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Geographical Region: South America

Effects 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.

Headline News

Anne Stavola Named Disney VP

Veteran entertainment publicist Anne Stavola has been named vice president, East Coast Publicity for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. She will report directly to Jasmine Madatian, senior vice president, publicity for WDSMP, and will be responsible for overseeing Disney's newly reorganized New York publicity office. In her new role, Stavola will work directly with Madatian in developing and implementing publicity strategies and campaigns for all motion pictures released under the Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures banners.

Headline News

Sid Ganis Re-Elected AMPAS President

Sid Ganis was re-elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences by the organization's board of governors. This will be his third consecutive term in the office.

In addition, Robert Rehme, an executives branch governor and past Academy president, was re-elected first VP; Actors Branch governor Tom Hanks and Music Branch governor Charles Bernstein were elected to VP posts; producers branch governor Hawk Koch was elected treasurer and short films and feature animation branch governor Jon Bloom was elected secretary.

Color Headline News

Color Symmetry Plug-in Suite Brings Film Look Capabilities to Workflows

Duiker Research Corp., a California-based innovator in imaging and color tools for motion pictures, has launched Color Symmetry, a suite of plug-ins that for the first time allows film "looks" to be easily emulated and previewed within a wide array of animation, graphics and effects packages. Color Symmetry lets companies handle color accurately and consistently across mediums, applications, platforms and even facilities. Color Symmetry additionally helps companies build robust color pipelines to support complex feature film projects right out of the box.

Autodesk Headline News

Autodesk Congratulates 2007 Autodesk Masters Award Recipients

Autodesk Inc. has announced the recipients of this year's Autodesk Masters awards. Through this annual program, Autodesk recognizes exceptional Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya software artists and technical specialists whose work and dedication have significantly contributed to the advancement of computer graphics. The 2007 Autodesk Masters were announced yesterday at Autodesk's SIGGRAPH User Group meeting.

The 3ds Max and Maya users honored as this year's Autodesk Masters were:

Autodesk 3ds Max

Lopez Headline News

Hayek & Tamex Tap Lopez to Helm Time Travel Film

Chilean filmmaker Nicolas Lopez will write and direct an untitled comedy thriller about a young woman who is sent to the past to prevent World War III, under Salma Hayek and partner Jose Tamez's new MGM-based production shingle Ventanazul, reports VARIETY.

Ventanazul is scouting hot young talent from Mexico, Chile and the U.S. for this and its other first few projects.

Disney Headline News

Club Penguin Migrates to Walt Disney Internet Group

The Walt Disney Co. has acquired Club Penguin, one of the fastest-growing online virtual worlds for kids. Since its launch in October 2005, award-winning Club Penguin has grown to more than 700,000 paid subscribers, achieving this subscriber and user growth with very limited marketing efforts, relying mostly on strong product and word-of-mouth awareness among kids. The site has more than 12 million activated users, primarily in the U.S. and Canada

Headline News

JoeCartoon Launches One-Stop Humor Portal

JoeCartoon, who was recently acquired by Endemol USA, announced the re-launch of its new 'humor portal' The revamped website offers an enhanced user-friendly interface.

Films Headline News

Controversial Persepolis Among The Competition At Ottawa

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) announced its roster of films in competition, including the controversial feature PERSEPOLIS. Included among the final contenders are 26 films from the U.S. and 20 films from the U.K. Other countries competing include Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Russian Federation, Serbia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden and Taiwan.

Mobile Headline News

IDT Internet Mobile Group Forms Zedge Studios & Takes Interest In IDW Publishing

IDT Internet Mobile Group (IMG), a division of IDT Corp., has formed Zedge Studios to develop and license digital content for distribution through web and mobile platforms. IMG has also acquired a controlling interest in IDW Publishing (, an independent comics publisher known for the horror, action and sci-fi genres, boasting such high-profile titles as THE TRANSFORMERS, 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, CSI, STAR TREK, 24 and SCARFACE.

Headline News

Knocked Up Lead to Write/Star in Green Hornet

Seth Rogen, star of KNOCKED UP, is in final talks to write, and possibly star in, Columbia's GREEN HORNET feature, reports VARIETY. In addition, he would exec produce with his co-writer Evan Goldberg.

He would take on the role of millionaire publisher-turned-masked crusader Brit Reid. The heavy-set actor is a far different choice for the part than previous contenders George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Headline News

Sony Pictures Crackles with Grouper Relaunch

Sony Pictures Ent. has relaunched Grouper as Crackle, a streaming entertainment network. Crackle's comprehensive approach includes a unique programming and editorial strategy, wide-reaching global distribution platforms and collaboration with Sony Pictures Ent., the IMPROV Comedy franchise and other leading media companies.

Television Headline News

Schwartz Circles Back to Sony

Former Warner Bros. Animation president Sander Schwartz returns to familiar territory, but in a bigger capacity as president, international production of Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI), and becomes head of SPTI�s global production group. Before WBA, Schwartz was Sony Pictures Ent�s family entertainment group first president from 1999 to 2001. Schwartz will relocate from Los Angeles to SPTI�s European headquarters in London, England, and will report to SPTI�s president, Michael Grindon.

