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Geographical Region: South America

Headline News

Wiseman To Direct Sci-Fi Shell Game

Director Len Wiseman is set to direct SHELL GAME, a film he helped write, VARIETY reports.

The Lakeshore Entertainment and Columbia Pictures' sci-fi thriller follows a detective who investigates a black-market immortality business.

Justin Bondi and Andrew Ludington wrote the original screenplay; Wiseman and Chris Morgan created the most recent draft.

Wiseman has previously worked with Lakeshore and Sony (via Screen Gems) on UNDERWORLD and UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION and is producing UNDERWORLD: RISE OF THE LYCANS.

Headline News

This Lawyer Isn't An Animal

Columbia Pictures has purchased disaster flick ANIMALS from newcomer Mike Sobel, a former criminal lawyer VARIETY reports.

Sony-based Original Films' Neal Moritz will produce; Trevor Engelson and Nick Osbourne are executive producing.

The story revolves around animals turning on humans and taking back their planet.

Sobel was working as a lawyer in New York until a year ago, when he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his writing career.

ANIMALS, his first screenplay, was sold for a mid-six figure amount.

Marvel Headline News

Former Disney Marketing Head Goes To Marvel

Geoffrey Ammer, former Sony and Disney marketing head, will now oversee advertising, publicity and promotional campaigns for Marvel Studio's self-produced flicks.

He'll start with IRON MAN (opening May 2) and THE INCREDIBLE HULK (opening June 13), working with studios issuing those releases; Paramount for IRON MAN and Universal for HULK.

Ammer will handle marketing for the home video releases as well, including direct to DVD titles and will report to David Maisel, chairman of Marvel.

People Headline News

Crowd Shot The Challenge With Vantage Point

CIS Vancouver and CIS London (both formerly Rainmaker Visual Effects) completed 397 shots for the new Columbia Pictures' action thriller VANTAGE POINT, which opened No. 1 at the box office on Feb. 22.

The film revolves around eight strangers with eight different points of view who try to unlock the one truth behind an assassination attempt on the President of the United States.

Kids Headline News

Voting Underway For Kids' Choice Awards

Animated films, video games and TV shows are among the nominees for Nickelodeon's 2008 Kids' Choice Awards, which kids can start voting on today.

Pop sensation and 2007 KCA winner Miley Cyrus and Nickelodeon's own The Naked Brothers Band will perform live at the awards show telecast from UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, March 29 (8 p.m. ET; tape delay PT) with host Jack Black.

Kids will be able to cast their vote online at beginning Monday in 18 categories. Surprise awards also will be announced during the show.

Headline News

Cable Nets Grabbing Unreleased Titles

Cable networks TNT, TBS, USA and FX have been buying up theatrical releases by the dozens in recent weeks, including a package of yet-unreleased Warner Bros. films 10,000 B.C., THE DARK KNIGHT, SPEED RACER to Turner Broadcasting's TNT and TBS, VARIETY reported Wednesday.

The Warners/Turner deal also includes released pictures like TMNT, ANT BULLY and I AM LEGEND.

Details and monies weren't discussed by the parties, but generally with prebuys, the network pays about 11 percent of the final domestic box office, capped at $250 million gross in U.S. theaters.

Software Headline News

Power Integration Tour for Maxon

MAXON Computer, the developers of CINEMA 4D and BodyPaint 3D, announced Monday the 2008 schedule of its highly anticipated Power Integration Tour.

The tour is a joint road show with Adobe Systems that highlights the ease of integrating MAXON CINEMA 4D 3D software with Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium for a powerful 2D/3D cross platform solution.

Series Headline News

Silly Science Series Pedro and Frankensheep Coming Soon

PEDRO AND FRANKENSHEEP, a new series by The Brothers McLeod (Greg and Myles) and Phil Cooper, will be released on Children's BBC this week on CBBC.

The show's creators announced today their 10-episode series will begin airing Feb. 25.

A popular pre-release on the CBBC website garnered several hundred thousand views on YouTube after a "rogue guinea pig" posted the episode "Sleep Guinea Pig Sleep."

