Gribouille, a CGI production company based in Europe and North America, has begun production on two new computer-animated television series. Xcalibur, designed by French artist Philippe Druillet and directed by Didier Pourcel, is being produced in association with Canal +, Ellipsanime, France 2 and Cactus Animation for a targeted late 1999 delivery. Micronauts, based on an existing line of action-figures and Marvel comics, is being produced with Abrams/Gentile Entertainment, Kaleidoscope Media Group and Annex Entertainment, and may be ready as early as fall 1999.
Geographical Region: Europe
ASIFA-Hollywoods third annual lecture series continues with a very special event on November 3, 1998 at 7:00 p.m. Walt Disney Animation master animator Andreas Deja will speak on the subject of character animation. Deja, born in Poland and raised in Germany, started working at Disney at the age of 20 (he was turned away when he applied at age 10!).
CINAR Films Inc. (Nasdaq: CINRF; Toronto and Montreal Exchanges; CIF.A, CIF.B) reported record financial results for the third quarter and past nine months ending August 31, 1998.
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.
The Castelli Animati (Animated Castles) International Animated Film Festival held its second edition, October 15 - 17, 1998 in Rome, Italy. The prize winners were selected by an international jury: painter Carla Accardi (Italy), cartoonist and director Oscar Grillo (Argentina), director Daniele Luchetti (Italy), cartoonist and director Sergio Staino and director Pal Toth (Hungary).
Grand Prize and Audience Prize: Geris Game by Jan Pinkava (U.S.A.)
First Film Prize: Sientje by Christa Moesker (Netherlands).
MILIA, the International Content Market for Interactive Media Conference will take place in Cannes, France, February 9-12, 1999. Entries for the fifth Milia d'Or Awards and the New Talent Pavilion are still being accepted. The event is organized by the Reed Midem Organization, the same company that puts on MIPCOM and MIP TV. For the second year, MILIA will present a conference called "Towards the Convergence of Animation and Video Games," the objective of which is to bring together publishers, producers and developers of interactive products to promote partnerships.
* Tuesday, October 27 - Saturday, October 31. Leipzig, Germany.
The 41st annual Leipzig International Festival for Documentary and Animated Film will showcase a retrospective of German animation since 1945, as well as 119 animated films in other programs including competition. For information, contact email@example.com.
The Sitges Fantasy Film Festival wrapped up on October 16 in Barcelona, Spain. The international jury for the "Anima't" animation festival within a festival was comprised of Jerry Beck (U.S.A.), Mercedes Gaspar (Spain) and Giorgio Valentini (Italy). They selected "Un Jour" by Marie Paccou (France) as Best Film, and gave an Honorable Mention to "Glassy Ocean" by Shigeru Tamura (Japan). In the main festival, Bill Plympton's film, "More Sex & Violence" won the "Best Short Film" award.
Paris, France-based Gaumont Multimedia and Hamburg, Germany-based IGEL Media have reached a multi-year, multi-million dollar first-look distribution agreement giving IGEL all television and home video rights on future Gaumont Multimedia animated series for Germany, Scandinavia, Japan and Korea. The deal, sealed at MIPCOM, reflects both companies' need to address the increased competition and decreased number of broadcast slots available in Germany and Asia.
Animation historian Marcin Gizycki has begun production on a 30-minute documentary film about animator Jan Lenica, a Poland native whose credits include animated shorts such as Janko the Musician (1960), Labyrinth (1962), and several films with Walerian Borowczyk. After teaching in Kassel and Berlin, Germany for the past 20 years (and stints working in France and the United States), Lenica has returned to Poland where he is currently making a 30-minute film called Wyspa R.O. (The R.O. Island), with Studio Miniatur Filmowych.
Ellipsanime, Canal +s Paris-based studio that produces the animated series, Corto Maltese, has hired MARIE-PIERRE MOULINJEUNE as deputy director for international development and co-productions. She will supervise the development and production of animated films and TV series, and report to vice president Robert Réa. Moulinjeune was previously in charge of coordinating animated co-productions for Télé-Images, and prior to that she was head of program acquisitions for France 2.
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.
