Geographical Region: Europe
Animha Productions, a unique association of professionals dedicated to independent film production and animation workshops, presents its latest production: Old Boro Town - Our Town Story. The aim of the project was to provide a sequence of film as a backdrop for the performance of 'Our Town Story' to be held at England's Millennium Dome in October 2000. Through a series of children's workshops, a variety of subjects were brought to life through cut-out animation and a film was produced to the script of "Old Boro Town" - a folk song written by local children.
Following up on the hugely successful television show "Walking With Dinosaurs," BBC British Television and The Discovery Channel have set into production on "Walking With Prehistoric Beasts." The 3-hour miniseries will start where "Dinosaurs" left off. The budget is set at US$10 million, which was the price tag for the original miniseries. In addition, the two channels will create a "science behind the series" special to air after "Beasts" sometime in 2001.
With nods in Brazil and Hong Kong, Disneys DINOSAUR roams atop the box office charts. In Brazil, the special effects spectacle landed $2.65 million in its debut. Whereas in Hong Kong, the blue-green beasts stomped out an amazing $1.29 million on only 43 screens! The prehistoric pic adds another name to the long time three way battle between MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2, GLADIATOR and GONE IN 60 SECONDS for international box office glory. Back in Brazil, M:I 2 fell to second with a gross of $1.89 million, bringing its Brazilian cume to $5.63 million.
The Ottawa 00 International Animation Festival has completed this year's pre-selection for the official competition. Once again, the festival set a record for entries, receiving 1,300 films from over 50 countries. To ease the pressure on the selection committee, this year's selection was divided into two committees. Festival organizers Chris Robinson and Hayden Mindell judged the Independent Film Competition (graduate films, first professional films, independent short works under 50 min. and films for children).
The 6th Cartoombria International Animation Festival will happen in Perugia, Italy, November 23-25, 2000. The artistic committee of the festival has put together a number of computer animation-related retrospectives, exhibits, workshops, screenings, premieres and artist tributes. This year, Cartoombria will focus on Web animation and video games. The festival will also profile European animation schools, and more specifically schools offering computer animation, new media and Web animation programs.
Fox Kids Europe NV has locked a deal with Turkish cable service provider Turk Telecom that will put the family-friendly channel in 790,000 Turkish homes. The launch date was July 15. The new distribution deal brings Fox Kids Europe to major cities including Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. The Turkish-language broadcast will air from 7 am to 8 pm seven days a week. Just two months ago Fox Kids entered the Turkish market via an agreement with digital satellite television platform DigiTurk.
Curious Pictures has signed a deal with Cartoon Network On-line for nine original Web toons. The nine shows are being created and directed by Curious directors and artists Denis Morella, Nick Hewitt, Mike Bade, Damon Ciarelli, Molly Schwartz, Sam Crees and Patricia Ross. Four of the Web Premiere Toons are being created in Curious' New York City flagship studio, while five others are being developed out of the company's San Francisco SoMa office. UNCLE SQUIRLY will follow the crazy antics of a wacky children's television show.
Following up on the hugely successful WALKING WITH DINOSAURS, Discovery and the BBC have set into production on WALKING WITH PREHISTOIC BEASTS. The 3-hour miniseries will start where DINOSAURS left off. The budget is set at US$10 million, which was the price tag for the original miniseries. In addition, the two channels will create a "science behind the series" special to air after BEASTS sometime in 2001. After its successful run on the BBC in England, DINOSAURS premiered on April 16, 2000 in the U.S.
With GLADIATOR's global box office dominance slowly coming to an end, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 and GONE IN 60 SECONDS have gained top spots around the world. Grossing $804,785 and raising its Swedish cume to $1.16 million, 60 SECONDS finished atop the charts in its second weekend, knocking GLADIATOR down to second where it grossed $255,829. In its second weekend in Australia, 60 SECONDS stayed off newcomer PERFECT STORM to remain at #1. 60 SECONDS grossed $3.21 million and STORM managed $2.23 million in second place.
A stage show starring the SIMPSONS voice-actors will come to this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, before going on to two performances at the London Playhouse. The show was premiered in Aspen, Colorado earlier this year. The Edinburgh performance has already sold out. Indeed, the August 14 engagement was the fastest seller in the history of the Fringe, according to the DAILY TELEGRAPH newspaper. The tickets sold in 55 minutes. The show features original voice-actors Dan Castellaneta (Homer), Julie Kavner (Marge), Nancy Cartwright (Bart) and Yeardley Smith (Lisa).
