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Geographical Region: North America

Star Headline News

Dora the Explorer New Episode Offers Language Lessons

DORA THE EXPLORER is reaching for the stars as Nick Jr. premieres a new half-hour episode entitled, "Star Mountain" on March 12. 2007, at 9:00 am on Nick Jr. and will encore later in the week on Friday, March 16 at 9:00 am. The new episode offers viewers lessons on numbers and colors in Spanish, as they journey along with Dora, Boots and the Tres Estrellas Exploradoras (Three Explorer Stars). Nick Jr. Video offered an "instant replay" of the full episode at 2:00 pm on March 12.

Animation Headline News

Cartoons on the Bay International Jury Set

The International Jury for the 11th edition of Cartoons on the Bay has been announced for the event runs April 19-22, 2007, in Salerno, Italy.

They include Wolfgang Wegmann from Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), Germany; Jan-Willem Bult from KRO Youth TV, The Netherlands; Beth Gardiner from Playhouse Disney, USA; Céline Limorato from France 5, France and Maurizio Forestieri, animation director, Italy. The Jury members will select the prestigious Pulcinella Awards, designed by the famous Italian maestro of animation Emanuele Luzzati, who recently passed away.

Series Headline News

Bruno Grows Banana Bunch Series on CBC

BRUNO AND THE BANANA BUNCH, Cuppa Coffee's follow up to its successful interstitial series, BRUNO, will launch April 2, 2007, at 9:45 am on CBC in Canada. Bruno first debuted as the star of an interstitial series, which airs worldwide in more than 80 countries. Now Bruno reprises his role as an age-appropriate playmate for preschoolers in a new 26x11 minute series that focuses on early math and numeric skills.

Headline News

Eyetronics Creates 3D Scans for Mass Effect Game

Eyetronics provided 3D scanning for the new science-fiction action and RPG game MASS EFFECT. Created by BioWare, the commercially and critically acclaimed developer of JADE EMPIRE and STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC, the hotly anticipated MASS EFFECT, an Xbox 360 title, promises to deliver an immersive, story-driven gameplay experience with stunning cinematic impact, advanced virtual acting and realtime tactical combat.

Headline News

Nick's El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera Premieres March 3

Nickelodeons newest Nicktoon, EL TIGRE: THE ADVENTURES OF MANNY RIVERA, premieres with two back-to-back all-new episodes on Saturday, March 3, 2007, 10:00-11:00 am, then will air regularly on Saturdays at 10:30-11:00 am. Nickelodeons first Flash animated comedy series comes from Mexican-born creators Jorge R. Gutierrez and Sandra Equihua.

Drawing Headline News

Cartoons on the Bay Announces 2007 Pulcinella Nominees

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 12:00am

The complete list of programs officially selected for Cartoons on the Bay 2007, the international showcase of the year's best productions for television animation, have been announced.

The selection includes 162 programs from 19 countries (13 countries were represented in 2006) and will be on display in the digital video library for artists and professional in the industry, buyers, distributors, multimedia publishers and journalists.

Producers Headline News

Canadian Actors & Producers Reach New Agreement

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 12:00am

Following several days of negotiations the Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA), Association des producteurs de films et de television du Quebec (APFTQ) and ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) announced that they have reached a renewed Independent Production Agreement (IPA).

Comics Headline News

SCI FI & Virgin Comics Team on Multimedia Banner

The SCI FI Channel is teaming up with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Comics to create a co-branded multimedia partnership called SCI FI/Virgin Comics.

SCI FI/Virgin Comics will develop fresh properties that integrate the unique spirit and vitality of both brands. Original concepts will be considered across all mediums from publishing, film and television to digital and gaming. Five new comicbook titles will serve as a jumping off point.

Animated Headline News

Happy Feet & Danish Poet Top Animated Oscar Honors

The Oscar animation winners offered a few surprises as the top animation awards went to HAPPY FEET for Best Animated Feature and the indie 2D short THE DANISH POET (NFB) by Torill Kove won for Best Animated Short tonight (Feb. 25, 2007) during the 79th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.

Echoing its earlier awards at the VES Awards, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MANS CHEST scored the big win for Best Visual Effects. Taking the stage to accept from ILM were John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and Allen Hall.

Animation Headline News

HIT Hires Copley to Head HOT Animation

HIT Ent. has brought onboard Andi Copley as md/exec producer of its award-winning animation studio, HOT Animation. The Los Angeles-based studio exec will relocate to Manchester in the U.K. this month and will assume responsibility for the operational management of HOTs production slate, including PINGU and BOB THE BUILDER, as well as growing and expanding the studios third-party work.

Magi Headline News

Cookie Jar Ent. Licenses Magi-Nation To No. American Networks

Cookie Jar Ent. has licensed MAGI NATION to Kids WB! on The CW in the U.S., Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) and Radio-Canada. MAGI NATION is Cookie Jars newest original series from its rapidly growing action-adventure brand Coliseum.

