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Geographical Region: North America

Headline News EA Moves on Sims-like TV Show, Changes DICE Deal

Electronic Arts has announced the development an interactive TV show, allowing viewers to control the characters like in THE SIMS, and a change in the deal to acquire 50% of Digital Illusions (DICE), reports REUTERS. The company is in early talks with production companies and might use a voting system to allow viewers to determine the actions of the characters.

Headline News Starz Orders More 30-Second Bunny Shorts

Starz Entertainment Group LLC (SEG) announced the renewal of their agreement with Angry Alien Prods to create ten more 30-second BUNNY THEATER shorts from animator Jennifer Shiman, the creator of Angryalien.com. The shorts will be aired on STARZ!, Starz on Demand and STARZ! Tickets on Real Movies. The first three movie spoof shorts aired during STARZ! Hare Raising Halloween Marathon last October.

Headline News Kelly Elwood to Market Cookie Jar Ent.

Cookie Jar Entertainment, the programming and licensing arm The Cookie Jar Group, has promoted Kelly Elwood from vp of marketing & licensing to svp of marketing. Based in Cookie Jars Toronto offices, Elwood will oversee the companys expanding industry and consumer brand marketing, as well as provide strategic planning on behalf of its growing entertainment lineup.

Headline News Los Simpsons Voices Strike

The Spanish-language cast of THE SIMPSONS have been on strike since October and are threatening protest marches over a contract between their union and privately-owned dubbing studio, Grabaciones y Doblajes Internacionales, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Represented by Mexico's National Actors Assn., the voice actors claim that their former employer broke an exclusivity agreement when it hired non-members of the association. Grabaciones does not deny using nonunion actors, but argues that it never signed an exclusivity contract.

Headline News Send Your Shorts to Saskatchewan for Yorkton Fest!

2005 Yorkton Short Film & Video FestivalYorkton, Saskatchewan, CanadaMay 26-29, 2005Deadline: February 15, 2005

The Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival, now in its 58th year, is the longest running festival of its kind in Canada. Over the years, the festival has garnered an esteemed reputation as one of the country's top film and video festivals; a reputation that attracts outstanding entries and personalities from across Canada.

Headline News Critics Toast The Incredibles and Spider-Man 2

THE INCREDIBLES won the top prize for animated feature while SPIDER-MAN 2 was named best popular movie of the year at 10th annual Critics' Choice Awards broadcast Jan. 10, 2005 on The WB from the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles.

FINDING NEVERLAND was named best family film.

Headline News Central Park Media Rings In The New Year With Time Bokan & Black Jack

On January 11, 2005, Central Park Media will release TIME BOKAN and BLACK JACK: MUTATION on DVD each priced at $19.99. Both DVDs will have audio tracks in both English and Japanese with English subtitles.

TIME BOKAN pits teams of bad guys against each other to be crowned the meanest villains ever. To be a cartoon super villain, it takes a ruthless heart, a cunning mind and the most ridiculous mecha on the planet.

Headline News Alliance Atlantis Exec to Head Programming & Marketing for Sundance Channel

Laura Michalchyshyn has joined the Sundance Channel as evp, programming & marketing, responsible for all creative expressions of the Sundance Channel brand, both on and off-Channel, including original programming, film acquisition, program planning, on-air promotion and the creative strategy and implementation of all off-Channel consumer marketing.

Michalchyshyn, who will be based in New York City, will report to Sundance Channel Founder Robert Redford and Larry Aidem, president/ceo.

Headline News BrainPop's TSUNAMI Movie Helps Kids Understand Global Events

BrainPOP's has created a new TSUNAMI movie to give kids the information they need to make connections and gain understanding of the devastation caused by natural disasters. The film is available for free distribution to every media company and Website.

Headline News Northern Lights Post Adds Editor East Coast Rep

Northern Lights Post has added noted comedy/lifestyle editor John Laskas to its roster of talented editors and named Rich Schafler of Schafler Artist Management, New York, as its east coast commercial sales rep.

Headline News Canadian Kids to Greenlight TV Series on Shorts Compilation Show

For the first time in Canada, kids will help determine the next hit show in a new animated shorts showcase, FUNPAK, premiering on YTV Feb. 3, 2005, at 7:30 pm. FUNPAK is a 13x30 assortment of animated shorts created entirely in-house at YTVs sister company, Nelvana Ltd..

