by Walt Disney Television Animation, has won the Pulcinella for the Best Program as well as for the Best TV Series for Children. HOME MOVIES, by Soup2Nuts won for Best Character as well as the award for the Best TV Series for Adolescents & Adults.
An overflow crowd stood outside the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills to catch a glimpse of Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston and the various animation luminaries attending the Marc Davis Lecture on Animation April 9, 2003. Hundreds were eager to pay tribute to the last of Walt Disney's "Nine Old Men." The overly-ambitious program treated attendees to many filmclips of their work, two panels, four special presentations, with the Frank and Ollie finally joining the evening's host Leonard Maltin on stage at 11:00 pm.