The annual European animation co-financing event, Cartoon Forum, will take place on the Baltic Sea Island of Gotland in Sweden. Gotland and its capital Visby will without a doubt survive the animation industry's invasion, as the city has a long history going back to the Vikings and medieval times. The nearby island of Fårö is known by many, too, as director Ingmar Bergman shot many of his films there. The 79 projects to be presented for funding have already been selected, and can be found at Cartoon's Web site www.cartoon-media.be.
- Volume 8 features award-winning works by Khrjanovsky and Schnittke. Titles include: "Armoire," "There Lived Kozyavin," "Pencil and Eraser," "King's Sandwich," "Glass Harmonica," "Ballerina on the Boat" and Butterfly.
An on-line entry form which can be sent directly by e-mail is now available on the Holland festival Web site. The next Holland Animation Film Festival will take place in Utrecht, the Netherlands, November 15-19, 2000. Since 1985 this biennial festival has aimed to be an intermediary between animators and the business world, in addition to including film screenings, retrospectives and theater programs.
With CHICKEN RUN claiming victory at theatres, Aardman Animations ANGRY KID on AtomFilms Web site has set Internet records. In just seven weeks, ANGRY KID, Aardman's first character created exclusively for the Web, has been watched by over 1 million people -- an Internet record. With roughly 300,000 people downloading the mischievous miscreant and sending it to their friends, the total audience is nearing one and a half million people. "We knew that the Internet had vast potential as a major entertainment medium," said Dave Sproxton, co-founder and managing director of Aardman.
Avid Technology, Inc. has announced the acquisition of Fremont, California-based Motion Factory, Inc., an applications company specializing in interactive 3D software for character-driven games and the Web. Along with the deal, Avid named Motion Factorys former president and CEO, David Pritchard, as the new general manager of Softimage Co., Avids graphics and effects arm.
British audience flocked to theatres to catch the first Aardman Animation feature CHICKEN RUN. In its British premiere, the clay character cavalcade racked up an amazing US$5.8 million. The fearless free-rangers knocked seven-week champion GLADITOR into second in the U.K. The Roman romp tallied up an additional $38.8 million in its international showings. The box office blood bath has brought in $165.8 million outside the U.S. Slipping for the U.S. top ten, Disneys DINOSAUR, however, stomped over the competition in Brazil to the tune of $1.6 million.
In the international box office, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 remained #1 in Australia by holding off newcomer DINOSAUR, while GLADIATOR gained the top spot in its debut in Japan. DreamWorks GLADIATOR claimed new territories in Japan, making $982,911 in its Japanese debut. Elsewhere, GLADIATOR remained at the top in Spain, the U.K., Brazil, Italy and Sweden. The Maximus money-maker grossed $1.89 million in Spain, advancing its three-week cume to $10.05 million.
The Zagreb Animation Festival was held in the Croatian capital on June 21 25, 2000 for the fourteenth time. The atmosphere was literally hot; the sun shined more than enough during the whole festival, raising the daily temperatures easily to 35 centigrade (approximately 90+° F). No wonder the daily festival newspaper reported about the festival picnic with the headline "A hell-hot picnic". On the positive side, however, is that an effective air conditioned inside drew a large audience for the films. The four competition-screenings were very popular among the local audience.
The Castle Museum and the organizers of the Annecy Festival have begun to gather a collection of animation artifacts. The museum is calling for filmmakers to contribute documents, drawings, artwork etc. from their productions to be preserved. The collection has many optical machines and toys from the early days of cinema. The museum started gathering objects of importance in the 1960s and wishes the continued support of filmmakers to protect and honor the rich heritage of the medium.
The deadline for entries at this year's Ottawa 00 International
Animation Festival is July 1, 2000. The festival will accept entries
as late as July 5, 2000. There are three competitions: independent
films, commissioned films and animation for the Internet. Categories
include: films for children, graduate films, independent films under
50 minutes, first professional film, TV series, TV special,
commercials, music videos, educational or industrial, ids, trailers
The next Holland Animation Film Festival will take place in Utrecht,
the Netherlands, November 15-19, 2000. Since 1985 this biennial
festival has aimed to be an intermediary between animators and the
business world, in addition to including film screenings,
retrospectives and theater programs. In the competition for applied
animation, films can be entered in the following categories:
publicity and promotional films; music videos; educational and