Headline News Telluride IndieFest Issues Call for Entries

Telluride IndieFest 2005Telluride, Colorado, USAAugust 31 - September 4, 2005Deadline: May 31, 2005

Telluride IndieFest showcases the best independent films and screenplays in the world and does not require films to 'premiere' at its event. The event limits films and screenplays to 1,000 entries. ALL selected artists will have the opportunity to have their entry presented to some of the most-respected Hollywood talent agencies, production companies and film distributors. For more information, visit tellurideindiefest.com.

Headline News DIC Signs More Licensees For Trollz 2005 Launch In North America

DIC Entertainment (DIC) has inked additional deals for its all-new tween entertainment and lifestyle property, TROLLZ. There is now approximately 35 licensees in the U.S. and Canada secured for the 2005 launch.

Headline News Nick Ups Kaufman for Global Marketing

Pamela Kaufman has been promoted from svp, Nickleodeon marketing to evp, marketing and worldwide promotions, expanding her responsibilities to include strategic planning of worldwide programming launches as well as global partnership deals.

"Pam Kaufman is one of the most successful marketers in the entertainment industry," said Nickelodeon TV president Cyma Zarghami, to whom Kaufman will continue to report. "Her consumer marketing and property management skills have raised the creative bar for the entire industry and have turned our TV properties into gold."

Headline News itty bitty HeartBeats Signs New Licensing Partners

LevyMann Entertainment, the creator and producers behind the childrens animated series, ITTY BITTY HEARTBEATS, have teamed up with new licensee partners Franco Manufacturing, Baby Boom Consumer Products, Wiesner Products and Waterbury Garments for several new lines of itty bitty products.

These new licensees add to their deals in place with StudioWorks Ent. (Ventura Video), Fruit of the Loom and Penguin Books, which is releasing three new ITTY BITTY HEARTBEATS titles.

Headline News Shrek Franchise Delivers $1.6B on DVD & Video

DreamWorks Animation reported that the SHREK franchise has generated more than $1.6 billion in consumer home entertainment spending since its launch in 2001 with the record-shattering SHREK. SHREK 2 has sold more than 37 million units worldwide since its November release through DreamWorks Home Ent. That makes SHREK 2 the third highest grossing feature in U.S. history the number one home video release of the year.

Headline News MeniThings’ The Freak Wins 18th International Award

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 29, 2004 at 12:00am

AIFF artistic director Buzz Schwall announced the winners of the audience awards and director Meni Tsirbas THE FREAK was presented with the best short film prize. This marks the 18th such honor for the CGI short, which also won awards at the Palm Springs Film Festival and the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.

THE FREAK is in pre-production as a feature with The Hatchery. Tsirbas follow up effort, TERRA, has collected 12 awards including Best Animation at the USA Film Festival.

More information is available at www.menithings.com.

Headline News Bert Smets’ Hopla Finds Commercial Home At Telescreen

Bert Smets has chosen Telescreen to handle all commercial rights to his animated HOPLA series (104x5) so he can focus on the creative process.

Smets commends Telescreen for its, all round knowledge with regard to animation productions and licensing forms, making it the perfect combination with my own creative perspective. I am sure that we can mean a lot for each other.

Headline News Shorts International to Distribute American Short Film Catalog

U.K.-based Shorts International, the short film distribution arm of Britshorts Ltd., has become the exclusive distributor for the entire short film library of American Vantage/Hypnotic. American Vantage/Hypnotic, a subsidiary of American Vantage Media Corp., has one of the largest high-quality short film and animation libraries in the world. The combined entity gives Shorts Intl the largest short film distribution capability across the globe.

Headline News Kid’s Enter Your Illustrated Stories in Holiday Art Contest!

Left Lane Cartoons Holiday Art ContestWorld Wide WebJanuary 31, 2004Deadline: December 23, 2004

Left Lane Cartoons is sponsoring a Holiday Art Contest. All children, ages 5 to 13, are invited to submit an illustrated book report of their favorite novel. Six winners will receive art books. Entries may be sent to: Left Lane Cartoons, Box 53074 - 10 Royal Orchard Blvd., Thornhill, Ontario, Canada L3T 7R4. For more information, visit www.leftlanecartoons.com.

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