Game Headline News

Second Annual Elan Awards Announced

Video game, animation and digital arts students, creators and bosses gathered Friday for the Second Annual Elan Awards in Vancouver.

FAMILY GUY creator Seth MacFarlane hosted, closing his performance with a singing "Stewie" act and won his first Elan.

Here are all the winners:

Animation Categories:

Best feature length animated production: BARBIE AS THE ISLAND PRINCESS (Rainmaker Animation, Jennifer Twiner-McCarron).

Headline News

Aniboom Award Winners

Animation network Aniboom unveiled the winners of its Second Annual Aniboom Awards Thursday; grand prize winner JUNGLE JAIL was awarded a $25,000 development and distribution deal.

Choosing from about 1,600 entries from more than 60 countries, millions of online viewers and a panel of judges chose JUNGLE JAIL, a humorous short by French animator Aymeric Palermo.

JUNGLE JAIL also won in the Funny Category.

Headline News

Nintendo Wants Solution to Piracy Problems

Nintendo of America Inc. wants the U.S. Trade Representative to encourage governments around the world to take a "more aggressive stance to combat piracy of Nintendo video games and systems."

China remains the primary manufacturer of pirated Nintendo DS and Wii games, Korea has emerged as the leader in distributing illegal game files over the Internet.

Brazil and Mexico remain saturated with counterfeit Nintendo software, and Paraguay and Hong Kong continue to serve as major transshipment points for global distribution of illegal goods.

Headline News

Azaria To Escape From The Smithsonian

Hank Azaria will portray all-powerful Egyptian pharaoh Kah Mun Rah in Fox's NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2: ESCAPE FROM THE SMITHSONIAN, joining Ben Stiller in the follow-up to the 2006 hit NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM

Amy Adams and Dick Van Dyke are also set to appear in the sequel, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Shawn Levy will direct, Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon and Scott Frank wrote the script and Levy's 21 Laps Entertainment and 1492 Pictures' Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe will produce.

Shorts Headline News

Ex-Pats Create Daily Shorts From Costa Rica

A new animation studio out of Costa Rica launched their website Monday, offering free digital shorts.

PodComics is not only the name of the studio, it describes the content available: original animated shorts posted five days a week.

PodComics are intended to be watched through the internet or on portable media players. We also provide a Hi-Definition version of most episodes for our members, said founder Patrick Davidson.

Animation Headline News

Time To Enter Anima Mundi

Anima Mundi 2008Rio de Janeiro & Sao Paulo, BrazilJuly 11-27, 2008Deadline: March 26, 2008

Anima Mundi is the International Animation Festival of Brazil, which brings to the Brazilian audience the best selection of films and videos from around the world. Categories in competition: Short Films, Feature Films, Shorts for Children, Brazilian Animation, Portfolio, First Work and Animation in Progress. The event runs in Rio de Janeiro July 11-20, then moves to Sao Paulo July 23-27. For more information, visit

Series Headline News

BRB Brings Angus & Cheryl to NATPE

BRB Internacional will present the first season of the animated series ANGUS & CHERYL at NATPE in Las Vegas this week. Currently being shown in several countries around the world -- including on Nickelodeon in Latin America and France, and 5th Channel in Russia -- the innovative 104x2 series in hi-def 3D and pop-up style will premier on RTL2 in Germany beginning in February and on UCV TV, Chile's oldest channel, soon.

Series Headline News

Iron Kid To Escort BRB To NATPE 2008

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 12:00am

The cartoon series will be one of the outstanding properties the Spanish company BRB Internacional will present at the upcoming edition of NATPE, to be held at the end of this month in Las Vegas. On the strength of great audience success in both Latin America (where it is aired through Jetix Latin America) and the U.S. (where it's known as EON KID on Kids WB!), the series will premiere in open broadcasting in Portugal on TVI, which will air it every Saturday and Sunday at 9:00 am, starting Feb. 2nd.

