A Tour of John Lasseter’s Alcohol Production Facility

Lasseter Winery
For those of you who have already been inside of John Lasseter’s closet and are wondering what else there could possibly be to learn about the man, rest assured, there’s plenty more. Here’s a detailed article about the winery that John owns with his wife Nancy. In it, you’ll find out how computer animation is like winemaking (besides the fact that both many animators and wine drinkers are lushes), and nerds such as myself will notice that the winery’s mascot is Wally B., a character from Lasseter’s first CG short The Adventures of André and Wally B. You may also be delighted to learn that one of his recent wines, Chemin de Fer, is a tribute to Ollie Johnston.

Academy of Motion Pictures Explores Colorful World of Disney Artist Mary Blair

Beverly Hills, CA (September 29, 2011) — The lasting influence of Disney artist Mary Blair will be celebrated through an examination of her concept artwork for Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan in the 1950s during Mary Blair’s World of Color: A Centennial Tribute, the latest installment of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Marc Davis Celebration of Animation, on Thursday, October 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Several of today’s top animation talents will discuss Blair’s work as an artist and stylist and will also demonstrate how her work has influenced their own. The panel will be moderated by animation critic and film historian Charles Solomon.

Blair’s unmistakably bold and colorful designs continue to inspire artists in all areas of animation today. Her unique and lasting impact on animation continues to this day, though Blair is best known for her design of Disneyland’s “it’s a small world” attraction, which she worked on with legendary animator Marc Davis, for whom the lecture series is named, and his wife Disney Imagineer Alice Davis.

Panelists for the evening include:

Pete Docter, whose Oscar nominations include Original Screenplay for Toy Story, WALL-E and Up, Animated Feature film for Monsters, Inc. and Animated Short Film for Mike’s New Car, received the 2009 Oscar for Animated Feature Film for Up.

Mike Giaimo, who served as a character designer on The Brave Little Toaster and FernGully: The Last Rainforest, was the art director on Pocahontas and a visual development artist on Home on the Range.

Eric Goldberg, who served as the supervising animator for the Genie in Aladdin, Phil in Hercules and Rabbit in Winnie the Pooh, was the co-director of “Pocahontas” as well as the director of the Rhapsody in Blue and Carnival of the Animals segments of Fantasia/2000.

Susan Goldberg, who served as an assistant animator on Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Hercules, was the art director on the Rhapsody in Blue and Carnival of the Animals sequences in Fantasia/2000.

Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi, the lead color key artist on Robots and the lead color designer on Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! was the art director on Toy Story 3.

Following the program, attendees will be able to view a selection of original works by Blair.

The Marc Davis Lecture on Animation was established in 1994 to provide a forum for established film animators and other experts in the craft to share their experiences as well as explore with their colleagues the challenges of creating animation for the screen. The lecture is named in honor of the man who gave life to characters as diverse as Brer Rabbit, the beautiful Cinderella, Alice (of Wonderland fame), Tinkerbell, and the delightfully wicked Maleficent and Cruella De Vil.

Tickets for Mary Blair’s World of Color: A Centennial Tribute will go on sale Monday, October 3. Tickets are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. They may be purchased online at www.oscars.org, by mail, in person at the Academy during regular business hours or, depending on availability, on the night of the program when the doors open at 6:30 p.m. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit www.oscars.org.

Classic Media To Distribute “hoops&yoyo Ruin Christmas”

LONDON, UK (September 29, 2011)–Classic Media, a global media company with a portfolio of some of the world’s leading family entertainment brands, today announced its new relationship with Hallmark and the first of the hilarious hoops&yoyo entertainment offerings with the Christmas special:  hoops&yoyo Ruin Christmas (1×30). Classic Media will be overseeing worldwide distribution (excluding US and Canada DVD). The special will be unveiled to international broadcasters exclusively at the upcoming MIPCOM market.

