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Geographical Region: North America

Sega Headline News

SEGA Acquires Notable San Francisco-Based Developer

SEGA Holdings U.S.A. Inc. has acquired acclaimed developer Secret Level Inc. to establish new internal development arm in North America. Founded in 1999 and headed by Jeremy Gordon, San Francisco-based Secret Level is a leading videogame developer well-known in the industry for developing cutting-edge next-generation technology.

The Secret Level, Inc. development studio will continue to operate out of its current office in San Francisco.

Music Headline News

Sacramento Fest Celebrates Music & Film

The Sacramento International Film & Music Festival 2006Sacramento, California, USAAugust 2-6, 2006Deadline: May 26, 2006

The Sacramento International Film And Music Festival brings the world of independent cinema to the California capital. Screenings will be both competition and non-competition, with special categories for music videos, social impact documentaries and student films. Go to www.sacfilm.com for more information.

Festival Headline News

Chicago International Children's Film Fest Now Open For Entries

Chicago International Children's Film Festival 2006Chicago, Illinois, USAOctober 19-29, 2006Deadline: May 30, 2006

Now in its 23rd year, The Chicago International Children's Film Festival is the largest and longest running festival of films for children in the U.S. Last year the festival screened 220 films and videos from 40 countries for audiences of 24,000 children and families. It is the only Academy Award qualifying childrens festival in the world.

Headline News

Jetix Europe Acquires Multi-Territory Pay TV Rights To Planet Sketch

Jetix Europe announced the Pay TV rights acquisition of Aardman Animation and DECODE Ent.s co-production PLANET SKETCH. The CGI animated comedy sketch show will air on Jetix Europe Channels in Scandinavia, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Central and Eastern Europe (including Poland, Turkey and Greece), Middle East, Israel and Netherlands.

Film Headline News

Stony Brook Film Fest Looking for Toons

2006 Stony Brook Film FestivalLong Island, New York, USAJuly 20-29, 2006Deadline: May 1, 2006

The Stony Brook Film Festival is a filmmaker-friendly, well-attended festival, which takes place at a 1000+ seat theatre with a 40-foot wide screen. It features independent features and shorts in competition; premieres, special screenings, filmmaker panels and receptions. The event is held at Staller Center for the Arts on the campus of Stony Brook University. For more information, visit www.stonybrookfilmfestival.com.

Entertainment Headline News

IEMA & VSDA Form One Trade Group

The Interactive Entertainment Merchants Assoc. (IEMA) and the Video Software Dealers Assoc. (VSDA) have voted to merge into a single trade association to represent the retailers and distributors of video and videogame products. The merger will bring together mass merchants, video specialty stores, videogame specialty retailers, online merchants, electronics retailers, entertainment combo stores, and others that retail and wholesale DVDs, console videogames and computer videogames.

Universal Headline News

Universal & Mattel Form Worldwide Marketing & Distribution DVD Alliance

Universal Studios and Mattel today (April 11, 2006) announced an unprecedented, multi-picture, multi-year alliance for worldwide marketing and distribution of feature-length DVDs. This will commence with a new fall release for Mattels hugely successful Barbie Ent. franchise and a first-ever, feature-length movie for the successful Polly Pocket! brand.

Effects Headline News

Anthem to Serve IDT’s Masters of Horror Second Season

Anthem Visual Effects has once again been tapped to create visual effects for IDT Ent.s anthology series MASTERS OF HORROR, now in its second season.

This new season, a series of 13 original one-hour movies in HD produced by IDT in association with Industry Ent. and Nice Guy Prods., will feature a creative mixture of both former and new MASTERS directors and writers.

Brown Headline News

HIT Ent. Now Property Owners of Wobbly Land

London-based HIT Ent. has acquired the worldwide rights to WOBBLY LAND, a unique childrens property from Irish production company Brown Bag Films.

Created by Cat Little, the WOBBLY LAND story is set in a "fuzzy felt" world, a topsy turvy place that looks like a soft, bouncy play mat and where trees squeak when you hug them and houses are connected together by slides. The series celebrates play and encourages children to use their imagination to entertain and express themselves.

Production on the 26x5 series is due for completion in spring 2007.

Festival Headline News

DIY Book Festival Wants Your Indie Comics

2006 DIY Book Festival Los Angeles, California, USAOctober 7, 2006Deadline: September 25, 2006

The 2006 DIY Book Festival will host its fifth annual program celebrating the success of independent authors and publishers.

The DIY Book Festival will consider self-published or independent publisher non-fiction, fiction, biography/autobiography, children's books, teenage, how-to, audio/spoken word, photography, art, comics, 'zines, fan fiction, poetry and e-books published on or after Jan. 1, 2004.

