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Geographical Region: North America

Headline News Cal Arts Students Sweep Animation Category at College TV Awards

Cal Art students swept the traditional animation category at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation's 25th Annual College Television Awards Competition. Cal Arts' David Derrick, ByoungJik Lee and Chris Choy took first, second and third respectively for their toon work. Ringling School of Art & Design students did well in the non-traditional animation category taking second and third with first place going to Craig Van Dyke of Brigham Young.

Headline News Cinar Becomes The Cookie Jar Ent.

With the acquisition of the company by former Nelvana execs Michael Hirsh and Toper Taylor complete, Cinar's name has been officially changed to Cookie Jar Ent. The once publicly traded company will now be a private entity. The principals include Hirsh and Taylor along with Steve and Patty Carson, TD Capital Canadian Private Equity Partners and Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS). The overall Cookie Jar Group also includes leading education companies Carson-Dellosa and HighReach Learning.

Headline News Alliance Atlantis Lands Broadcast Deals for Dragon Booster in UK & Australia

Alliance Atlantis has announced is has secured broadcast deals with Channel Five and BSKYB in the U.K. and an Australian broadcast deal with ABC TV Australia for its new CGI animated childrens property, DRAGON BOOSTER. U.K. digital TV platform BSKYB secured Pay-TV rights to the series, which will air on Sky One, the U.K.'s leading non-terrestrial entertainment channel, staring in January 2005. Channel Five, who secured Free-TV rights, will air the series in their branded "Shake" block on Saturdays in 2005.

Headline News Kaydara Announces Middleware Solutions for Game Developers

Kaydara Inc. has announced its first middleware solution for game developers, HumanIK | Middleware, a character animation and rigging technology. With HumanIK | Middleware, game developers will now be able to easily embed the character animation technology found in MOTIONBUILDER directly into their game engine. The new product will be available in the second quarter 2004.

Headline News MIP-TV News: Corsham & Mad House To Co-Produce Natural Born Kittens

U.K. production company Corsham Entertainment has agreed in principle to co-produce with Japanese anime production company Madhouse the 26x30 plus comedy/anime series for teens, NATURAL BORN KITTENS.

Corsham was founded by Oscar-winning STAR WARS producer Gary Kurtz and BIONICLE co-creator Alastair Swinnerton, while Madhouse is one of the top studios in Japan, with credits ranging from feature films NINJA SCROLL, METROPOLIS, VAMPIRE HUNTER D, ANIMATRIX, MILLENNIUM ACTRESS and TOKYO GODFATHERS to TV series CARDCAPTORS and BEYBLADE.

Headline News MIP-TV News: MicroTainment Hopes MIP Buyers Will Warm to The Frost Family

MicroTainment is offering THE FROST FAMILY, a half-hour animated series for primetime at MIP-TV. The combination 2D/3D series will be available for fall 2005. Micortainment will be located in the Canadian Pavilion, #0.01, on the main floor of the Palais.

Headline News MIP-TV News: DECODE Toons Into MIP-TV with Franny's Feet & King

DECODE Entertainment will have two animated series available at MIP-TV -- pre-school hit FRANNY'S FEET and 2D adventure show KING. Other product includes THE SAVE-UMS! and THE BLOBHEADS. During the market, DECODE will be based on the Don Juan boat, Jette Albert-Edouard, phone +33.04.9.298.7124.

Headline News MIP-TV News: Year-Old Icon Animation Brings Flash Series to MIP-TV

Icon Animation will be bringing a full slate of animated projects to MIP-TV. The company hopes to secure distribution and co-production deals for its various series.

VITAMINIX (31x2) is Icon's first co-production with Digital y Cual. The series seeks to introduce the world of food and their vitamin and mineral content to adults and children. The Flash production is finished and available worldwide.

Headline News MIP-TV News: VGI Entertainment Brings 3 Pre-School Series to MIP-TV

VGI Entertainment Inc. will be presenting three pre-school series in its booth R28.13 at MIP-TV. The series include SERGEANT STRIPES, EBB AND FLO and BLANCHE.

Produced by Ealing Animation and A Works TV Production in association with CBBC, SERGEANT STRIPE (26x10) features Stripes, a police station cat, who dreams he is a police sergeant with his very own police force. VGI launched the new 2D series at MIPCOM 2003 and the show receives a 33% audience share across all channels kids4-6 year olds for the BBC.

Headline News MIP-TV News: Sony Hopes To Soar With Astro Boy AT MIP-TV

Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) is bringing its big animated series, ASTRO BOY, to MIP-TV at stand M5.01. ASTRO BOY is amongst a diverse slate from SPTI, which includes Stephen Kings KINGDOM HOSPITAL, JOAN OF ARCADIA, MISSING, THE RESIDENTS, BEWITCHED IN TOKYO, SEA OF SOULS and POOR ANASTASIA.

Headline News Shuffle USA Launched to Build Roster of Commercial Directors

Shuffle Inc., an international television commercial production company with offices in Venice, California, and Tokyo, Japan, has launched Shuffle USA as a new operating unit.

Headline News Peak Ent. Announces Licensing Agreement With Radica UK

Peak Entertainment Holdings Inc. has announced a licensing agreement with Radica Games Ltd. for Peak's MONSTER IN MY POCKET characters for Radica's Skannerz handheld products. Launched in 2001, Skannerz handheld device scans the UPC code of consumer products, allowing users to download monsters, magic potions and weapons to use in battle.

Headline News Sony Pictures Mobile Announces New Spider-Man 2 Mobile Products

Sony Pictures Mobile has announced its roster of mobile entertainment products inspired by this summer's SPIDER-MAN 2. The premium mobile entertainment products will be available in the United States exclusively to Sprint PCS Vision customers for a limited time beginning in May.

Headline News Square Enix Acquires UIEvolution

Square Enix Co. Ltd. has acquired UIEvolution, Inc., a leading wireless software company, through its subsidiary, Square Enix U.S.A. Inc. This move is in hopes to capitalize on the growing mobile market in the U.S. Square Enix invested approximately $4 million in UIEvolution in December 2003. UIEvolution will function as the research and development center for core technologies that will help Square Enix produce a new type of network-based entertainment.

Headline News Northern Lights Helps VOOM

New York's Northern Lights Post recently completed a series of image spots for Rainbow DBS' recently launched VOOM network, the inaugural provider of exclusively HD programming for the home entertainment market. In addition, the spots were so well received, that Northern Lights also recently completed editing four one-hour episodes of MOTOPIG, a mud-streaked, adrenaline-filled gameshow based in the world of motocross.

Headline News Comedy Central Recasts Doug Herzog as President

Nearly a decade after his first stint at Comedy Central began, programming and network-branding guru Doug Herzog rejoins the all-comedy channel as president, replacing Larry Divney, who will retire. Herzog will be based in the network's Los Angeles office, as of early May 2004.

Headline News Kaydara Launches MOTIONBUILDER 5.5 Professional

Kaydara Inc. announced the release of MOTIONBUILDER 5.5 Professional, the latest version of the company's popular realtime 3D character animation software. With added support for Python scripting and CgFX shaders, MOTIONBUILDER 5.5 Professional allows 3D animators to create complex character set-ups and animation sequences in minutes instead of the days and weeks required by other systems.

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