Geographical Region: South America

Headline News I Castelli Animati Announces Winners

Koji Yamamura's FRANZ KAFKA'S A COUNTRY DOCTOR has won the Grand Prize at this year's I Castelli Animati festival in Rome. The other winners were:

* Special Jury Prize: MADAME TUTLI-PUTLI, Chris Lavis, Maciek Szczerbovski, Canada* Best First Work: FOG-NIEBLA, Emilio Ramos, Mexico* Best European Film: MARATHON, Kaspar Jancis, Estonia* Best Non-Narrative Film: BRUISED (BLAUWBLAUW), Sandy Claes, Daan Wampers, Belgium; WITH MY QUANTUM STROKE (MEET MIJN KVANTORSLAG), Pieter Vanluffelen, Belgium

Headline News Clancy, Puck Make Good in Canada

Studio B Prods. has completed deals with Knowledge Network and SCN, two Canadian educational TV networks, for the animated short CLANCY WITH THE PUCK. Both broadcasters will air the short in high rotation, beginning Dec. 1, 2007. In addition, leading independent Canadian publisher Raincoast Books has shipped the hardcover picture book of the same name, which is packaged with a DVD of the film, into Canada and the U.S.

Headline News SplutterFish Announces Brazil Rendering System v2

SplutterFish has launched Brazil r/s version 2.0. Brazil r/s v2 provides fast speed and performance and offers a natural, accessible workflow. In addition, SplutterFish also announced the immediate availability of its first Professional-Edition beta version (2.1 Pro-Beta), which introduces even more new features, and is available exclusively to Brazil r/s v2 Professional Edition clients.

Headline News MTV Names Frontini for Latin Post

Viacom's MTV Networks Argentina has appointed Juan Frontini Creative Director of MTV Latin America. The appointment is part of MTV Networks Latin America's strategy to regionalize and expand its programming and production operations locally. Based in Buenos Aires, Frontini will report to Sean Saylor, Vice President of Creative for MTV and VH1 Latin America, based in Miami Florida.

Headline News Three Close Encounters Land on Blu-ray

Steven Spielberg's CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (with landmark vfx supervised by Doug Trumbull) arrives Nov. 13 on Blu-ray Disc as CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND: 30TH ANNIVERSARY ULTIMATE EDITION (Sony Pictures Home Ent., $49.95). There is also a standard DVD set that retails for $39.95.

Headline News Weinstein Co. Picks Up Norwegian Kill Bill Spoof

The Weinstein Co. has picked up the U.S., U.K. and Australia rights to KILL BULJO, a Norwegian spoof of KILL BILL, VARIETY reports. The $250,000 feature has become an unexpected international hit and has been sold in Japan, Poland, Turkey, Germany, Thailand, the Benelux countries, France, Brazil, Israel, Romania, South Africa, Russia, the Baltic countries, Spain, Bulgaria and Portugal.

Weinstein will most likely release the film direct-to-DVD.

Tommy Wirkola co-wrote, co-produced and directed the film with a group of his friends, via Yellow Bastard Prods.

Headline News Bendito Machine Episode II & Website Launch

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, November 7, 2007 at 12:00am

Zumbakamera has launched a new chapter in its Flash webseries BENDITO MACHINE, which coincides with the debut of the website

The website will include an online t-shirt store with exclusive designs from the show and free download sections. New chapters of the series will premiere every two to three months until the ten-episode season is complete.

Headline News Josh Lucas Hearts Tell-Tale

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, November 7, 2007 at 12:00am

Scott Free Prods. has tapped Josh Lucas (POSEIDON) to headline TELL-TALE, a contemporary spin on Edgar Allan Poe's THE TELL-TALE HEART, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Michael Cuesta will direct the psychological thriller.

The loosely inspired adaptation will find Lucas as a single father, who, after having a heart transplant, is compelled to find the killer of the donor before he is murdered himself.

Headline News Time Warner Names New CEO

Time Warner Inc. has announced the election of Jeffrey L. Bewkes as CEO of Time Warner Inc., effective January 1, 2008. Bewkes, who currently serves as president and COO, will retain the title of president. He will succeed Richard D. Parsons, who will remain as chairman of the board.

Headline News Perfect World Enters Indonesian Market

Leading Chinese online game developer Perfect World Co., Ltd. today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Indonesia's PT. Lyto Datarindo Fortuna ("LYTO") to license the company's PERFECT WORLD II game in Indonesia.

PERFECT WORLD II is a large-scale 3D MMORPG that was first launched in China in November, 2006. Since then the game has been licensed to companies in eleven countries and regions, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Brazil and the Philippines.

Headline News Zodiac Scribe to Pen Spidey 4

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, October 31, 2007 at 12:00am

ZODIAC screenwriter James Vanderbilt has been hired to write the script for SPIDER-MAN 4, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Laura Ziskin is returning to produce the Columbia Pictures film. No deals have been made with director Sam Raimi and stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst.

Though the plot is being kept secret, word is that this installment will include fewer villains and plotlines than SPIDER-MAN 3, which many critics complained was bloated.