Digital Headline News

Autodesk & EA Introduce New Project Design Workshop in Canada

Autodesk and Electronic Arts have introduced a new project design workshop for Canada's first Masters for Digital Media (MDM) program at Great Northern Way Campus in Vancouver, British Columbia.

As part of the 20-month MDM program, the workshop will equip students with techniques to plan and manage digital media projects in their academic and professional careers.

Business Headline News

9 Story Adds Two New Execs

Canadian-based production and animation studio 9 Story Ent. heads into 2008 with the addition of two new senior executives. Jill Fraser has been named VP, Business Affairs and Krista Barron, Manager Production Finance. The two will report directly to Steve Jarosz, VP and COO, 9 Story Ent.

As VP, Business Affairs, Fraser will be responsible for legal and business affairs matters for all areas of 9 Story's operations. Barron will be responsible for administration and certifications relating to tax credits, film agency and other domestic funding on all 9 Story productions.

Films Headline News

Persepolis Doesn't Advance in Foreign Language Oscar Race

Nine films will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 80th Academy Awards. But not PERSEPOLIS, the acclaimed animated feature from France about growing up in Iran during the '70s and '80s, directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud. However, PERSEPOLIS is still for Best Animated Feature.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

* Austria, THE COUNTERFEITERS, Stefan Ruzowitzky, director* Brazil, THE YEAR MY PARENTS WENT ON VACATION, Cao Hamburger, director

Production Headline News

Year One Finds Female Lead

Olivia Wilde, who has had roles in ALPHA DOG and TURISTAS, will play Jack Black's love interest in Harold Ramis' biblical comedy YEAR ONE, reports VARIETY. The cast of the Columbia production also includes Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Oliver Platt, David Cross, Vinnie Jones, Juno Temple and June Raphael.

Judd Apatow and Ramis are producing with Owen Wilson exec producing. Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg adapted Ramis' story into a script.

Production has begun in New Mexico and Louisiana.

Effects Headline News

SCAD Announces New Chair of Visual Effects Dept.

The Savannah College of Art and Design School of Film and Digital Media has appointed Stuart Robertson the new chair of its visual effects program for the college's Savannah and Atlanta locations. As chair, Robertson will provide academic leadership and be instrumental in creating new curriculum, as well as serve as a resource for faculty and students.

Headline News

Bond 22 Starts Production

The latest James Bond adventure in the longest running film franchise, BOND 22 (a working title), has commenced principal photography at Pinewood Studios in London. Daniel Craig (CASINO ROYALE) reprises his role as agent 007. Marc Forster (THE KITE RUNNER) has signed on to direct the franchise's first direct sequel. Kevin Tod Haug, who has collaborated previously with Forster on THE KITE RUNNER, STRANGER THAN FICTION and FINDING NEVERLAND, is visual effects designer.

Headline News

Commercial Director Travels to Zombieland

Commercial and music video director Ruben Fleischer is in talks to helm Columbia Pictures' horror comedy ZOMBIELAND, reports VARIETY.

Penned by Rhett Reese-Paul Wernick, the story follows the world's most scared man as he finds the courage to lead a group of survivors when zombies take over the world.

Pariah Films' Gavin Polone is producing.

The studio hopes to start production in April.

Headline News

McLovin Marks Year One

Christopher Mintz-Plasse, now famous for his role as McLovin in SUPERBAD, has joined the cast of Columbia's YEAR ONE, which is being produced by SUPERBAD's Judd Apatow, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Fellow thespians in talks to join the cast include Oliver Platt, David Cross, Vinnie Jones and Juno Temple.

Starring Jack Black and Michael Cera (JUNO, SUPERBAD), the biblical era comedy's plot is being kept secret. Written by Harold Ramis, Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, the film will be directed by Ramis as well.

Short Headline News

16 Short Toons to Screen at Sundance

Sundance Institute announced today the program of short films selected to screen at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. This year the Festival Short Film Program comprises 83 short films representing 17 countries from 5,107 submissions, from U.S. and international filmmakers. Submissions grew by more than 15% over last year. The 2008 Sundance Film Festival runs Jan. 17-27, 2008, with screenings in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah.

The animated shorts include: