Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) is restructuring its worldwide television distribution operation, hiring senior management and bringing a number of new high profile programs to buyers around the globe. Seasoned distribution exec Jim Packer assumes the new title of president and remains in charge of television distribution worldwide, including U.S. barter sales and syndication, as well as all emerging forms of television programming distribution on a worldwide basis.
Geographical Region: North America
Illumitoon Ent. Ltd., a newly formed collaboration of business and creative professionals focused on delivering customized entertainment to the North American markets, announced that it will be utilizing Westlake Ent. Inc. for home video distribution on its new acquisitions, including BEET THE VANDEL BUSTER and AM DRIVER. The announcement comes on the heels of Westlake Ent.s announcement of the companys repositioning in the marketplace to release first-run features, including theatrical and new title acquisitions in other key core categories.
Amy Pascal has been promoted to co-chairman of Sony Pictures Ent. (SPE) and has extended her deal with the studio to 2011.
In addition to her new title, Pascal will continue to serve in her role as chairman of the studio's Motion Picture Group. Michael Lynton, chairman/ceo of SPE, and the two will continue to report to Sir Howard Stringer, chairman/ceo of Sony Corp.
Olivia King Canter joins Entertainment Rights Plc. as director of sales for Latin America and Canada. She will be responsible for driving ERs business in these key territories and will be based in ERs New York City office.
King Canter report to Kathleen Hricik, evp/md of the United States of America, Canada and Latin America, as well as heads up ERs U.S. operations.
Miami International Film Festival 2007Miami, Florida, USAMarch 2-11, 2007Deadline: Oct. 6, 2006
The 24th annual Miami International Film Festival brings the best of world cinema to South Florida and plays a leading role in maintaining and further enriching its film culture. MIFF uses the unique geographical and cultural position of Miami to be a premiere venue for the exhibition of international and U.S. films, with a special focus on Ibero-American cinema. Both juried and audience awards are given in Documentary and Dramatic categories.
Anime Network has reached a new distribution milestone. Americas #1 anime channel is now available to 40 million homes across the U.S. and Canada a 233% increase and more than three times its reach in less than two years.
We are obviously pleased to have made such significant progress, said Kevin McFeeley, Anime Networks vp of affiliate sales. Yet, we are even more encouraged by the possibilities for even further growth as we seek out new and exciting platforms on which to deliver content to our fans.
Pierre Berton's THE SECRET WORLD OF OG premieres as an animated series on CBC Television in Canada, Saturday, Sept. 9 at 9:30 am. The series of nine episodes will continue to air weekly on Saturday mornings.
Production will soon begin on DAMBUSTERS, the World War II adventure based on one of the most daring missions in aeronautic military history, for Universal Pictures in association with StudioCanal. Peter Jackson will produce and vfx vet Christian Rivers will make his directorial debut.
Rainmaker Animation & Visual Effects has entered into an agreement to acquire all of Mainframe Ent., with the new corporate name to be Rainmaker Ent. Inc. (REI).
This was the result of Rainmaker acquiring the balance of the 38% of the outstanding shares of Mainframe not owned by Rainmakers majority owned subsidiary, RNK Capital Ltd. Partnership (RNK Capital LP), by way of an amalgamation, resulting in a cash purchase price of $0.24 per share.
IDT Ent. has been renamed Starz Media and Starz Ent. Group has been renamed Starz Ent., both wholly owned subsidiaries of Starz Llc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corp. Liberty recently acquired IDTE from IDT Corp. Robert B. Clasen will serve as chairman/ceo of both entities and of Starz Llc., which will be the umbrella company overseeing the two operating units.
Warner Bros. TV has hired David Nutter to helm the pilot for THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, prompting Fox Broadcasting to officially greenlight production on the TERMINATOR-based project, reports VARIETY. Andy Vajna and Mario Kassar's C2 Pictures, which produced TERMINATOR 3, is producing with Warner Bros. TV. Nutter will also exec produce with Kassar and Vajna.
Fox picked up the script from exec producer Josh Friedman (WAR OF THE WORLDS) last fall.
Casting will begin immediately, with filming set to start early next year in New Mexico.