Million Headline News

Shrek The Third Crosses $600 Million Global Threshold

DreamWorks Animation's SHREK THE THIRD's cumulative worldwide gross now surpasses the $600 million mark. The historic U.S. opening of SHREK THE THIRD -- the largest domestic debut ever for an animated film -- was duplicated in many key territories around the world, with #1 animated openings of all time in such countries as the U.K. (where it remains at the top of the box office charts for the second week of release), Russia, Korea, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Singapore and others.

Friends Headline News

Miffy and Friends Hops Onto U.S. Public Broadcasting

MIFFY AND FRIENDS will debut on public television stations around the U.S. beginning July 7, 2007, led by the series' distributor, WLIW New York Public Television. The stop-motion animated series featuring the iconic bunny will air on WLIW21 in the New York metropolitan area Saturdays and Sundays at 8:00 am as part of a lineup that includes BOB THE BUILDER and THOMAS & FRIENDS. Based on the children's classic book series by Dutch author/illustrator Dick Bruna, MIFFY AND FRIENDS explores the everyday lessons and discoveries of a preschooler.

Series Headline News

Monster Sets Off to Sell Lifeboat Luke

Monster Distributes has just picked up the distribution rights to the new animated series, LIFEBOAT LUKE (52x5). The search and rescue adventure for kids 4-7 features Lifeboat Luke and his friends in the mad, magical seaside town of Donaghadoo. The stories use narration, effects and music and are easily re-versioned for different languages.

Animation Headline News

Icon Animation Finds Stations Eager to Take Their Vitaminix

Barcelona-based Icon Animation has signed a raft of international television, home video and publishing deals for its animated healthy-eating series, VITAMINIX, and a range of series from its third party distribution library.

In Greece, 06TV now has television and home video rights for several properties, including three Icon Animation-produced shows VITAMINIX (104x2), LOLA & VIRGINIA (52x12) and MIMI & MR.BOBO (33x26).

Headline News

Evan Almighty Leads Box Office

Universal's Noah-influenced comedy, EVAN ALMIGHTY (with vfx from ILM and Rhythm & Hues), lead the box office with $31.1M in its debut for the weekend June 24, 2007. Another newcomer, the chilling 1408 from MGM/Weinstein Co., followed in second place with $20.6M. Last weekâs leader, FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER (with vfx by Weta Digital, SOHO VFX, Hydraulx, Giant Killer Robots, Hammerhead, The Orphanage, Frantic Films, Lola Visual Effects, Digiscope and Image Engine), finished third for Fox with $20M and a cume of $97.4M.

Headline News

Marc Forster to Direct Bond 22

Signaling a continuation of the character-driven approach introduced by last year's phenomenally successful CASINO ROYALE, Marc Forster (THE KITE RUNNER, FINDING NEVERLAND, MONSTER'S BALL) will direct BOND 22, it was announced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, producers of the James Bond films, Sony Pictures Ent. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.

Forster will commence work shortly with screenwriter Paul Haggis on a draft of the screenplay by Neil Purvis and Robert Wade.

Headline News

Silver Surfer Crests Weekend Box Office

Fox's FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER (with vfx by Weta Digital, SOHO VFX, Hydraulx, Giant Killer Robots, Hammerhead, The Orphanage, Frantic Films, Lola Visual Effects, Digiscope and Image Engine) crested the box office to the No. 1 position taking in $58.4M for the weekend ended June 17, 2007. Warner Bros.' OCEAN'S 13 dropped to the second position with $19.7M and a cume of $70.4M.

Channel Headline News

Weisenberg New SCI FI VP Strategic Marketing

Shari Weisenberg joins SCI FI Channel in the newly created position of vp, strategic marketing, to lead all sales marketing initiatives for the SCI FI brand. Her appointment signals the Channel's commitment to leveraging its multimedia assets to maximize the reach and impact of all sponsor messaging.

Festival Headline News

Annecy & MIFA Offer Bigger Mix

The Annecy international animation market MIFA opened its doors this morning to sunshine and a marked growth in, as well as a greater variety of participants, while the festival, which started on Monday, dealt with rain and less U.S.-based company sponsors.

While the absence of a big presence from Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network is quite noticable, the French broadcasters and other Europeans have filled the gap for what is the premiere animation festival in the world.

Spot Headline News

Ocean's 13 Leads the Box Office

Warner Bros.' OCEAN'S 13, the latest all-star heist escapade from Steven Soderbergh, seized the number one spot at the box office with $36.1M for the weekend ended June 10, 2007. Dropping to second place with $21.1M was PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END (with more cutting edge vfx from ILM). After its third weekend, AT WORLD'S END has captured $253.4M for Buena Vista. Universal's romantic comedy, KNOCKED UP, scored the third spot with $19.6M and $65.8M. Debuting in fourth with $17.6M was SURF'S UP from Sony Pictures Animation and Columbia Pictures.