Curious Pictures has announced it has signed Noble Jones as a live-action/special effects director. Noble is renowned for his work directing commercials in far off places like South Africa and Switzerland for such clients as AT&T, Coca-Cola, MTV and Toyota. His music video for Wide Mouth Mason won awards for Best Cinematography at the Much Music Awards. "We have been aware of Noble for years," said Richard Winkler, executive producer, Curious Pictures. "His work took a quantum leap in the last year or so and the timing was right for both of us.
Geographical Region: Africa
CAST AWAY is still holding strong at the international box office. In Germany, the desert island adventure rounded up another $3.73 million, escalating its cume to $21.46 million. VERTICAL LIMIT climbed into second with a gross of $1.84 million, raising its German cume to $4.34 million. In third, BEDAZZLED seduced $1.4 million, bringing its German cume to $4.49 million. THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE made its German nod in fourth with a gross of $663,408. At #8, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON collected $477,415, pushing its German cume to $2.35 million.
TV-Loonland AG and AAC KIDS, Canadian media giant Alliance Atlantis kids label, have announced their acquisition of Neptuno Films new animated preschool series, CONNIE THE COW. The three firms will partner to transform the property into a global franchise, complete with TV, home video, DVD, merchandising, publishing and Internet projects. Created and directed by Josep Viciana, this series follows restless and curious Connie who lives on a farm with her nurturing mother, who always has now handy advice, and her father, a very strong yet tranquil bull.
Around the globe, CAST AWAY remains at the top of the international box office. In Germany, CAST AWAY claimed the top spot with a gross of $4.99 million, lifting its three-week total to $17.74 million. In second, VERTICAL LIMIT made its German debut with a gross of $2.51 million. BEDAZZLED bewitched third place, grossing $1.88 million, raising its German cume to $3.09 million. In fifth, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON amazed audiences to the tune of $624,096, elevating its German cume to $1.88 million. At #6, UNBREAKABLE secured another $570,085, bringing its German cume to $12.52 million.
CAST AWAY continues to sail atop the international box office, with VERTICAL LIMIT making a climb upward. In Germany, CAST AWAY maintained its #1 finish with a gross of US$5.74 million, escalating its cume to $12.74 million. In second, BEDAZZLED bounced in $1.2 million in its German debut. UNBREAKABLE crash-landed in third with a gross of $954,843, pushing its German cume to $11.95 million. In seventh, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON collected $561,558, raising its German cume to $1.25 million. POKEMON 2000 grabbed another $420,338, lifting its German cume to $6.65 million.
In light of its recent acquisitions of Sony Wonder/Sunbow Entertainment and Paris-based Salsa Distribution, German kids' production house TV Loonland has added key components to its sales staff. Marzenna Czubowicz was hired to head up sales for TV Loonland. Besides overseeing the company's sales offices in London, Paris and New York, she will direct distribution of the company's content in the U.K., Germany, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Poland, Russia, Israel and South Africa. Previously, Czubowicz served as director of sales at Alliance Atlantis Television International.
Asun Gil has been named channel manager of Cartoon Network Spain. Gil joined Cartoon Network Spain as head of research where she played a key role in building 1.2 million subscribers for the network in just over one year on air. "It is very exciting to take on the channel at this stage and my brief is to increase viewers as well as moving further into the area of new media and launching additional services," said Gil.
Stephen Johnstone has been named head of interactive for Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) Europe. He will oversee content creation across the Internet (including Cartoon Network), broadband, wireless devices, interactive and enhanced TV. Joining Turner in 1994, Johnstone played a key role in launching Cartoon Network in European territories including Holland, France and Spain. He will move back to London from the company's Madrid office where he was Channel Manager for Cartoon Network Spain, the number one channel on Canal Satellite Digital.
With HOLLOW MAN claiming strong debuts in Germany and Italy, WHAT LIES BENEATH and X-MEN hold on tight to other tops spots around the world. In first place, HOLLOW MAN scored big in its German premiere with a gross of US$3.78 million. SCARY MOVIE came in right behind with a gross of $3.47 million, raising its German cume to $8.84 million. WHAT LIES BENEATH sunk to third with a gross of $1.37 million, lifting its German cume to $7.11 million. In seventh, FINAL DESTINATION piled up $487,846, bringing its German cume to $6.66 million.
