On March 25, 2001 in Los Angeles, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the winners for this year's Oscars. Taking home the prize for outstanding animated short was Michael Dudok de Wit's lyrically elegant FATHER & DAUGHTER. The big winner for the evening was the visual effects epic GLADIATOR, which received five Oscars for best picture, best actor Russell Crowe, best visual effects, best costume design and best sound. Oscar was also kind to the other big visual effects film of the year CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.
Geographical Region: Europe
In April, Animation World Magazine kicks off Catherine Winder and Zahra Dowlatabadi's new book "Producing Animation" with a special indepth look at how animation is produced. From feature films to television from Europe to the U.S. we detail how schedules and budgets are put together. Sylvia Edwards compares traditional animation television show schedules and budgets to CGI TV series, a rapidly growing trend. Feature film producer Steve Walsh takes us inside putting together a European feature film, while Evan Backus outlines the recent production timelines of several large U.S. releases.
Visionary Media will offer 26 half-hour TV episodes of WHIRLGIRL, the Flash-animated Internet series, via Catherine Branscome of Branscome International. "WHIRLGIRL has been recreated for TV with more animation and greater frame rates than are seen online via FlashCast, a proprietary process developed in-house by Visionary," explained Visionary Media acting CEO Buzz Potamkin.
HANNIBAL held strong at the international box office with debuts of TRAFFIC topping charts in Australia and Italy. In France, however, HANNIBAL fended off the premiere of TRAFFIC, taking the top slot with a gross of US$3.17 million and raising its cume to $9.4 million. In second, TRAFFIC smuggled in $2.48 million. VERTICAL LIMIT climbed into the sixth spot, grossing $807,368, thus lifting its French total to $5.15 million. In the U.K., HANNIBAL hatched another $2.52 million in first, elevating its cume to $26.1 million.
Buena Vista Home Entertainment is releasing remastered versions of THE SWORD IN THE STONE and BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS on VHS and DVD on March 20, 2001. THE SWORD IN THE STONE is Disney's humorous rendition of the King Arthur tale directed by four of Disney's Nine Old Men Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnson, Milt Kahl and John Lounsbery.
* Friday, May 24 Sunday, May 26, 2001. Hornu, Belgium.
Entry Deadline: May 10, 2001.
The 8th Edition of the Festival Synthesis is a festival dedicated to CG movies and animations. Last year the event had 10,000 visitors. This year's Synthesis will feature a retrospective on the work of ILM. The event will also include screenings, discussions, company presentations and product demos. For more information contact the festival at: 360 Amphitheatre d'Hades, 7301 Hornu, Belgium; or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
BKN International has rolled out 52 episodes of the animated fantasy adventure series ULTIMATE BOOK OF SPELLS. The story begins when friends Cassy, Gus and Verne discover the Ultimate Book Of Spells, which takes them on a journey to Earths center, where they must use their special powers to thwart the evil wizard, Zarlak. The series was originally titled JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH and so far BKN has completed 26 twenty-two-minute episodes. "Im tremendously excited about the prospects for this series," said Leslie Nelson, managing director, BKN Television Sales SAS.
The 5th edition of Cartoons On The Bay, International Festival of Television Animation, will be held in Positano (Amalfi Coast), Italy, April 5-9, 2001. Cartoons on the Bay is the only festival in the world solely dedicated to television animation. Promoted by Rai Radiotelevisione Italiana and conceived and organized by Rai Trade, the festival is an international event with awards, workshops, lectures and events centering on the ever-changing world of television animation.
Bill Plympton has updated his appearances page. In the upcoming months, "Mutant Aliens" will be screening at: SXSW Festival, Austin, Texas, March 12-20; Arizona International Film Festival, Tuscon, Arizona, April 19-29; and Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 26-May 7. Bill will be attending all of these events. "Guns on the Clackamas" will be appearing at CineAmbigu, Barcelona, Spain, in April.
German children's entertainment producer TV-Loonland AG has appointed Celia Holman to the newly created role of head of development for the London office. Holman will be responsible for the development of all TV-Loonland's European-based programming and the maintaining and developing of contacts with independent producers, children's publishers and rights holders. Prior to TV-Loonland, she worked as project development manager for Network of the World (NOW), where she worked with potential children's content partners for a fully converged TV/Web environment.
Luxembourg-based Oniria Productions has announced that work has started on RENART, THE FOX, a new computer-animated feature film. RENART will be directed by Thierry Schiel, who has helmed Oniria's nearly completed CGI feature TRISTAN & ISOLDE. Along with Schiel, Sophia Kolokouri will produce the film. RENART, THE FOX, based on the widely-known fable LE ROMAN DE RENART, spells out the hilarious adventures of the cunning Renart, an outlaw who pursues riches to support his children.
March 25, 2001 will be the Big Night: the 73rd Academy Awards, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This year's nominations for best animated short are: Michael Dudok de Wit's lyrically elegant "Father & Daughter," Steffen and Annette Schaffler's moody puppet film "The Periwig-Maker" and Don Hertzfeldt's humorously chaotic short "Rejected." For a few moments when the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film is presented, animation is given its just place next to the likes of mainstream blockbusters.
