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Geographical Region: North America

Animation Headline News

Qube! Supports Digital Media Education Programs

PipelineFX's Qube! render farm management system has gained continued market momentum, as seven universities from the U.S., China, the U.K. and Canada have adopted Qube! for render farm management for their digital media and animation education programs.

Kids Headline News

Franny's Feet Ready For Second Season On PBS KIDS

FRANNY'S FEET will return with its second season of 13 half-hour shows premiering February 3, 2007, on PBS KIDS. The series, produced by DECODE Ent. in association with Thirteen/WNET New York, debuted in the U.S. last summer and has become a hit for kids 4-7.

Franny's adventures take her and her viewers to places around the world, where she meets new friends and tries to help them solve problems, sharing her feelings, fears and advice with the audience along the way. Global awareness, science and vocabulary development are woven together with entertaining storytelling.

Series Headline News

Decode Ent. Signs Up YTV For Gizmo

DECODE Ent. has pre-sold GIZMO to Canada's YTV. The animated series (26x22 or 52x11), which is set to be delivered in fall of 2007, is a sci-fi comedy about the adventures of a dysfunctional crew of alien robots who crash-land in the backyard of siblings Daisy and Robin.

The series is developed by Singapore's Scrawl Studios and the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) in co-production with DECODE, YTV and Hong Kong animation company Agogo Ent. Ltd. DECODE has worldwide distribution rights for this Canada/Hong Kong/Singapore treaty co-production.

Digital Headline News

Brian Simpson Appointed CEO of Keyframe Digital Prods.

Brian Simpson joins Keyframe Digital Prods. as its new ceo. Reporting to Keyframe Digital's founders, Darren Cranford and Clint Green, Simpson's mandate is to assume responsibility for the strategic direction and implementation of Keyframe's productions. He will be operating from the head office located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada.

Television Headline News

SCI FI Announces New Flash Gordon and Other Programming

SCI FI Channel announced at the Television Critic's Assoc. Tour that it has greenlit production on FLASH GORDON, based on the popular comic strip franchise. Production on the 22 one-hour episodes begins in Canada in early 2007. The series, produced by Reunion Pictures, is slated to debut on SCI FI this July, with a broadcast syndication window to follow.

Under an agreement with property owner King Features Syndicate, the new series is being produced by RHI's Robert Halmi Sr. and Robert Halmi Jr. (TIN MAN, LEGEND OF EARTHSEA, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS).

Animation Headline News

NASSCOM's Animation and Gaming India 2007 Wraps Up in Hyderabad

On Jan. 10, 2007, NASSCOM, the premier trade body of the IT software and services industry in India, closed its two-day NASSCOM Animation & Gaming India event in Hyderabad.

NASSCOM also released the annual report on the Animation and Gaming Industry in India -- 2007. Key findings of the report include an expected CAGR for Indian Animation industry at 25% over 2006-2010 and a CAGR of 72% over 2006-2010 for gaming.

Headline News

Fritz the Cat Producer Krantz Passes Away

FRITZ THE CAT producer Steve Krantz passed away Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007, in Los Angeles from complications of pneumonia, reports VARIETY. He was 83.

Krantz began as a writer-producer for Arthur Godfrey, Milton Berle and Kate Smith, eventually becoming the exec producer for Steve Allen's THE TONIGHT SHOW.

Born in New York, he earned his degree at Columbia College, followed by a stint in the Army.

Headline News

Ahn Upped to NBC Universal TV Networks Distribution EVP

Henry Ahn has been promoted to evp, NBCU Television Networks Distribution, responsible for all sales and sales support of NBCU's television content to cable, satellite and telco industries.

Ahn will continue to work closely with JB Perrette, president, NBCU Digital Distribution and his team, to deliver digital products to all of NBCU Television Networks Distribution's customers.

Animated Headline News

BKN Brings Three Hit Animated Properties To NATPE 2007

BKN Int'l AG reports that its wholly owned Spanish subsidiary BKN New Media SL is bringing three animated TV series to NATPE 2007. The company will have such 39x24 animated series as LEGEND OF THE DRAGON, DORK HUNTERS FROM OUTER SPACE and ZORRO -- GENERATION Z.

Film Headline News

Deadline Extended for Golden Star Shorts Fest

Golden Star Shorts FestHollywood, California, USAMarch 8-11, 2007Deadline: Jan. 15, 2007

Very Short Movies presents the Golden Star Shorts Fest, which will take place at the Egyptian Theatre. VSM is committed to generating exposure for short movies while providing filmmakers access to industry professionals, distribution partners and audiences worldwide.

Media Headline News

NATPE Partners With Achilles Media For 2007 Mobile ++

Scheduled sessions, an additional partnership and the appointment of an advisory board for the third annual NATPE Mobile++ summit presented by InfoSpace, Inc. were announced by Rick Feldman, president/ceo of the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE). The day-long event, produced and organized by Achilles Media, kicks off NATPE's annual Conference & Exhibition being held Jan. 15-18, 2007, at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.

Headline News

IFC Begins Airing Gunslinger Girl & Basilisk

Beginning Jan. 5, 2007, the Independent Film Channel will air a new anime block, featuring GUNSLINGER GIRL at 11:00 pm, followed by BASILISK at 11:30 pm.

Produced by Madhouse, the series is directed by Morio Asaka (STREET FIGHTER, CHOBITS, CARDCAPTOR SAKURA).

