Passion Pictures has announced the launch of Strange Beast, a company that will represent an international roster of emerging new talent, including Encyclopedia Pictura, Amautalab, Lorenzo Fonda, The Blackheart Gang, Takeo, and James Price. The company is committed to developing creative opportunities for these artists across all media platforms, including commercials, Web-based media, music videos, short films and art exhibitions.
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Former BBC executive Wayne Dunsford has been appointed general manager of preschool channel JimJam, C21 MEDIA reports.
Dunsford has a longtime association with JimJam and was instrumental in establishing the joint venture between Hit Ent. and Chellomedia. In the role of general manager, he'll be responsible for supervising the partnership, as well as coordinating the channel's business activities and worldwide distribution.
Award-winning animation studio Brown Bag Films has announced that Alan Gregg, former VP of the kids division at Alliance Atlantis, has joined the company as VP, International Production. Working closely with Director of Development Gerald Murphy, Gregg will oversee the expansion of the company's development slate in both television and feature films with an emphasis on preschool, family and tween properties. He reports to Cathal Gaffney, Managing Director, and will be working out of the newly-opened Toronto office.
Cable marketing veteran Joanna Lisanti has been named VP of Marketing for kids TV and online entertainment service qubo. In this role, Lisanti will oversee all aspects of ad sales, affiliate and consumer marketing, and will help build awareness of qubo's on-air and online program offerings that promote literacy, positive values and the possibilities of a child's imagination.
Spanish-language network Univision's premiere of its first-ever prime-time animated series, EL CHAVO: LA SERIE ANIMADA -- with Flash animation produced by Mexico City-based Anima Estudios -- captured the #1 spot among entertainment programming, excluding sports, among Adults 18-34 for its time period and saw double- and triple-digit audience gains in every other key demo, according to the Nielsen Fast Affiliate ratings.
* Univision captured the #3 spot among Teens 12-17 and Kids 2-11 for the Sunday 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm hour, beating out CBS, NBC and CW.
Adina Pitt has been named vice president, content acquisitions and co-productions for Cartoon Network and Boomerang, it was announced today. In her new role, Pitt will be responsible for identifying, negotiating and acquiring pre-produced series, specials, movies and short-form product that fit the Cartoon Network and Boomerang brands for exposure on all platforms. She'll continue to oversee those programs once they have been acquired and positioned at each of the networks.
New non-dialogue animated series GAZOON (30x3.5) from Sparkling Animation Studios in co-production with TF1 France has been picked up by YLE Finland within days of signing with Monster Distributes. The series has already sold to RAI in Italy and Samanyolu TV and Mehtap TV in Turkey.
Take a group of wild animals in the African savanna, add wacky behavior, and you've got GAZOON -- an animated comedy with a tender and surreal touch aimed at kids 4-10.
Paris-based Taffy Ent. has announced new sales with key broadcasters and cable channels throughout Spain and Portugal.
Seven Taffy series have been sold to Portugal's Canal Panda, including DIVE OLLY DIVE! (52x11); THE FANTASTIC FOUR (26x26); SAMSAM (52x7), the high-def 3D animated series about the smallest of heroes; CODE LYOKO (97x26); MIX MASTER (39x22); LAMIMILA (65x7); and COSMIC QUANTUM RAY (26x22). CLAN TV and TVE have also purchased MIX MASTER and GROWING UP CREEPIE (52x11), both of which are also broadcast by Nickelodeon Spain.
Atomic Cartoons, creators of world-famous ATOMIC BETTY, have announced a partnership with RAVEN TALES creator Chris Kientz on a new animated action-adventure series, TASK FORCE SHAMAN. Kientz and Atomic will be debuting the project to buyers and broadcasters at the 2008 Kidscreen Summit in New York this February.
Leading independent producer Animation Collective has announced that it will bring a sneak peek of the premiere episode of its new action-comedy series THREE DELIVERY (26x22) to NATPE this month.
Targeting kids 6-11, THREE DELIVERY tells the story of three teenage kung fu heroes on a quest to recover magical recipes missing from an ancient Chinese cookbook; they must battle the evil Kong Li, who wants to use their power to take over Chinatown and the world. The series has sold to YTV, BBC and Nicktoons in the U.S. and Nickelodeon Australia.
Westport, Connecticut-based Global Telemedia will be presenting two new series, as well as collections of classic animation, at NATPE 2008.
MOMO ISLAND (52x11) - Full 3D Animation & HD - Available worldwide (excluding China) for all platforms.
Spain-based animation producer Black Maria has added YENNY, a new animated comedy-adventure series for teenagers, to its slate of projects. Based on an Internet comic strip by David Alvarez that was adopted by Universal Press Syndicate for digital distribution, YENNY follows the adventures of a big-footed Boricua girl. Alvarez is working together with Black Maria's creative directors in the graphic development of the series, which will follow the original storylines of the comic strips.
Leading preschool entertainment producer HIT Ent., on behalf of Chapman Ent., has made arrangements with major Canadian television, toy and apparel companies to bring the international hit series FIFI AND THE FLOWERTOTS to Canada for the first time.
Starting Feb. 25th, FIFI will air on Canada's Treehouse Monday through Friday and will be featured prominently on Treehouse's website (treehousetv.com) with games and activities.
London-based 4Kids Ent. International has announced a slew of new merchandising deals for Monster Jam, reports KIDSCREEN.
Universal Cycles will be producing bicycles, tricycles, scooters, skateboards and skates, as well as a range of accessories, including helmets, elbow pads, knee pads and water bottles, for the U.K. and Ireland. Other new licensees include Aykroyds TDP (nightwear and underwear), Pyramid Posters (posters, wall calendars, stickers badges and postcards) and DNC (lunch bags and sports bottles).
Cookie Jar Ent. has appointed Kirsten Hurd sales executive, it was announced today by Jean-Michel Ciszewski, SVP Head of International Sales and Co-Productions. Based in Cookie Jar's Toronto's headquarters, Hurd will be responsible for library and new programming sales.
Paris-based animation producer Alphanim, which was recently acquired by Gaumont, is planning to branch out to feature animation and live-action children's programming, reports KIDSCREEN. While it will take some time to restructure the company following the quickly concluded acquisition, Alphanim founder Christian Davin said that they were planning a series of full-length CGI movies to follow the success of their 2006 feature FRANKLIN AND THE TURTLE LAKE TREASURE.
U.K.-based The Licensing Company (TLC) and Biplano, licensing and promotional marketing company for Southern Europe, have appointed Gemma Woodward as DreamWork Animation's European Brand Manager working within its Entertainment division. Previously employed at Dorling Kindersley Ltd, Sharpcards Ltd and Entertainment Rights PLC, Woodward will apply her expertise to meet the needs of DreamWorks and TLC UK, France and Germany and Biplano in Spain, to ensure a smooth and successful working relationship.
Curious Pictures has announced two changes to the studio's directorial roster, both of which reflect changes in directorial teams.
Leading kids entertainment group HIT Ent. is partnering with the Linguaphone Group, the world's leading provider of distance and classroom language training solutions, to license the popular children's character Pingu for the delivery of Linguaphone's global preschool English language training program.
DreamWorks Theatricals and Neal Street Productions, Ltd. have announced that SHREK THE MUSICAL will play an exclusive world premiere engagement at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, August 14th to September 21st, prior to opening on Broadway in the Fall of 2008. Preview performances will begin in early November at a theater to be announced.