Headline News

Icon Animation’s Vitaminix Snapped Up By International Broadcasters

Barcelona-based Icon Animation has signed a raft of programming deals at MIPTV 2006 for its edu-tainment series VITAMINIX (www.vitaminix.tv). Panama free TV channel TV7 (Corp. Medcom), UEA cabsat channel E-Junior, TV Andorra and Digiturk in Turkey are the latest broadcasters to sign up for the animated healthy eating show aimed at kids. In addition, Icon Animation has signed an output deal with Al Sayyar Art Prod. for the Middle East and 33x26 animated series MIMI & MR. BOBO.

Season Headline News

Plaza Sésamo Heads Back In Studio For New Season

PLAZA SÉSAMO has begun production on its tenth season. Shooting in Televisa's San Angel studios, the new season focuses on Healthy Habits and includes original segments such as "Plaza Olimpiadas," in which well-known Mexican and Latin American athletes Ana Guevara, KiKin Fonseca and Fernando Platas encourage children and their families to lead a safe and balanced lifestyle through exercise and healthy eating habits. In "Cantando por una fruta," actor Adal Ramones hosts an AMERICAN IDOL parody-a singing contest starring fruit Muppets.

Headline News

TV2 Denmark Makes Major Commitment To DECODE Shows

DECODE Ent. has made a raft of sales to TV2 Denmark. Two innovative series created and co-produced with Aardman Animations, CHOP SOCKY CHOOKS and PLANET SKETCH have been acquired by the Danish broadcaster alongside DECODEs pre-school show THE SAVE-UMS.

Josh Scherba, sales exec at DECODE Ent., said, PLANET SKETCH is going from strength to strength and were confident that CHOP SOCKY CHOOKS will have a similar impact. THE SAVE-UMS! also continues to be popular, and its great to have three of our shows lined up for TV2s kids schedule.

Headline News

Taffy Ent. Signs Licensing Deal for SamSam

Taffy Ent. has signed a major licensing deal with Spin Master for debut show SAMSAM.

Launching at MIP-TV and represented by Taffy Ent., SAMSAM is a new comicbook based 3D animated television property produced by Bayard Jeunesse Animation in HD with a first season of 52x7. Toronto-based Spin Master Ltd. has been granted the master toy license for the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Spin Master will initially focus on figures, plush, role-play and activity toy categories as well as a range of its trademark Marshmallow foam furniture.

Headline News

Cookie Jar Nets Spider Riders

Cookie Jar Ent. enters the boys action arena with the launch of the 52 half-hour action-adventure series SPIDER RIDERS, a co-production between Cookie Jar Ent. and leading Japanese advertising agency, Yomiko. SPIDER RIDERS has made its debut at MIP-TV. Cookie Jar heads into the market with the companys first sale to TELETOON, Canadas all-animation channel, which will debut the series using an interesting mix of a movie premiere and weekly timeslots culminating in a daily strip show starting June 2006. animation is being produce by Japans Bee Train.

Series Headline News

Toopy and Binoo Invade MIP-TV

Prix Jeunesse 2006 finalist TOOPY AND BINOO is invading MIP-TV. An original production from Canadas preschool broadcaster Treehouse, TOOPY AND BINOO is produced by Spectra Animation and distributed by Spectra International Distribution. The series has been airing for several months in both English and French.

Headline News

Carrere Group Nabs Cotoons Rights

Carrere Group has obtained the international distribution rights to COTOONS. This animated series of 26 episodes is produced by Zone 3 in Canada and Film en Stock in France. Carrere Group will handle all television sales in the world, excluding the co-production territories Canada and France.

Kids Headline News

Nelvana's Jacob Two-Two Breaks onto AOL’s KOL

American kids on the AOL KOL service will now get the chance to watch Nelvana's JACOB TWO-TWO. As its first English-language U.S. distribution deal for this property, Nelvana took an unconventional approach by tapping the growing online medium to showcase its popular cartoon.

Kids Headline News

Nat Geo Kids Ups Michael Karsh to Manage Current Series & Development

National Geographic Television & Films (NGT&F) Kids programming and production unit has promoted Michael Karsh to manager, current series & development. Karsh will serve as the primary exec on several projects in various stages of development and production.

Animation Headline News

Hacker Attack Brings Down Animation Websites

By Joe Strike | Tuesday, March 28, 2006 at 12:00am

At the tail end of 2005, a computer hacker calling himself "the Persian Fox" began attacking hundreds of U.S. websites, including scores run by animation companies.

You keep abusing, Islams almighty Prophet with disgusting and disgraceful cartoons using excuses of freedom of speech reads the onscreen message (including the misplaced comma) that replaced the sites regular content. The majority of sites hacked, however, have no connection to the recent uproar over Danish cartoons belittling Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.

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