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Geographical Region: North America

Headline News Animation Community Helps Save Ottawa Fest

As reported by AWN on July 3, 2002, the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) has regained its primary funding from Telefilm Canada through the end of the fiscal year 2004. OIAF received more than 300 letters of support from all over the globe, which were forwarded to Telefilm. Supporters included Canadian animation companies such as Funbag, Head Gear, Bardel Animation and Atomic Cartoons; U.S.

Headline News Ottawa Saved… For Now

Chris Robinson, artistic director for the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), has informed AWN that Telefilm Canada, the federal film funding branch of the Ministry of Heritage, has renewed the festivals funding for the 2003-2004 fiscal year. More details will be posted when they arrive.

Headline News Snowden-Fine To Make Simon Simple With Studio B

The Oscar-winning creators of the acclaimed animated TV series BOB AND MARGARET, Alison Snowden and David Fine, are set to produce their latest primetime animation series, SIMON SIMPLE, with Vancouver's award-winning Studio B Productions. The 26x22 series is in development for Canadian broadcaster TELETOON.

Headline News Portfolio Entertainment Ups Two

Canadian TV execs are on the move to Toronto-based Portfolio Entertainment which has named Kate Horton as creative director and Stephen R. Kelley as head of sales and acquisition. Horton, previously director of development at Cabium Entertainment, where she produced MONSTER BY MISTAKE, then oversaw the development and implementation of a successful merchandising program for the show, which generated books, plus dolls and home video product. Horton will seek development partnerships for Portfolio.

Headline News CinéGroupe Goes Latin with HOLA

Montreal-based CinéGroupe Distribution, a division of CinéGroupe, has signed with HOLA Entertainment to sell its shows in Latin America and the Caribbean. Marie-Christine Dufour, evp of distribution, licensing and marketing for CinéGroupe said HOLA president Mercedes Alvarez "offers an unbeatable combination. She has extensive experience in television sales in Latin America, and, she is based in Montreal. She will be able to build on the relations CinéGroupe has acquired over the years, and solidify our position in this growing market." CinéGroupe (www.cinegroupe.com) is the animation partner of Lions Gate Entertainment.

Some of the shows Alvarez will handle include THE CHINESE SIAMESE CAT, (CinéGroupe/Sesame Workshop) and PIG CITY (CinéGroupe /AnimaKids). CinéGroupe has more than 800 half-hours of animation and live-action family programming. CinéGroupe is producing TRIPPING THE RIFT, a 3D animation series with Film Roman for primetime on the Sci Fi Channel (U.S.) and Space (Canada) plus P3K: PINOCCHIO 3000, a 3D animated feature with Animakids and Castelao.

Headline News South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut Comes to Comedy Central

Comedy Central plans to celebrate America's birthday on July 4, 2003 with a 1:00 am broadcast of SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT, uncensored by the cablenet with encore presentations July 5 and 6 at 1:00 am. The feature film based upon the hit series by Trey Parker and Matt Stone grossed more than $52 million in the U.S. and won both New York and L.A. Film Critics awards. It also received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, "Blame Canada."

Headline News The New Internet: The Next Big Thing?

The new Internet has gotten a lot of press in Europe and Asia, but is still relatively unknown in the United States. It was therefore a real stunner when John Osterholz, the director of architecture and interoperability for the Department of Defense (DoD), announced last week that the Pentagon would only buy networked products that conform to the new specification, starting in October of this year, and DoD hopes to be totally transitioned by 2008 that more than $30 billion of product and services per year.

Headline News Disney Books New Comics Deal With Gemstone

After a four-year hiatus for Disney comic books in the U.S. market, Disney Publishing Worldwide has signed a deal with Gemstone Publishing to bring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and other Disney favorites back onto the printed page. Gemstone will release the first two monthly comics, WALT DISNEY COMICS AND STORIES and UNCLE SCROOGE, in June at $6.95, while the first bi-monthly, DONALD DUCK ADVENTURES ($7.95), debuts in July, and monthlies DONALD DUCK AND FRIENDS and MICKEY MOUSE AND FRIENDS ($2.95), arrive in September.

Headline News Former Ottawa Film Festival Director Dies

Kelly O'Brien, former Ottawa Festival director in the '70s and 80s, died May 5, 2003, at age 50 at her home in Beaches, near Toronto in Canada. According to a report in the TORONTO STAR, she suffered from liver disease, but autopsy results were inconclusive, so the matter is still under police investigation.

Headline News ANIMAX Does Holiday Film in 2D Mix for Jellyman

Flash specialty studio ANIMAX is producing a 35mm-animated short film for Jellyman Prods., CATCHING KRINGLE, in a mix of 2D techniques. ANIMAX is using Flash, USAnimation and traditional hand animation for the holiday themed short, featuring the voices of Danny De Vito and John Rhy-Davies, with a cameo by Larry King. The film will be ready to exhibit at film and animation festivals in time for the holiday season.

Headline News DECODE Appoints Sharpe Licensing Agent for Franny's Feet

Leading childrens and family entertainment specialist, DECODE Entertainment in Toronto, has appointed Los Angeles-based The Sharpe Co. as worldwide licensing agent for its digital 2D animated preschool show FRANNY'S FEET. The series tells the exciting stories of a little girl whose fantastic feet take her on magical adventures when she tries on shoes in her grandfathers repair shop.

FRANNY'S FEET (13x22) has been commissioned by Channel Five in the U.K., ABC in Australia, France 5 and Teletoon in France, Discover UYK and Canada's TeleQuebec.