Join the adventure as these comical characters discover Santa’s secrets by becoming accidental stowaways on his sleigh. Their trip takes an unexpected turn when turbulence jostles them from the sleigh and they fall through a wormhole, ending up back in time with a young Kris Kringle.  After coming to the realization that they have disrupted Kris’ journey to fulfilling his destiny, the trio races to set things right so the world will have its Santa Claus. Will Christmas ever be the same? Will Santa ever be the same? Only time (and perhaps a little time travel) will tell.

The special, featuring the zany, animated pink kitty and green bunny team, was produced by Hallmark and will premiere on CBS on November 25, 2011.

“As the seasonal market leader, we are committed to bringing time-honored classics to consumers as well as creating new family viewing traditions,” said Chloe van den Berg, Executive Vice President, International, Classic Media. “We are delighted to be working with Hallmark and very much hope this is the first of many hoops&yoyo adventures we’ll see.  We look forward to unveiling this new special at MIPCOM and introducing it to audiences later this holiday season.”

“With 6 international websites, hoops&yoyo have fans around the globe,” said Jodi Schade, Vice President Music Acquisitions & Hallmark Properties. “We are thrilled to partner with Classic Media to bring our first holiday special to our fans throughout the world!”

Warren Buffett’s “Secret Millionaires Club” Goes to MIPCOM

LOS ANGELES – September 29 th , 2011 – A Squared Entertainment (A 2 ) and Your Family Entertainment (YFE) are excited to present a series of 26 new episodes of Secret Millionaires Club at the upcoming MIPCOM conference in Cannes, France October 3-6, 2011. The popular animated series, produced by A 2 and Xing Xing Digital animation studio, and sold internationally by YFE, speaks to the global need to educate and enlighten kids about business and finance in a way that is fun and engaging.

The Secret Millionaires Club television series follows a group of kids from around the world as they embark on business adventures under the mentorship of a wise local investor. With high tech tools and common sense, they learn by doing and helping others along the way. Each show offers kids a useful, practical lesson they can takeaway such as the consequences of borrowing money, the value of working together and the importance of perseverance.

‘These shows are not meant to teach kids how to read a balance sheet,’ says Andy Heyward, A 2 Co-President. ‘First and foremost these are fun stories that will engage and entertain kids with exciting business-related adventures. Secret Millionaires Club enriches young minds with simple lessons that will help them be more successful in their own lives later on.’

‘Especially today, it is important that future generations learn about money matters early, in a playful way. The quintessential message of this show is: ‘The best investment you can make is the investment in yourself. The more you learn the more you’ll earn, (Warren Buffett)’ says Stefan Piëch, CEO of YFE.
To add to the fun, many of the Secret Millionaires Club half hour TV episodes will feature celebrity guest appearances from Jay-Z, Shaquille O’Neal, Serena Williams and more. The first episodes have been sold to The Hub for the U.S. market.

In addition to the 26 30-minute episodes, there are also 26 3-4 minute long Secret Millionaires Club webisodes available, plus an interactive website (www.smckids.com) with additional games and activities that can be customized for any international audience.

Secret Millionaires Club is non-violent, advertiser-friendly and non-gender specific, intended for both girls and boys ages 6-11. Top academics and financial expert Warren Buffett developed the curriculum for the series, while Emmy Award-winning writers brought the stories to life. The series is co-produced by A Squared Entertainment with Xing Xing Digital Corporation of Beijing.

This fall in the U.S., Secret Millionaires Club -themed learning materials will be brought into 100,000 classrooms, adapting the shows’ lessons for an educational setting. There will also be a national competition that will encourage entrepreneurial thinking in kids and provide cash prizes to the winning schools. All of these engaging programs can be adapted for any international market.

“Teenage Fairytale Dropouts” Greenlit for Animated Series

Anima Estudios, SLR Productions, Home Plate Entertainment together with Telegael today announced Teenage Fairytale Dropouts has been green-lighted for production.

The 52 x 11 minute animated comedy series is the story of Jeremiah, Fury and Trafalgar, three best friends and second generation fairytale characters who are determined to be themselves — no matter what their well-known fairytale parents think about it.

“We’re thrilled to have such extraordinary partners on board for this series. I think what has really brought us together is a love for our quirky main characters – there’s definitely a little of Fury, Trafalgar and Jeremiah in all of us!” said Ánima Estudios’ Executive VP, Jose Carlos Garcia de Letona.

