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Geographical Region: North America

Headline News Who Will Animate Fox's Cat and Mouse?

Now that director Kevin Lima (TARZAN and 102 DALMATIANS) has been signed to helm Fox's live-action/animated CAT AND MOUSE next year, the search is on to see who will perform the 2D animation for the opening 10 minutes of the comedy. According to a spokesman, the production team is meeting with animators and studios in L.A., New York and Canada. But it has not been determined whether an animation director and crew or a one-stop shop will be hired.

Headline News Tron Comic to Hit Shelves

Quebec City, Canada-based 88 MPH Studios, Inc. and Disney Publishing Worldwide have announced the introduction of a new monthly TRON comic book series based on the groundbreaking 1982 movie. The first four-part mini-series will hit comic book stores in the U.S. and Canada this winter. 88 MPH Studios will develop comic books based on both the original movie and the new game TRON 2.0, which will be released this August through Buena Vista Games.

Headline News Bauhaus Software Pacts with TVPaint

Bauhaus Software Inc., a new digital visual effects provider, has formed a strategic partnership with TVPaint Developpement Inc. for product development, marketing and distribution of TVPaint technologies. Bauhaus Software and TVPaint are combining their expertise to develop a new generation of cross platform computer graphics software for visual effects artists, video professionals and animators. These new products will be sold and distributed under the Bauhaus Software brand.

Headline News SPTI Ups LeGoy to SVP of European Sales

Keith LeGoy, svp of sales, Europe, at Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI), was promoted to md, Latin America, relocating from London to Miami. Dorien Sutherland, who held the post at SPTI since March 1994, has left the company to pursue other interests and consulted to SPTI during the transition period.

Michael Grindon, president of SPTI, said LeGoy's most recent efforts, "have led to significant improvements in our licensing business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and he is well prepared to assume this new leadership role."

Headline News KOCH Gets Into Anime

KOCH Entertainment Distribution, a growing music and video distributor in Port Washington, New York, signed an exclusive distribution deal with AnimEigo, a leading Anime label that specializes in releasing the finest Japanese Animation and Samurai films in the North American market. KOCH will distribute AnimEigo's entire catalog, which includes well-known classic titles such as MACROSS (the series that became the core of ROBOTECH), BUBBLEGUM CRISIS, URUSEI YATSURA, KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD, OH MY GODDESS!

Headline News SplutterFish Appoints Meyer as Director of Sales and Marketing

SplutterFish, a high-end 3D rendering software solutions provider, has appointed Gary Meyer to the new position of director of worldwide sales and marketing. Meyer will handle SplutterFish's sales and marketing efforts in the company's core film, broadcast and visualization markets. His responsibilities will also include the expansion and development of the company's reseller and channel networks as well as direct sales for the company's award-winning Brazil Rendering System and other software products.

Headline News Adobe After Effects 6.0 Offers Advanced Text Engine, New Tools

Adobe Systems Inc. launches After Effects 6.0, an extensive upgrade of its award-winning motion graphics and visual effects software. This major release integrates a new text engine for creating unique and compelling typographic animations. Available for Windows and Mac OS X, Adobe After Effects 6.0 helps professionals meet tough production challenges by increasing productivity with features such as OpenGL support, and other major performance improvements.

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 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 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 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 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 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.

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