International Headline News

Int'l Animators To Judge Iranian Festival

Four animators and an Iranian animation expert were selected as the jury members for the International Section of the Fifth Tehran International Animation Festival, which will be held Feb. 25-March 1, 2007, reports the Mehr News Agency.

Olivier Catherin (from France), Nancy Mary (Canada), Otto Alder (Switzerland), Borivoj Dovnikovic (Croatia), and Abdollah Alimorad (Iran) were selected as jury members.

Short Headline News

Oscar Nominated Shorts Show Box Office Strength

THE 2006 ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATED SHORT FILMS program, distributed by Magnolia Pictures, opened at #44 on the box office chart, with $128,569 on 38 screens for a per-screen average of $3,383. NOMINATED SHORT FILMS is currently playing at the Nuart in L.A. and opens Friday, Feb. 23, at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

The program consists of:

Short Film (Animated)* THE DANISH POET (Norway & Canada, National Film Board of Canada) Torill Kove, director* LIFTED (U.S., Buena Vista), Gary Rydstrom, director

Festival Headline News

The 24th Chicago International Film Festival

The 24th Chicago International Film FestivalChicago, Illinois, USAOctober 18 28, 2007Deadline: May 1, 2007

The 24th annual Chicago International Childrens Film Festival is the only Academy-qualifying festival for childrens films in the world and the largest in North America. Categories include shorts, features, live-action, animation, television productions, documentaries and child-produced and youth-produced work.

Television Headline News

Danish Poet Granted Genie Award

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television has announced the winners of the 27th Annual Genie Awards, celebrating excellence in Canadian cinema. Outside of the live-action film, THE ROCKET, snatching up nine awards, THE DANISH POET, by Torill Kove, Lise Fearnley and Marcy Page won for best animated short.

The event was held at The Carlu in Toronto from 7-9:00 pm on Feb. 13, 2007. That was followed by Live! At The Genies, a one-hour broadcast on CHUM Television and MusiMax that showcased the nights memorable moments in a live, schmooze-style atmosphere.

Film Headline News

Animation Tops Sony Tropfest

An animated film, Steve Baker's AN IMAGINARY LIFE, won this year's Sony Tropfest short film competition. The Queenslander had entered the festival five times and at last won during the awards ceremony on Feb. 18, 2007.

Baker said, "This is something that I have been working toward for such a long time. As a director, it means so much for your career to be recognized at a high level such as Sony Tropfest. And to have your film seen by literally hundreds of thousands of people there is nothing else like it.

Digital Headline News

Digital Dimension Weighs In On Norbit

Digital Dimension completed 162 shots as the lead visual effects provider for the DreamWorks comedy NORBIT, magically transforming Eddie Murphys slender frame into the 400-pound female lead, Rasputia (also played by Murphy). A large portion of Digital Dimensions shots involved head replacements where Murphys face, made up to look like Rasputia, was composited onto the performance of a body double.

Directors Headline News

Five Guest Casting Directors Teach Pro Animation Class

Five Guest Casting Directors Teach Pro Animation ClassPro/Adv Animation VO ClassBurbank, California, USAFeb. 22 -- March 29, 2007

M.J. Lallo is holding a five-week pro animation workshop for VO artists who have had previous classes in VO and feel ready to work out with professional directors and agents. The class is a good opportunity to work with guest directors and make contacts. All guest directors will accept your demos at the class that night.

Guest directors include:* Ilko Drozdoski-TGDM VO Agency (formerly Tisherman)

Headline News

Animators: Ready for the FJORG Challenge?

First International FJORG! CompetitionSan Diego, California, USAAug. 7-9, 2007Deadline: May 1, 2007

The best CG animators in the world are invited to participate in the first international FJORG! competition -- an iron animator event to be launched at SIGGRAPH 2007.

Competing teams will be called on to try to create the best character-driven animation the world has ever seen, within a limited window of 32 straight hours, while overcoming multiple staged distractions in a test of skill, talent, creativity and physical endurance.

Film Headline News

Ryan Larkin Dies at Age 63

AWN is sad to report the passing of legendary animator Ryan Larkin at 10:30 pm on Feb. 14, 2007, in Canada. He was 63 years old. Larkin was recently diagnosed with brain cancer.

Born in Montreal, Larkin was nominated for the Oscar for his 1969 short film, WALKING. In 1972, he was again honored with an Oscar nod for his short film, STREET MUSIQUE. Moreover, he provided animated effects for Mort Ransens RUNNING TIME, for which he acted in three small roles.

Effects Headline News

Dennis Hoffman to Head Production at Rainmaker Visual Effects

Dennis Hoffman has joined Rainmaker Visual Effects as head of production, a comparable position he most recently held at Digital Domain. Hoffman will report to Brian Moylan, managing director, Rainmaker Visual Effects.

"As Vancouver increasingly becomes a destination for high end visual effects, Rainmaker is pleased to have someone of Dennis caliber and experience join us as we move into more demanding and challenging projects, stated Warren Franklin, ceo of Rainmaker Ent. Inc.