“We are all really enthusiastic to be going into production with Teenage Fairytale Dropouts, a zany comedic series that will undoubtedly have universal and timely appeal. Teenage Fairytale Dropouts is a modern twist on all the favourite fairytale classic stories and characters we have grown up with” said Executive Producer and CEO of SLR Productions, Suzanne Ryan.

“The series has been very well received by broadcasters. There is always a strong market for animated character comedies like Teenage Fairytale Dropouts with recognizable iconic themes. This is a strong collaboration among extremely creative co-production partners and the commitment to quality is apparent” said Bill Schultz, Executive Producer and CEO at Home Plate Entertainment.

Jeremiah maybe the son of The Giant from Jack and the Beanstalk but that doesn’t mean he’s going to follow in his father’s enormous footsteps, stomping villages and eating people. Besides, he still has some growing up to do, literally. Jeremiah may be a tween but he’s still waiting for his “giant” growth spurt.

And Fury, maybe the daughter of the Tooth Fairy but dental remuneration is not in her future – “way too creepy”. Plus, there’s the embarrassing fact that her fairy wings haven’t…ah… sprouted yet. Then there’s Trafalgar, one of Merlin’s many nephews, who actually has potential – if he just didn’t lack so much focus in his hocus pocus.

Together this trio is out to prove that even in the wacky, up-side-down, unexpected world of Fairytale Estates – you can be your own giant, fairy or wizard – as long as you have your friends along for the “souped-up” pumpkin carriage ride of your life.

A high-definition flash-animated series, Teenage Fairytale Dropouts is slated for broadcast release in 2013.

MONDAY IN NYC: Student Animation on Outdoor Screen

Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival

Join Cartoon Brew this Monday, October 3, for a FREE screening of this year’s selections in Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival. Sure, you can see them all on-line (we’re posting the last one this Monday), but we think the films are even cooler viewed with an audience on a giant HD-format LED screen against the side of a building in midtown Manhattan.

We’re putting on the show in collaboration with the fine film purveyors at the Big Screen Plaza who have been hosting a solid line-up of animation and live-action films all summer long. Most of the films they show are professional productions, and we’re extremely delighted that they’re celebrating the quality of these student productions alongside their other programs.

Screening starts at 7pm and the location is 851 6th Avenue (between 29th and 30th St., behind the Eventi Hotel). If you’re coming from work and hungry, rest assured there’s an indoor cafe where you can grab a bite before or during the screening. And if you see Amid, say hi. (He’s friendly as long as you don’t talk about animation with him.) Here’s the Facebook invite page.

J. J. Sedelmaier Explains How He Makes a Commercial

Jordan Belson

As part of his newish on-line column at Print magazine, J. J. Sedelmaier has written an excellent account about producing a couple of animated commercials with New Yorker cartoonist George Booth. The spots, produced in 1993, came fairly early in Sedelmaier’s animation career–though not before he had animated the first season of Beavis and Butthead–and he writes eloquently about what these pieces meant to his development as an artist:

Working with [George Booth] opened vistas for me and redefined what collaboration should be all about. . . .The advertising agency (Foote Cone & Belding/SF), the designer (that would be George), and the sound designer (the late Tom Pomposello), were a magical combination that one rarely gets to experience when producing commercials. It was this project that was also a right of passage of sorts for me because I was extended a level of respect and a peer level working relationship that I hadn’t really seen yet.

The entire article is packed with pre-production artwork (at incredibly high resolutions, no less) and lots of fun behind-the-scenes stories. Well worth your time.

Does Miyazaki Think Women Artists Signal the End of Anime?

Hayao Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki, who has been known to often take a negative tone about the animation industry and society in general, recently tweeted that he gets the feeling that the Japanese animation industry is “done for,” and as evidence, cited the emergence of women animators. Here’s what he said in Japanese:

They say it’s over for animation in Japan. When we look for new hires only women respond, and I get the feeling that we’re done for. In our last hurrah we borrow from outside staff (i.e. outsource), but soon we won’t be able to do that forever.

