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Geographical Region: North America

Headline News Cartoonists Union Pickets PBS

In response to PBS directing its animated work to Canada, MPSC Local 839 Cartoonists Union is set to picket Los Angeles' PBS affiliate KCET. PBS, the United States' public broadcasting network, is funded by U.S. tax dollars and recently struck a US$40 million deal with Canada's Nelvana [AF 1/5/00]. Upset with the ever increasing practice of studios sending work outside the States, the Union will picket in front of the KCET building on Thursday, April 13, 2000 between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. Local 839 members earn credit toward dues for picketing or sign-drawing.

Headline News Missions To Mars Lands At #1

With bad reviews a side Buena Vista's MISSION TO MARS finished #1 at the U.S. box office. Serving as the closest thing to an event flick currently in U.S. theatres, MISSION TO MARS became the third highest March debut in U.S. history. The space spectacle, with primary special effects by ILM and Dream Quest Images, grossed US$22.9 million in its first weekend. Finishing in second place in its opening weekend was THE NINTH GATE, with primary special effects by Sony Imageworks and Mikros Image. Teaming Roman Polanski and the Devil once again, the film released by Artisan grossed $6.6 million.

Headline News PlayStation 2 Jumps Off Shelves In Japan

In its first weekend on the market in Japan, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.'s PlayStation 2 has reached 980,000 units sold. This initial sales milestone blows away the original PlayStation's three-day mark in 1994 by nearly 10 times. A total of 26,400 retailers in Japan, including 18,500 convenience stores, approximately 7,900 retail stores, current PlayStation retailers, as well as PlayStation.com (Japan) Inc., began selling the PlayStation 2 units on March 4.

Headline News Wolfmill's Elfquest With Living Toys

Wolfmill Entertainment has signed a worldwide licensing deal with Living Toyz for a line of action figures based on Wolfmill's upcoming CGI animated feature film ELFQUEST. The fantasy-action film follows the journey of Cutter, a young elven chief, and his tribe across a hostile world to find a safe refuge. Before the theatrical release of ELFQUEST, Los Angeles-based Living Toyz will produce several sets of action figures based on the original ELFQUEST comic book designs by Warp Graphics.

Headline News New Jobs: Animators, Digital Artists and Tech Support/Producion Management

Dream Theater is seeking an ART DIRECTOR to work on the creation of

concepts, presentation materials and the refinement of design

directions in production. . . Hammerhead Productions is looking for

SENIOR ANIMATORS 2D/3D/TD for feature film visual effects. . . San

Francisco, California-based Attik is looking for a SENIOR ANIMATOR. .

. Monterrey, N.L. Mexico post-production house PubliK is looking for

a creative 3D SGI ANIMATOR. . . The Chimney Pot (Sweden) is seeking a

Headline News Ottawa 2000 Presents Selection and Jury Members

The Ottawa 2000 Independent Film Competition will be selected by

festival organizers. The Commissioned Films Competition will be

selected by Curtis Crawford (Canada), Chris Landreth (US), Pjotr

Sapegin (Russia) and Andrei Svislotski (Russia). The Ottawa 00

International Jury will be comprised of Suzanne Gervais (Canada),

Wendy Jackson Hall (US), John Hays (US), Priit Parn (Estonia) and Jin

Guo Ping (China). Jury member bios are now available on the festival

Headline News CINAR Co-Founders Exit With $122M Missing

In the continuing crisis at CINAR Corp., husband and wife co-founders, Micheline Charest and Ronald Weinberg, have stepped down after senior VP and CFO Hasanain Panju was fired when US$122 million was found to have disappeared into investments without board approval. With tax fraud allegations floating in the skies, Charest will leave her chairman and co-CEO seat, while Weinberg will give up his president and co-CEO position. The couple will remain as leaders and directors of the company.

Headline News Snow Slips, Pitch Black Steady At 5th

With strictly live-action fare reigning the U.S. box office, SNOW DAY slipped to sixth place, while PITCH BLACK remained steady in fifth place. Paramount's kid-pic, with special effects by Curious Pictures, fell from #2, grossing US$4.8 million this past weekend and bringing its total gross to $49 million. USA Films' PITCH BLACK, with primary visual effects by Double Negative Ltd. and The Chandler Group, clocked in at #5 for the second straight weekend, grossing $5.07 million raising its total gross to $29.7 million.

Headline News William's Wish Wellingtons Works Its Way To Your Tellie

BBC video brings to homes 13 tales from the TV series WILLIAM'S WISH

WELLINGTONS. The 5 minute stories feature a small boy and his pair of magic

boots. The show airs weekly on Cartoon Network and TVO. The tape will be

distributed in the U.S. and Canada by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Volume 1 will be available on March 7, 2000 and be priced at US$14.95.

Headline News Bill Plympton Around the World

Bill Plympton has updated his

appearances page.

In the next months, his

films will be appearing in various festivals and other events around the

world. Bill will be attending the Newport Film Festival, Newport, RI, USA;

Annecy Animation Festival, Annecy, France; Florida Film Festival, Maitland,

FL, USA; and Zagreb World Festival of Animated Films, Zagreb, Croatia.

