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Burton to Help Turn 9 Animated Short into Feature

Shane Acker has landed an animation student's dream. Focus Features has agreed to turn his student short 9 into an animated feature with Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov (Russian director of NIGHT WATCH) and Jim Lemley (exec producer of RED EYE) producing, reports the trades. Acker will even get to direct. Focus president of production John Lyons will shepherd the film.

"Shane is a gifted artist and storyteller, one whose work will appeal to audiences internationally," said Focus co-presidents David Linde and James Schamus. "As Focus' first animated feature project, '9' is also part of our established initiative of cultivating new filmmakers and encouraging their creativity in groundbreaking genres and styles."

The feature will expand on the shorts tale of a post-apocalyptic nightmarish world where human runs from mechanical beasts and dinosaur skeletons. Pamela Pettler (CORPSE BRIDE, MONSTER HOUSE) is adapting the script.

"The short was among the most extraordinary 10 minutes of film we've ever seen," Burton and Bekmambetov said in a statement. "Shane has conceived a stunningly detailed and hauntingly beautiful universe that will resonate not only visually but emotionally."

Acker received dual master's degrees from UCLA in architecture and animation. 9 won best animated film and a special Judges' Choice Award at last week's Comic-Con International in San Diego.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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