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NFBC signs licensing deal to develop its library

The National Film Board of Canada (NFBC) has entered into a license agreement with Los Angeles-based producer Jean Madar to develop new TV series and films based on a collection of popular animated shorts from its library. Madar, a Montreal native whose background includes work with Pixibox and Medialab, will use the animated shorts as ready-made pilots for new projects. He has grouped the NFBC films into four collections: "Kids" for children's animation, "Tunes" for musical shorts, "Crazy" for more adult-oriented films, and "Insane" for late-night fare. Madar believes the NFBC collection is an untapped resource that will appeal to idea-hungry Hollywood networks searching for animation properties. Comedy Central's animated series "Bob and Margaret," for instance, spawned from a short called "Bob's Birthday" (1995) produced at the NFBC. Lynne Williams, manager of U.S. sales and international market development for the NFBC, said, " We are delighted to be working with Jean to develop bigger audiences for this wonderful work." The NFBC, known worldwide for its vast collection of animated shorts, has experienced a resurgence of popularity in recent years. Animation channels Cartoon Network and Locomotion have been airing NFBC shorts for some time, and similar compilation programs debuted this month on Canada's all-animation channel Teletoon (the 13-part series "Animania") and a New York PBS affiliate station ("Leonard Maltin and His Animation Favorites From The National Film Board Of Canada").