Home Headline News

Animator Hill Murdered in New Orleans Home

Independent filmmaker, Helen Hill, was shot to death in her New Orleans home on Jan. 4, 2007, reports ASSOCIATED PRESS. Hill's husband, physician Dr. Paul Gailiunas, was also injured in the attack. The couple had moved to the Faubourg Marigny area following the destruction of their home in the Mid-City section of the city as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

Police report that both were shot at their front door at approximately 5:30 am. No other details were made available.

Home Headline News

DIC Pacts Deal With AEC to Reach New Retail & Digital Channels

DIC Ent. inked a distribution deal with Alliance Ent. Corp. (AEC), a Source Interlink company through its NCircle Ent. division, for the home entertainment and non-exclusive digital rights in the U.S. and Canada for select animated and live-action titles in DIC's library. DIC properties will access for the new first time distribution at brick and mortar retail outlets, as well as options for delivery on digital platforms in the U.s. and Canada.

Cartoon Headline News

Cartoon Network Orders more Peppa Pig for U.S.

Cartoon Network has acquired the second season of PEPPA PIG, giving the English property a continued presence on the North American platform through 2007 & 2008.

The brand new season featuring new friends and storylines is in production. The award-winning PEPPA PIG will continue to air on Cartoon Network with an extended weekday slot from 10 minutes to 30 minutes, beginning in January and continuing throughout spring 2007.

Film Headline News

Imaginary Forces Designs Titles for We Are Marshall, Charlotte's Web

Imaginary Forces (IF) launches into the holiday season with main titles for WE ARE MARSHALL (opening Dec. 22) and CHARLOTTE'S WEB. IF creative director Karin Fong led the design effort working closely with directors McG on WE ARE MARSHALL and Gary Winick on CHARLOTTE'S WEB. Both projects required maintaining authenticity to the stories, but with vastly different design solutions.

Headline News

Edgar & Ellen Gives Pranks for Holidays

During the holiday season, Nicktoons Network is offering a new EDGAR & ELLEN, half-hour TV special, "Cold Medalists."

In "Cold Medalists," though they set out to sabotage their own town, Edgar and Ellen grudgingly team up with their nemesis, Stephanie Knightleigh, in the Nod's O-Limb-pics Winter Games. Together, they must defeat the rotten team from Smelterburg, bring the trophy to Nod's Limbs, and save their beloved sewers.

The special will air:* Saturday, Dec. 23, at 7:00 and 10:00 pm (ET) * Sunday, Dec. 24, at 7:00 and 10:00 pm (ET)

Canada Headline News

Ryan Larkin Resurfaces For MTV IDs

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 21, 2006 at 12:00am

Celebrated Canadian animator Ryan Larkin has created his first original material in almost 30 years exclusively for MTV. Nine months after MTV in Canada launched with a series of branding IDs inspired by Larkin's work, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker has created three, original, animated IDs for MTV. As a Christmas present to the elusive genius, Larkin's five-second bumpers will be the only channel IDs to air on MTV on Dec. 25-26, 2006.

Animation Headline News

NFB Animation Hothouse Call for Submissions

The National Film Board of Canada seeks submissions from emerging filmmakers (young and old), and artists intrigued by animation art, for the fourth edition of the Animation Hothouse. This years Hothouse runs from March 5-May 25, 2007, at the Animation Studio in Montreal. Six selected participants will direct a 30-second film, from creative inception all the way through final sound mix and video release in 12 intense weeks.

Submissions may come from across Canada and an artists fee will be paid.

Cartoon Headline News

Taffy Ent. Draws More Code Lyoko & Fantastic Four Deals

Taffy Ent., the worldwide distribution, brand management and entertainment company, has announced key sales for CODE LYOKO and FANTASTIC FOUR.

Jetix Latin America has committed to seasons three and four of CODE LYOKO, following the growing popularity of the first 52 episodes. The first and second seasons also air on Chile's national network TVN.

Headline News

Sesame Street's Grows In The Middle East

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 14, 2006 at 12:00am

Sesame Workshop and its partners in Egypt, Jordan and Palestine are committed to creating and providing positive media content for children in the Middle East through three localized SESAME STREET co-productions. These series, promoting girls' education, boys' empowerment and respect and understanding, will each be back in production or launching new shows in 2007.

Series Headline News

Amberwood Books Benjamin Bear in France, Brazil, Norway

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 14, 2006 at 12:00am

Amberwood Prods. announced that France Vision Services has licensed additional episodes of THE SECRET WORLD OF BENJAMIN BEAR to be broadcast on flights carried by Air France.

Jonathan Wiseman, vp, sales & acquisitions at Amberwood, said, "BENJAMIN BEAR continues to perform well in French-speaking territories and we are delighted by France Vision's continued support of the series."

THE SECRET WORLD OF BENJAMIN BEAR was commissioned by Canada's Family Channel. To date, the series (39x30, 78x11) has been licensed in more than 80 territories worldwide.

Effects Headline News

Entity FX Opens Vancouver Studio

Entity FX, creator of visual effects for motion pictures such as MIAMI VICE and THE AVIATOR and television series such as SMALLVILLE, has opened a new studio, providing full-service visual effects supervision and production in Vancouver, British Columbia. The new Canadian facility coincides with the expansion of Entity FX's U.S. operations in Los Angeles and will enhance the company's position in providing theatrical and episodic visual effects work in a market that topped more than $1 billion last year.