Headline News Win $25,000 and a One Year Contract with Playboy

Be a part of Playboy's rich heritage of cartoon humor. Participate in

Playboy's Comix and Animation Contest. All multimedia formats welcome:

Shockwave, Flash, videotape, pen and ink and more! Grand prize winner

receives $25,000. Five honorable mentions will also be selected. Judges

include Scott Adams, Award winning creator of Dilbert, and Kevin Smith,

Writer/Director of hit films "Chasing Amy" and "Dogma." The deadline for

submission is April 1, 2000. As with any contest there are lots of rules

Headline News Snow Picks Up Momentum At #2

The big snow ball of Paramount's SNOW DAY picked up momentum and rolled in

to #2 at the U.S. box office. In its second week in theatres, the kid-pic,

with special effects by Curious Pictures, grossed US$8.34 million bringing

its gross to $43.1 million. USA Films' ALIENS-like PITCH BLACK, with

primary visual effects by Double Negative Ltd. and The Chandler Group,

finished at #5 grossing $7.14 million raising its total gross to $22.9

million. THE TIGGER MOVIE finished the weekend in sixth place, making $6.31

Headline News J. Stuart Blackton Screening

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, February 24, 2000 at 12:00am

* Wednesday, March 1, 2000. Hollywood, California, U.S.A.

In celebration of the 125th anniversary of J. Stuart Blackton, The Silent

Society of Hollywood Heritage, Inc. and the International Animated Film

Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, are presenting a program highlighting this motion

picture and animation pioneer. A diverse sampling of works by the medium's

first director-producer-animator and actor will be featured, all drawn from

Headline News Cartoon Seminar

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, February 24, 2000 at 12:00am

* Thursday, March 9, 2000 - Saturday, March 11, 2000. Madrid, Spain.

Cartoon, the European producers organization, will present a seminar on

"how to negotiate with the U.S.A., Canada, Australia and Japan."

Discussions will focus on the structures, customs and constraints of the

fore mentioned markets. After an introduction on each country, the various

policies on international co-productions will be discussed. A question and

Headline News March's WIA Writers' Group

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, February 24, 2000 at 12:00am

* Thursday, March 9, 2000. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

This month's Women In Animation Writers' Group Seminar will be held at 7:30

pm at Saban Entertainment, 10960 Wilshire Blvd. (corner of Midvale). The

discussion centers around the outline, the scene, and animation terms. Fee:

US$5 to cover costs. RSVP to Jean Ann Wright required. Tel.: (818)

360-8321 or E-mail: jjwright@gte.net. For more information on WIA events,

please visit the Website at

Headline News WIA, Inc. General Meeting

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, February 24, 2000 at 12:00am

* Saturday, February 26, 2000. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Women In Animation, Inc. will be holding their annual meeting with guest

speaker Lynda Weinman of lynda.com. The meeting introduces members and

anyone interested in WIA with what has happened in the past year and what

exciting events and activities are on the way for 2000. Weinman, a pioneer

of graphics and animation on the MAC, will bring to the event her knowledge

Headline News Snow Falls At 3rd Again

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 23, 2000 at 12:00am

The kid flick SNOW DAY, with special effects by Curious Pictures, settled

at third place for a second straight week at the U.S. box office. The

Paramount-produced flick grossed US$14.8 million over the President's Day

holiday weekend, bringing its cume to $31.5 million. USA Films release

PITCH BLACK finished at #4. Yet another ALIENS-esque sci-fi flick, PITCH

BLACK grossed $14 million. THE TIGGER MOVIE finished the weekend in fifth

place, making $10.5 million, bringing its cume to $22.3 million. Even

Headline News New Jobs: Professor of Computer Art & Stop-motion Animation

The SAVANNAH COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN, located in historic Savannah,

Georgia, USA, is seeking candidates with college-level teaching experience

for the position of PROFESSOR OF COMPUTER ART to teach beginning and

advanced level courses in Stop-Motion and Clay Animation. The successful

candidate should have professional experience as an

animator/director/designer, and familiarity with a wide range of

fabrication materials, techniques and styles, including armatures and

Headline News A Closer Look: Fox's Tribulations in the Feature Production World

Two years ago, following the theatrical release of "Anastasia," Fox was

expanding its commitment to animation. Fox Family Films, one of Twentieth

Century Fox's four film divisions, was being renamed Fox Animation Studios,

to reflect the division's new plan to focus solely on animated feature

films, including stop-motion, mixed media (live-action mix) and digital

production. Several animated projects were on the development slate then,

including "Dark Town" with Henry Selick, "Santa Calls" with Blue Sky|VIFX,

Headline News Women In Animation, Inc.'s Annual Meeting

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, February 17, 2000 at 12:00am

* Saturday, February 26, 2000. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Women In Animation, Inc. will be holding their annual meeting with guest

speaker Lynda Weinman of lynda.com. The meeting introduces members and

anyone interest in WIA with what has happened in the past year and what

exciting events and activities are on the way in 2000. Weinman, a pioneer

of graphic and animation on the MAC, will bring to the event her knowledge

Headline News Futurama at the AFI's Writers' POV

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, February 17, 2000 at 12:00am

* Tuesday, February 22, 2000. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Come hear from the team of Fox's FUTURAMA at the AFI's Writers' POV. In

past years, AFI has featured the writing teams from THE SIMPSONS and KING

OF THE HILL, who gave a Writers POV on the making of an animated series.

Continuing this popular topic, AFI has invited the FUTURAMA team to

participate in this question & answer event. Guests will include: executive

producer David X. Cohen, and writers Ken Keeler, Eric Horsted, Lewis

Headline News Disney Will Close Canadian Doors

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

Rumored since last fall, Walt Disney Animation Canada Inc. announced

Monday, February 14, 2000 it will close the doors of its animation studios

in Canada by the spring. Opened in 1996, the Toronto and Vancouver branches

of Walt Disney were created to produce primarily direct-to-home video films

in connection with Walt Disney Television Animation. The company slowly

started winding down production last fall and will completely close around

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