Headline News Holiday Programs Are Good to Bardel

Vancouver-based Bardel Entertainment seems to be doing exceptionally well with holiday programming. Bardel's big Leo Award-winning production, THE CHRISTMAS ORANGE, has recently been sold to SVT Sweden and is in final negotiations with TV2 Denmark and CBBC London. This family holiday classic has aired on ABC Family in the U.S., TELETOON in Canada, TV12 in Singapore, Asia TV in Hong Kong and Teletoon in France, charming audiences with its thoughtful message and unique 2D and Flash-animatied style.

Headline News eyeon Software Opens LA and Soho Offices

Due to the success of Digital Fusion and DFX+, eyeon Software Inc. has opened two new offices eyeon USA and eyeon Europe. Los Angeles-based eyeon USA is lead by Digital Fusion guru and director of business development, Rony Soussan, who has been influential in Digital Fusion's proliferation on the west coast, and has a long history as a digital compositor. Soussan offers expertise with both the product and the pipeline, as well as advanced training.

Headline News Hey Joel Mocks Music World in Animated Way

Bravo! NewStyleArtsChannel got animated with the world premiere of the new sitcom HEY JOEL on June 3, 2003 at 10:30 pm. Produced by Blueprint Entertainment and Curious Pictures in association with CHUM Television, this half-hour, 13-part adult-themed cartoon series depicts the adventures of Joel Stein, the host of a daily three-minute rock star interview show on the music channel VH1, and offers an irreverent behind-the-scenes look at the recording industry.

Headline News Russia Hooks Animation Prize at Banff

At the 24th Banff Rockie Awards (June 8-13, 2003), ABOUT A FISHERMAN AND A FISH, produced by Soyuzmultfilm Film Studio in Russia, won the Animation Program Award. The Banff student jury screened programs in the Animation and Children's and Youth categories and decided the International Student Jury Prize. The Animation prize was won by MONKEY DUST, produced by Talkback for the BBC, which depicts a nightmarish, nocturnal world, inhabited by the sad, the lonely and the emotionally crippled.

Headline News Annecy 2003 Award Winners

By Joan Kim | Saturday, June 7, 2003 at 12:00am

The coveted short film grand prize at the 27th International Festival of Animated Film at Annecy went to Koji Yamamura's ATAMA YAMA, while Serge Elissalde's VERTE was honored with the grand prize for Best TV Animation Production. 295 films were screened in the "Annecy 2003" official selection. The awards were presented at the closing ceremony held on Saturday, June 7, 2003. Congratulations to all the winners!

The Short and Feature Fiction Films jury, made up of Susie Campbell, Mikhail Aldashin, Giannalberto Bendazzi, Gabor Csupo and Bill Plympton, has awarded:

Headline News MOONDANCE Announces Winners

Three animated shorts were among the winners at MOONDANCE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2003. The record number festival attendees reported opportunities were offered to them during the four-day festival (May 15-18, 2003 in Boulder, Colorado) to sell their screenplays, films, stageplays, short stories, film scores, libretti and TV pilots, while forging new alliances within the U.S. and the international film and entertainment industry. The event featured workshops and panels, networking parties, an awards ceremony and reception plus the annual Moondance labyrinth. Speakers and participants came from the U.S., Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Brazil, New Zealand, Slovakia, UK, Austria, Belgium, Lithuania, Finland, Mexico and other countries. The animation winners were:

Headline News The Matrix Meets Anime in Comprehensive DVD

The much ballyhooed anthology of nine MATRIX shorts premiered June 3, 2003 on DVD ($24.98 suggested retail from Warner Home Video), with its unprecedented fusion of computer animation and anime, delving deeper into the complex virtual world of the Matrix and featuring some of the top anime creators, including Yoshiaki Kawajiri (VAMPIRE HUNTER D), Shinchiro Waanable (COWBOY BEBOP) and Koji Morimoto (AKIRA'S animation supervisor).

Headline News 2003 Scientific and Technical Awards Apps Are in the Mail

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences mailed entry forms on May 27, 2003 for the 2003 Scientific and Technical Awards to more than 850 companies and individuals, including past winners, within the sci-tech community both in the United States and abroad. All entry applications must be submitted to the Academy no later than Friday, August 1, 2003.

"We want to begin compiling a list of achievements that can be considered by the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee for recognition at the 76th Academy Awards," said committee chair Richard Edlund.

Headline News ASIFA-East Festival Results Are In

ASIFA-East has announced the recipients of their 34th annual Animation Festival. Unlike other festivals, all entries are screened and are voted on by the members who attend the screenings. ASIFA-east is the Eastern U.S. chapter of ASIFA international, which was founded in 1960 by a group of animators to increase the visibility of animated films worldwide. Awards were handed out at 6:00 pm May 4, 2003 at the Tishman Auditorium, 66 West 12th Street in Manhattan, New York.

Headline News Click 3x Draws Blueprint for Food Net Sweepstakes

New York-based Click 3x recently finished up production on a spot promoting Food Network's "Dine In Dine Out Sweepstakes." The idea for the 30-second spot germinated with the cable net's in-house creative staff, after which Click 3x's Creative Director Iain Greenway and his compatriots were enlisted to design the visuals and produce the ad. The commercial interjects Food Network personalities into a stylized 3D kitchen and/or restaurant setting. The visual concept is reminiscent of architectural blueprints, featuring objects rendered in stroked outlines.

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