The 25th American Film Market (AFM) opened Nov. 4, 2004, in Santa Monica, California, with a record number of exhibitors, buyers, screenings and market premieres at the worlds largest motion picture trade event. New this year, the AFM has joined forces with AFI FEST 2004 presented by Audi (Nov. 4 -14, 2004). Animated offerings are sprinkled through the market.
Geographical Region: North America
Red Stick International Animation FestivalBaton Rouge, Louisiana, USAApril 21-23, 2005Deadline: December 15, 2004
Sun Microsystems, a major player in network servers and engineering workstations, enters the DCC market with a new pair of workstations, the Sun Java W1100z and W2100z, featuring off-the-shelf AMD Opteron CPUs and NVIDIA graphics cards. Sean Wagstaff assesses their entry in the marketplace, almost-daring pricing plan and tests the functionality of the W2100z.
Over the weekend of Oct. 29, 2004, ION International Animation, Games and Short Film Festival awarded its competition prizes. Adding to its impressive list of accolades, Chris Landreths RYAN took home the animation award. Previously announced awards went to DPS Film Roman for 20 years of excellence in animation and Fleischer Studios garnered the first Max Fleischer Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Chicago International Childrens Film Festivals closing night awards ceremony, sponsored by American Airlines, was held Oct. 31, 2004. FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR star James Avery hosted the gala as hundreds of movie lovers gathered to celebrate the most popular films of the festival.
Michele Ganeless has been appointed evp/gm of Comedy Central, reporting directly to networks president Doug Herzog and will be based in New York. She rejoins the comedy network from her previous position of evp/gm of the USA Network where she worked closely with Herzog, then president/ceo.
Ganeless oversees all programming and marketing functions, which encompasses programming, co-productions, consumer and trade marketing and advertising, creative services, on-air promotion, acquisitions, audience research, scheduling and new business.
ADV Toys has announced Cosplay Caps, four new pieces of headgear based on three of ADV Films hottest video properties. The first wave of Cosplay Caps will feature characters from EXCEL SAGA, KALEIDO STAR and PEACEMAKER.
DreamWorks Animations IPO is expected to raise $812 million besting expectations. Wall Street analysts thought the stock would price between $23 to $25 per share, but it started the day at $28 a share for 29 million shares. In its New York Stock Exchange debut, the stock reached a height of $39.50.
Black Maria Film and Video FestivalOver 50 Cities, USAJanuary 4 June 29, 2005Deadline: November 20, 2004
NEON GENESIS EVANGELION topped the NEWTYPE USA readers list of top anime of all time. The publication ran a three-month open ballot to celebrate its second year of publication.
Coming in at No. 2 with more than 11,700 votes cast was COWBOY BEBOP, a perennial favorite that combines Western themes with sci-fi motifs and jazzy music. And the third favorite anime of all time: INUYASHA, the long-running adventure starring a modern schoolgirl and a feudal half-demon dog boy. Rounding out the top five are RUROUNI KENSHIN and TRIGUN.
Geneon Ent. will be releasing the highly anticipated anime feature APPLESEED to the theaters in the U.S. Opening Jan. 14, 2005, in select cities, the film is based on the manga story by Masamune Shirow (GHOST IN THE SHELL) and directed by Shinji Aramaki (BUBBLEGUM CRISIS). APPLESEED features a groundbreaking animation style, "3D Live Anime," utilizing motion capture animation techniques. The film was released theatrically in Japan earlier this year.
Bandai Ent. announced the distribution of its anime DVD homevideo properties for the Canadian market. With numerous Japanese animated properties such as MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM SEED and WITCH HUNTER ROBIN on air through Canadian youth broadcaster, YTV Bandai looks to expand to DVD homevideo sales in Canada.
Canadian Retailers and distributors are encouraged to contact representatives for Bandai Ent. Canada sales at:
Bandai Entertainment Canada2000 Argentia Road
Nicktoons, Nickelodeon's digital channel for animation, Frederator Studios and ANIMATION MAGAZINE launched the first half-hour of the 14-week Nicktoons Film Festival on Oct. 24, 2004, at 10:00 pm (ET)/7:00 pm (PT). The on-air festival showcases the diversity of independent cartoon filmmaking by animators from around the globe. A total of 14 half-hour specials will air every Sunday from Oct. 24 to Jan. 23, with repeat airings Mondays at 10:00 pm (ET)/7:00 pm (PT).
Just as HIT Ent. announced its plans to launch a 24-hour digital cable television channel for preschool children with Comcast Corp., PBS and Sesame Workshop, Rob Lawes left his job as HIT ceo. Peter Orton, chairman/founder of HIT has taken over as interim chief executive.
G4techTV has picked up three new adventure anime series, R.O.D-THE TV-, GUNGRAVE and GAD GUARD, from Geneon Ent.(USA) Inc. As part of the networks late night block, Anime Unleashed, R.O.D-THE TV- and GUNGRAVE will air throughout the month of October, Monday through Sunday, at 12:00 am (ET), 9:00 pm (PT). GAD GUARD will air every night at 12:00 am (ET), 9:00 pm (PT), beginning Nov. 8, 2004.
Comcast Corp., HIT Entertainment Plc., PBS and Sesame Workshop today (Oct. 20, 2004) announced plans to launch a 24-hour digital cable television channel for preschool children and a companion video-on-demand (VOD) service. The channel will bring together some of the best-known classic and contemporary childrens shows and is expected to launch in fall 2005.
Corel Corp. acquired Jasc Software Inc., the award-winning developer of the Paint Shop family of digital-photography and image-editing software. A critical milestone in Corel's ongoing growth strategy, this acquisition follows four consecutive quarters of profitability and a successfully completed turnaround since Corel was taken private in August 2003.
Lincoln Center Student Trailer CompetitionNew York, New York, USAMarch 31, 2005Deadline: December 31, 2004
HBO Films and The Film Society of Lincoln Center are holding a nationwide competition that will provide college students with the opportunity to create a trailer to precede film screenings at one of the worlds most important cultural institutions -- Lincoln Center.
George Lucas has been selected by the American Film Institute's (AFI) Board of Trustees to receive the 33rd AFI Life Achievement Award. The award will be presented to Lucas at a gala tribute in Los Angeles in June 2005.
"I've been very fortunate to have had a long career doing what I love to do, and being recognized by AFI for it is really an honor," Lucas said. "I'm proud to be counted among such an extraordinary group of people whose lives are dedicated to the art of making movies."
Now through Dec. 31, 2004, BOXX Technologies is offering special pricing on 3ds max 7 software to customers in the United States who purchase a BOXX certified 3ds max 7 workstation. Call BOXX toll free at 877-877-BOXX or 512-835-0400 for more details.
Anime Network, the first channel in North America dedicated to anime expands its reach within Southern California when it launches during the latter part of 2004 on Adelphia OnDemand.
IDT Ent. announced the launch of New Arc Ent., a film production company producing live-action feature films and animated movies in the supernatural/thriller/action genre. New Arc is committed to producing multiple live-action features, several animated films and one animated series within its first 15 months of operation. John W. Hyde, coo of IDT Ent., will manage the new company.
New York International Childrens Film Festival 2005New York, New York, USAMarch 4 20, 2005Deadline: November 1, 2004
Pixel Magic recently took on the duty of chasing bank robber supermodels through Grand Central Station and the streets of New York for Foxs TAXI, culminating in a high-speed car duel on an elevated unfinished highway by performing more than 300 visual effects. They included greenscreen composites, CG cars, CG bridges, CG matte paintings, wire removals and assorted fixes.