Headline News Marathon Media Making Many Deals

France's Marathon Media has concluded several new deals for its leading kids shows MONSTER BUSTER CLUB, FAMOUS FIVE ON THE CASE and TOTALLY SPIES, reports C21 MEDIA.

MONSTER BUSTER CLUB (52x56), which was pre-sold to Super RTL in Germany, has been picked up by RTVE (Spain), RTV (Slovenia), RTE (Ireland), LNK (Lithuania), Arabic network MBC, Radio Canada and Denmark's TV2. Additional negotiations are in progress in the U.S., Italy, Turkey, Singapore, South Africa and Brazil.

Headline News VFX Artist To Helm Grudge 3

VFX artist/director Toby Wilkins has been hired to helm THE GRUDGE 3, VARIETY reports. Ghost House Pictures hopes to begin production in January.

Wilkins is making his feature film debut on ContentFilm's horror film SPLINTER. He previously worked with Ghost House on a series of shorts called TALES OF THE GRUDGE, which were made to promote THE GRUDGE 2, and were directed by Takashi Shimizu, creator of the original JU-ON series on which THE GRUDGE franchise is based.

Headline News Ken Tsumura Moves to Imagi

Imagi Animation Studios has appointed Ken Tsumura to the newly created position of EVP of Production, Hong Kong. Tsumura will assume oversight of all production and studio operations at Imagi headquarters in Chai Wan (Hong Kong) and will report jointly to Francis Kao, Co-CEO & Chief Creative Officer and Douglas Glen, Co-CEO.

Headline News 300 Scribe to Pen EverQuest

300 screenwriter Michael Gordon has been hired by Sony to pen a screen adaptation of the popular online game EVERQUEST, according to VARIETY. Avi Arad, the former head of Marvel Studios, is the producer. Columbia Pictures has had the project in development for years, however Gordon is the first writer tapped to put his spin on the material.

Headline News Big Big Friend Wins Big Big Challenge

Breakthrough Animation and 2-D Lab's children's animated series MY BIG BIG FRIEND (52x11) has won The Licensing Challenge, sponsored by License Global! at this year's MIPCOM Jr.

The Licensing Challenge is a pitching session that showcases the TV property with the highest licensing potential. The international jury included Leigh Anne Brodsky (Nickelodeon), Stan Clutton (Fisher Price), Anna Hewitt (BBC), Andrew Lane (Hasbro), John Lee (World World), and Richard Woolf (Jetix). The panelist of judges selected MY BIG BIG FRIEND from a short list of five entrants based on:

Headline News Decode Steps Up Franny's Feet Licensing Campaign

Decode Ent. has inked a number of new licensing deals for its hit preschool property FRANNY'S FEET, including a deal with Allumination Filmworks for U.S. home entertainment and a further home entertainment agreement with Mediaway in Poland. Decode has also signed up a number of international licensing sub-agents through its representative, The Sharpe Company, including CPLG (Copyright Promotions) in France and Italy, Scandinavia's Alicom Licensing, IMC (International Merchandising Consultants) in Argentina and Korea's Asiana Licensing.

Headline News EM.Ent. Picks Up Zeke's Pad

EM.Entertainment GmbH has acquired the European distribution rights to the new 26x30 comedy series ZEKE'S PAD. Created by Liz Scully and co-produced by Canada's Bardel Entertainment Inc., together with Leaping Lizard Productions Inc. and Avrill Stark Entertainment PTY. Ltd. (Australia), the CGI animated show targeted at 8- to 12-year-olds is financially backed by the Canadian Television Fund, Telefilm Canada, COGECO Program Development Fund and British Columbia Film. EM.Ent.

Headline News Warner Bros. Taps Harry Potter Producer for Paddington

Warner Bros. Pictures is bringing Michael Bond's children's classic, PADDINGTON BEAR, to the screen in a live-action family comedy format for the first time. David Heyman, producer of the HARRY POTTER film franchise, will produce through his Heyday Films. Writer Hamish McColl (MR. BEAN'S HOLIDAY) is attached to adapt.

"We're eager to collaborate once again with David, as well as with our London creative team, on this ageless classic," said Jeff Robinov, President, Production, Warner Bros. Pictures.

Headline News Icon Animation Joins with Panini to Market Lola & Virginia

Icon Animation, Spain's leading production and distribution company specialising in youth programming, has scored a multi-territory deal with leading collectible stickers and trading card company Panini for its popular girl-skewed animated show LOLA & VIRGINIA. Panini will launch a series of products across Spain, Portugal, Italy and Brazil, including a sticker stack book, story albums, and puzzle and coloring books. The roll out will begin in Italy, where the series airs on the Disney Channel.

Headline News Entity FX Kicks in VFX for Rush Hour 3

Entity FX created vfx for RUSH HOUR 3, including 3D backdrops, digital matte paintings and screen composites that helped back up the action in several different interior and outdoor locations.

One challenge involved digitally adding a moving elevator to enhance suspense in an interior chase scene. Elevator elements as well as the character of Soo Young (actress Jingchu Zhang) were tracked in to seamlessly integrate live-shot material with digital matte painting elements.