* Wednesday, October 14 - Thursday, October 15. Pasadena, California, U.S.A.
The D.Film Festival, a showcase for independent digital media, will have two shows during the DV Expo: one on Wednesday at 12 p.m. and the other on Thursday at 7:15 p.m.. For information visit www.dfilm.com.
* Thursday, October 15 - Saturday, October 17. Santa Cruz, California, U.S.A.
The D.Film Festival will have a show at UC Santa Cruzs Kresge Town Hall. For information visit www.dfilm.com or call (831) 459-2159.
* Wednesday, October 21. London, England, U.K.
The International Emma Awards is an independent awards competition open to all forms of interactive media whether published, commissioned or on-line. For information visit www.emmaawards.com
The German broadcaster RTL has purchased four Nickelodeon animated series for broadcast in its weekend morning kids programming block. Hey Arnold!, Rockos Modern Life, CatDog and Angry Beavers will be introduced to the networks program line-up over the course of the next year. The sale comes on the heels of Nickelodeons withdrawal from the tough German market [AF 6/2/98] as a network. Nickelodeon ceased broadcasting on German airwaves in May, a decision motivated by weak ad sales and increased competition for viewers.
German media group, ProSieben Media AG has bought a 20 percent stake in Los Angeles, California-based Aréte Image Software (AIS). The strategic alliance marks the first time the Munich-based company has invested in the American market. AIS, established in 1996, specializes in creating software--such as RenderWorld and Digital NatureTools--that enables animators to integrate water and atmospheric effects. The deal gives ProSieben exclusive rights to use AIS' technology and market it in Europe. Dr.
* Friday, October 9 - Sunday, October 11. Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
Anime Weekend Atlanta, the largest Japanese animation event in the Southeast U.S., takes place at the Marriott North-Central Hotel. Scheduled guests include Amy Howard, the voice of Nova on Star Blazers; George Lowe, the voice of Space Ghost and C. Martin Croker, the voice of Zorak and Moltar, from Cartoon Planet; Tim Eldred, artist and animator and Steve Bennett and Kuni Kimura from Studio Ironcat. For information visit www.anime.net/~awa/.
TOM SITO has left his post as head of story at DreamWorks Feature Animation, entering a one-year development deal with WARNER BROS. FEATURE ANIMATION. At Warner Bros. he will join development on the animated feature, Osmosis Jones, which sources say will be directed by Sito if the film is green-lit. As president of the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Union (M.P.S.C.) Local 839 and vice president of ASIFA-Hollywood, Sito is an influential force in the animation industry.
OTTAWA WINNERS. The Ottawa International Animation Festival wrapped up on Sunday night with an awards show at the National Arts Center in Canadas capital city. The grand prize went to the new Estonian film, Night of the Carrots, by Priit Pärn who was on hand to accept the award as the festival also hosted a four-part retrospective of Estonian animation.
Copenhagen, Denmark-based INTERACTIVE TELEVISION ENTERTAINMENT has named PREBEN HENRICHSEN to the newly-created position of promotion and new business manager. He was previously sales and marketing manager for the broadcaster Kanal2/TV Denmark.
Paris, France-based SALSA DISTRIBUTION has hired XAVIER GONZÁLES DEL VALLE as marketing manager, replacing Marianna Herrera-Brun. Del Valle has a background in journalism and public relations, and has worked in creating exchange programs between executives in Latin America and Europe.Paris, France-based SALSA DISTRIBUTION has hired XAVIER GONZÁLES DEL VALLE as marketing manager, replacing Marianna Herrera-Brun. Del Valle has a background in journalism and public relations, and has worked in creating exchange programs between executives in Latin America and Europe.
Sydney, Australia-based independent producer and distributor Energee Entertainment Pty Ltd., producers of the animated series Crocadoo, has acquired two cartoon series from the 1960s to sell to the nostalgia niche market. Clutch Cargo follows the seaplane travel adventures of Clutch and his friends Spinner and Paddlefoot, and Space Angel follows the intergalactic adventures of law enforcer Scott McCloud from the Earth Bureau of Investigation. Both are contained in half-hour episodes which can also be shown as five-minute daily strips or used as fillers.
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.