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Geographical Region: North America

Headline News Square Enix U.S.A. Announces Final Fantasy X-2

Square Enix U.S.A. Inc. has announced that FINAL FANTASY X-2 will ship in early December 2003. The company also announced that FINAL FANTASY X has been added to Sony Computer Entertainment America's "Greatest Hits" series.

"We are very pleased with success that FINAL FANTASY X has achieved, both in sales and industry recognition, and excited to continue the journey in FINAL FANTASY X-2," said Jun Iwasaki, ceo and president of Square Enix USA. "While FINAL FANTASY X-2 is a sequel, it is in many ways a new game and the first in the series led by an all-female cast."

Headline News Mar Vista Entertainment Launched

Whamo Ents partners Joseph Szew, Fernando Szew and Mar Gaya, along with PorchLight Ents Michael Jacobs and Anchor Bay Ents George Port, have formed Mar Vista Entertainment, reported DAILY VARIETY. The new company will produce and distribute family and children's productions. Joseph Szew will serve as president/ceo and his brother will be managing director. Based in Barcelona, Gaya will be the director of European operations. Jacobs, former svp of worldwide sales for PorchLight, will serve as president of production and distribution.

Headline News DECODE Signs U.K. Video Deal for Save-Ums!

DECODE Entertainment is building its licensing and merchandising designs by signing a deal with Universal to acquire U.K. home entertainment rights to its preschool property, THE SAVE-UMS!

The Save-Ums! follows 3D action heroes who aim to help prepare preschoolers for their role in the 21st century. The pintsize Save-ums utilize whimsical helicopters, space ships and other gadgets to solve problems and nurture an interest in technology as well as critical thinking.

Headline News Send your Films to the Land of the Northern Lights

Anchorage International Film FestivalAnchorage, Alaska, USADecember 12 - 21, 2003Deadline: October 1, 2003

The Anchorage Film Festivals focus is to highlight independent cinema. This year's event will conclude with screenings at the prestigious Edward Albee Theater Conference in Valdez, Alaska. At least 600 national and international stars, playwrights, directors, actors and other talented people attend. For more information visit www.anchoragefilmfestival.com.

Headline News Wonderful Days Tanks at Korean Box Office

The most expensive animated feature produced in Korea, WONDERFUL DAYS, has tanked at the box office in its native country. The film cost $11 million to produce, but has disappeared from theaters after only two weeks in release, garnering a paltry $1.9 million. The film even debuted behind DreamWorks SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS, which was a disappointment in the U.S.

Headline News Anime Network Teams with Waldenbooks

The Anime Network has announced a nationwide in-store signage promotion with Waldenbooks, America's largest mall based book retailer. Starting August 1, 2003, Waldenbooks will promote the Anime Network with signs placed in the manga section of its stores. The deal is an extension of the partnership between Waldenbooks and the networks parent company A. D. Vision, Inc., which brings home-entertainment anime products in Waldenbooks locations.

Headline News A.D. Vision Announces Launch of ADV Toys

A.D. Vision Inc. has officially announced the founding of ADV Toys, the firm's new merchandise division. Word of the new arm was first hinted at Anime Expo 2003. The new division will create toys and collectible merchandise based upon the company's film, manga and original content properties.

Headline News SAFO Announces Films

The Student Animation Festival Ottawa (SAFO) has announced the films in and out of competition for its 2003 event. California Institute of the Arts led the pack with seven film selected, followed by Royal College of Art with three films getting spots. The categories in the official competition are High School/Secondary Student Film (11 films), Post-Secondary Student Films (11 films), Post-Secondary Graduate Films (24 films), First Film (9 films), Childrens Animation (15 films) and Best School Showreel (6 schools).

Headline News LevyMann Ent. Brings itty bitty HeartBeats to Toys

LevyMann Entertainment has entered into an agreement with Toys "R" Us to release its direct-to-video, animated musical pre-school series, ITTY BITTY HEARTBEATS. As part of the deal, Toys R Us will also carry a combo pack featuring a VHS of four eleven-minute episodes, a musical CD and two plush toys of the series' lead characters, CoolHeart and SweetHeart. All products will be exclusive to all Toys "R" Us stores beginning October 21, 2003, before launching wide 30 days later.

Headline News Join the Jubilee in Kansas City: Send Your Films

Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee 2004Kansas City, Kansas, USAApril 16-22, 2004Deadline: December 15, 2003

The Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee 2004 is a juried festival for short films under 30 minutes from across the USA and around the world. Its open division has subdivisions of animation, documentary, narrative, experimental and underground. The event includes screenings, seminars, jazz/blues and a BBQ. For more info, call: (913) 649-0244 or visit www.kcjubilee.org.

Headline News Visual Effects Society Taking Submissions for VES Awards 2004

VES Awards 2004Hollywood, California, USAFebruary 18, 2004Deadline: December 1, 2003

The Visual Effects Society (VES) is taking submissions for the 2004 VES Awards. Participants can submit their entry forms for any one of the 23 categories through the VES Awards online submission site at www.vesawards.com. The 2nd annual event will be held on February 18, 2003 at the Hollywood Palladium. The deadline for submission is December 1, 2003. For the first time, a special Lifetime Achievement Award will be given.

Headline News Mercury Filmworks Opens Third Studio in Ottawa

Vancouver-based Mercury Filmworks is broadening its digital production scope in Canada with the addition of an Ottawa-based animation studio. Under the direction of former Funbag animation director Jerry Popowich (KING, UNDERGRADS, FREAKY STORIES, WATERSHIP DOWN, NEVER ENDING STORY, THE SIMPSONS, THE CRITIC, PINK PANTHER, TALES FROM THE CRYPT KEEPER), Mercury Filmworks new studio will offer design, pre-production and digital animation capabilities.

Headline News Activision Calls Lead Actors to Active Voice Duty in Game

To further immerse gamers into its gritty, first-person war-torn thriller CALL OF DUTY, Activision Inc. has enlisted Jason Statham and Giovanni Ribisi to provide their trademark voice talent in key roles. Additionally, writer/producer Michael Schiffer (CRIMSON TIDE, COLORS, LEAN OF ME, THE FOUR FEATHERS and THE PEACEMAKER) has added his touch to the game's action-filled script. CALL OF DUTY will be available in fall 2003 for the PC and is rated "RP" (Rating Pending) by the ESRB.

Headline News DVD Awards Coming Soon

6th Annual DVD AwardsUniversal City, California, USAAugust 20, 2003

The 6th Annual DVD Awards is the premiere awards ceremony for the DVD industry. Hosted by famed film critic Leonard Maltin, the event celebrates the art of making DVDs. This year the event will feature a Viewer's Choice Award. DVD publishers, film studios, production companies, mastering facilities and individual producers are invited to participate in the awards program honoring the best in DVD. For more information visit http://www.recordingmedia.org/dvd-awards.html.

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