50th San Francisco International Film Festival San Francisco, California, USAApril 26May 10, 2007Deadline: Dec. 8, 2006
The San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF) is a celebration of international and independent film that has brought progressive and discerning Bay Area film audiences together with the best films and filmmakers in the world since 1957.
On Nov. 14, viewers will shout "Andale! Andale! Arriba! Arriba!" when Warner Home Video (WHV) releases LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION VOLUME FOUR ($64.92) and LOONEY TUNES SPOTLIGHT COLLECTION VOLUME FOUR ($26.99).
VIZ Media Llc. has closed deals with three of the largest terrestrial television companies in Latin America for two animated series from Japan NARUTO and ZATCH BELL! America TV (Peru) has acquired 52 episodes each of ZATCH BELL! and NARUTO ; TV Globo (Brazil) has acquired 52 episodes of ZATCH BELL! and Televideo Services picked up 52 episodes each of ZATCH BELL! and NARUTO for Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Paraguay and Honduras.
At the Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany, Microsoft Corp. unveiled several new products to enhance its gaming line the Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0, Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows and Habu mouse in alliance with Razer USA Ltd. Guided by consumer feedback, these new products address specific gamer demands and demonstrate Microsoft Hardware's increased focus on the PC gaming market.
USA Network has ordered 13 one-hour episodes of the Emmy-nominated series THE 4400. The series will return to USA Network in summer 2007 with production scheduled to begin in Vancouver in early 2007. THE 4400 is produced by CBS Paramount Network Television in Association with Sky Television, Renegade 83 and American Zoetrope for USA Network.
San Diego Latino Film Festival 2007San Diego, California, USAMarch 8 - 18, 2007Deadline: Nov. 1, 2006
Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) 2007 Nashville, Tennessee, USAApril 19-26, 2007 Deadline: Nov. 15, 2006
5th Annual Visual Effects Society (VES) AwardsHollywood, California, USAFeb. 11, 2007Deadline: Dec. 2, 2006
The Visual Effects Society (VES) presents the 2007 VES Awards, a celebration of the best in visual effects. The 5th annual event will be held at the Kodak Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland. Dennis Muren will received the VES Award for Lifetime Achievement this year.
The Irish animation industry has had an excellent year and the most recent success has been the selection of the Irish animated feature film THE UGLY DUCKLING AND ME, for the Toronto International Film Festival, which takes place next month. It will screen as part of the Sprockets Family Zone, which is dedicated to featuring films that represent the best in contemporary international childrens cinema.
REALVIZs Stitcher Unlimited 5.5 now contains ImmerVisions IVP standard file format. The ImmerVision IVP format allows panoramas to be played on multiple platforms and devices using PURE Player. Furthermore, with the PURE Player for Java and PURE Player PRO for Java viewers, creators can easily load panoramic images onto any computer or website without installing a plug-in.
Viborg, Denmarks The Animation Workshop announces its fall of 2006 courses. The Animation Workshop operates with the support of the MEDIA Plus Programme of the European Union, Viborg Kommune, Nordisk Film (Egmont) and Den Vestdanske Filmpulje. Courses include:
* 3D Artist for Animated Features, TV Series and GamesAdvanced modeling and set-designSept. 11 to Dec. 15, 2006
Voice recording has begun for the independent, CG-animated feature, THE LEGEND OF SECRET PASS. Lord Prods. Llc. and Strategic Dreamers Llc., in conjunction with JC2 Animated Ent. and associates Mad Cow Pictures, 310 Studios and Digital Dimension, are producing the film set for release in 2008.
Anime distribution vet Marvin Gleicher joins Navarre Corp. as vp of DVD content acquisition, primary responsibility for acquiring and marketing DVD entertainment content for the companys distribution segment.
BBC Worldwide Americas has licensed a second season of DOCTOR WHO to SCI FI kicking off with a two-hour premiere on Sept. 29, 2006, that will include the Christmas Invasion special in which David Tennant (HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE) was introduced as the 10th Time Lord.
The Doctor returns with his feisty young companion, Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), and together they will travel through time and space battling new and returning aliens and monsters.