- Wake up and rock with cult animator Ralph Bakshi´s "American Pop!" Go deep inside the evolution of popular music in America through the story of various generations of a musical family. Soundtrack includes George Gershwin, Scott Joplin, Bob Dylan, The Doors, the Velvet Underground, Jimi Hendrix, Herbie Hancock and Dave Brubeck.
MIP TV (April 2-6, 2001, Cannes, France) is one of the premiere television conferences and markets in the world. The six-day event brings together production companies and distributors from all over the globe. The conference includes a vast array of panels and round-table discussions with some of the world's top professionals. MIP TV 2000 scored a hit with over 11,000 participants, representing 2,776 companies from 100 countries. The countries most represented in terms of stands were: France, US, UK, Canada and Germany.
Simona Fabbri has joined Cartoon Network Italy in the newly created position of director of content. Fabbri will be responsible for the programming schedule and acquiring Italian shows, in addition to coordinating the network's and Website's content. She will also oversee the promos and on-air look of the channel. Previously, Simona worked at the Italian Disney channel where she started as acquisitions manager, moving to asset manager.
German EM.TV has signed a co-production deal with Spain's Planeta 2010. Already EM.TV has signed deals on four series and negotiations are in progress on five additional shows including 13 new episodes of DRAGON TALES, which is co-produced with Children's TV Workshop and Columbia TriStar TV Group. The signed deals include: 26-episodes of kids' comedy MR. BABY; 13 episodes of PIGS NEXT DOOR, co-produced with Fox Kids Int. and Magma Films; THE WORLD OF TOSH based on a Swedish fable; and NICK AND PERRY, co-produced by Germany's WDR and France's Ellipse Animation and M6.
Madrid production house Filmax has formed a new animation arm entitled Filmax Animacion. The new arm will have three divisions: production services, production and distribution. Filmax plans to integrate its animation studio Bren Entertainment into this new venture. In October 2000, Filmax gained animation production-distribution house PPM Multimedia's Francisco "Paco" Rodriguez to head Bren. Rodriguez formed PPM Multimedia in 1990 and quickly transformed the small company into a major force in the Spanish market.
Gobbling up the competition, HANNIBAL dined atop the box office charts in a host of new countries. In France, the cannibalistic cavalcade collected an impressive US$6.23 million in its debut. VERTICAL LIMIT climbed into fifth with a gross of $1.46 million, lifting its French cume to $4.35 million. In sixth, 102 DALMATIANS collared another $1.38 million, raising its French cume to $13.51 million. In Mexico, HANNIBAL premiered in first with an amazing ticket-take of $2.71 million. At #5, RED PLANET dusted off $390,792, growing its Mexican cume to $1.04 million.
* Wednesday, March 14 and Wednesday, March 21, 2001. Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
Saturday, April 14, 2001. Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
Saturday, April 21, 2001. Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
The Tampere International Short Film Festival awarded its winners on Sunday, March 11, 2001. The prestigious special prize of the jury went to the Brothers Quay for their film IN ABSENTIA (U.K.). The prize for the best animation was given to Helene Moinerie for the film D'UNE CITÉ L'AUTRE (France). The Grand Prix of the festival went to the Finnish documentary HYPPÄÄJÄ by PV Lehtinen. Twenty films out of 69 in the competition were animations, somewhat less than usual.
Many citizens in the Czech Republic are aghast over the premiere of POKEMON on the public TV network, Slovak TV. The Slovak media council has complained that the show has a negative psychological effect on children due to its level of violence. Because the station is a public broadcaster, the council has the right to ban the program. If done, this move could destroy Slovak TV. The station is currently in dire financial straits, owing over a million dollars to various companies for purchases made over the past three years.
Famed animation director and educator Richard Williams will present his acclaimed animation masterclass, The Animators Survival Kit(tm), at the European Film College, Ebeltoft, Denmark, May 23-27, 2001. This intensive workshop teaches the solid principles behind classical animation that apply both to traditional and computer animators. Triple Oscar winner Richard Williams has won over 250 international awards including numerous Hollywood and British Academy Awards. His films include "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," "The Christmas Carol" and the original "Thief And The Cobbler" animated feature.
Cartoon Movie (March 15-17, 2001, Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany) is the European market for animation feature film. The annual event is put together by the AEFA Cartoon (European Association for Animated Films), which has been organizing the Cartoon Forum, the co-production marketplace for TV animation, every year since 1990. Cartoon Movie gives European feature film producers the chance to meet and exchange ideas, even create co-production partnerships.
The 20th Brussels Animation and Cartoon Festival (February 21-March 3, 2001) handed out its top European awards. There were prizes only for national films, because the international official selection is non-competitive. Because Brussels is the capital of Belgium, a country with two separate language-based communities, there are, of course, two national Grand Prix.