With WHAT LIES BENEATH slowly sinking, THE X-MEN have claimed debut victories around the globe. In Spain, the mighty mutants premiered in first with a gross of US$2.02 million. In its second week in Spain, THE CELL fell to third, grossing $997,797 thus elevating its cume to $2.02 million. Dropping 46%, HOLLOW MAN placed sixth with a gross of $381,275, lifting its Spanish cume to $8.86 million. In eighth, NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS fell a humongous 52%, grossing $315,201 and raising its Spanish cume to $1.65 million.
planetLingo, an Internet-based language learning company, has hired three former Disney executives John Feenie as president and CEO; Cedric Astor as executive VP and CFO; and Greg Probert as executive VP and head of content and curriculum. Previously, Feenie served as executive VP, China Affairs for Disney, in which he was responsible for all of the companys activities in China. For planetLingo, Feenie will help establish markets around the globe. Most recently, Astor served as senior VP for Disney consumer products in Europe/Middle East/Africa.
Vancouver-based EnterCor Entertainment Corp. has signed a deal with Johannesburg-based TV and film conglomerate, Sasani Limited. As part of the deal, EnterCor will represent Sasani in North America. EnterCor COO Ed Richardson said, "I think North Americans will be astounded to see the level of sophistication of the Sasani Group and the extent of their world-class facilities.
Pokemon has caught new deals with several eastern European countries and renewals from around the rest of the continent. New locations of Pokemon infestation include Polsat in Poland, RTL-Klub in Hungary, Nova in Czech Republic, ETV in South Africa and Fox Kids Scandinavia Satelite service. The countries that renewed the second seasons 52-episodes were TV2 in Denmark, TV2 in Norway, TV4 in Sweden, Star Channel in Greece and RTL in Belgium.
* Friday, February 18, 2000. New York, New York, U.S.A.
Cinema Village, the city's venue for alternative animation, will be
presenting the U.S. theatrical premiere of KIRIKOU AND THE SORCERESS from
French filmmaker Michel Ocelot. Based on a West African legend, this film
follows a miraculous infant who singlehandedly saves his small village from
a sultry yet evil wizard. Featuring an original score by Senegalese music
artist Youssou N'Dour, KIRIKOU AND THE SORCERESS offers a unique spin: an
South Africa-based Triggerfish Animation, a leading stop-frame animation
company in South Africa, is currently shooting animation sequences for the
South African SESAME STREET, using an assortment of different materials
including local contemporary art work, creating a unique African feel to
the production. In addition, Triggerfish is shooting a 30-second commercial
using 7 plasticine characters for a new product being launched in South
Africa and Australia called Slo Jo -- a fruit smoothie.
Toronto-based DECODE ENTERTAINMENT has announced DOMINIQUE BAZAY and
CAROLINE DORRIS to its recently formed international distribution
division. As Director of International Sales, Bazay, who will be based
in Toronto, will head distribution activities and sales to Scandinavia,
Spain, Portugal, Eastern Europe and South Africa, among other
territories. Bazay previously served in sales for BBC Worldwide
Americas, Paragon Entertainment, and the CBC. Dorris will also serve as
THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY has completed the next stage in the development ofits international organization for Europe by naming six Disney veterans tocountry management roles. The six executives will all become managingdirector of six country groupings. CLAUS GYDESEN, 39, has been appointedmanaging director for Germany, Austria and Switzerland and will continue tobe based in Munich. As head of Disney's video operations in these markets,Gydesen established a direct-to-retailer operation that helped make Buena
DISNEY PUBLISHING WORLDWIDE has made several appointments. GUIDOMASTROPAOLO has been named Director of Global Planning and BusinessDevelopment for Disney Publishing Worldwide. Located in Paris,Mastropaolo's duties will include leading international initiatives to growrevenue by negotiating acquisitions, new business ventures and majorlicensing deals in order to ensure meeting overall publishing financialgoals. In addition, he will co-manage the strategic planning process and
The premiere of Faith Hubley's new film "Africa" is set to take place at Storyopolis on December 15th. The 10-minute film will screen at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, and 6:30 p.m. at the New Line Cinema. A reception follows afterwards at Storyopolis from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Faith and Emily Hubley will be present at the reception. The screening and reception are open to the public free of charge, however, guests must RSVP by calling (310) 828-7577.
* Tuesday, December 15. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
The downtown central Los Angeles Public Library will screen a selection ofthe best experimental animation made at CalArts in the last 25 years at 6p.m. The free event is open to the public and will be introduced byfounding director of the CalArts Experimental Animation Program, JulesEngel. Early work from "Antz" co-director Eric Darnell and "Nightmarebefore Christmas" director Henry Selick will be among the fourteen works