The tweet would seem to indicate that he somehow correlates the end of Japanese animation with women employees, but that may not be the case. Blogger Anne Ishii asked him to clarify and he responded with a five-part tweet, that perhaps made things a little better but also confused the issue further with some tangent about women bus drivers. The ambiguity may partly be due to translation issues and partly because Twitter is an awful forum for having meaningful discussions of any kind.

Considering that Miyazaki is arguably the most successful feature animation director of all time, his comments are worthy of discussion, and I, for one, am curious to hear him explain further what he meant when he said, “I think it would be great to see a female animation director, but as far as Ghibli’s concerned, I can’t think of a single one for us.” To read Miyazaki’s entire commentary, go to the Hooded Utilitarian blog. If you’re familiar with Japanese society and have a different understanding of what he’s saying, please share your thoughts.

GKIDS Picks Up Acclaimed Animated Feature “Chico & Rita”

New York, New York — September 28, 2011 — GKIDS, a distributor of award winning animation for both adults and families, and producers Magic Pictures and CinamaNX announced today that GKIDS has acquired US distribution rights to Chico & Rita, the highly acclaimed new animated feature from Academy Award®-winning director Fernando Trueba (Belle Epoque) and renowned illustrator and designer Javier Mariscal.

The film made its world premiere at Telluride Film Festival, was an official selection at Toronto International Film Festival, and has been released to wide acclaim in the UK, France, and Spain. It will be qualifying for the Oscars® in the Best Animated Feature category with a Los Angeles qualifying run December 2011, followed by US theatrical release in early 2012. The film will be released by GKIDS under their new Luma Films banner for adult animation.

The deal for Chico & Rita was negotiated by Eric Beckman for GKIDS and Andrew Fingret of CinamaNX on behalf of producing partners Magic Light Pictures, CinamaNX, Estudio Mariscal, Isle of Man Films, and Fernando Trueba Producciones Cinematográficas SA.

GKIDS president Eric Beckman said, “Chico& Rita is a stunning, vibrant film, and a testament to the ongoing resurgence of animation as an art-form for adult audiences. This is a passionately sexy love story with a red-hot soundtrack, as well as a shimmering postcard to old Havana and bebop-era New York. With this pickup GKIDS continues to deepen its focus on unique stories and Oscar®-caliber animation from some of today’s most creative visionaries.”

Steve Christian, Chairman of CinemaNX said, “We are thrilled that GKIDS/Luma will be releasing Chico & Rita. To have found distribution partners who share our passion for the film is very exciting. We are looking forward to achieving a successful, quality market presence for the film in the US.”

New Hires & Promotions at Illumination Entertainment

Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment is continuing to ramp up its infrastructure by bringing two crucial hires onto its leadership team. The four-year-old company made several additions earlier this year, and now, Meledandri has announced the hirings of Brooke Breton as a senior production executive and Kit Giordano as Director of Development. Simultaneously, Kristin Wong-Ward has been promoted into the creative executive role.

Breton is currently producing the Despicable Me theme park attraction for Illumination, which is slated to open in 2012 at Universal Studios Orlando, and also has a long history as a producer of prominent live-action and animated motion pictures. She spent several years at Lightstorm Entertainment, where she served as co-producer on James Cameron’s Avatar, among other projects. Prior to that Breton co-produced Sky Captain And The World of Tomorrow for Paramount Pictures, and was also involved in the establishment of DreamWorks Animation where she produced The Road to El Dorado. She also associate produced three Star Trek feature films and spent several years as Senior Vice President of Digital Domain, where she oversaw projects that included True Lies, Interview With The Vampire, Apollo 13, and other major event movies.

Giordano most recently served as Vice President of Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films (Tropic Thunder, Zoolander), and is an associate producer on the action comedy, 30 Minutes Or Less, starring Jesse Eisenberg and directed by Ruben Fleischer. She previously served as a book and theater scout for Miramax in New York and a development executive at Gunn Films.

After a stint as Meledandri’s executive assistant, Ward is moving into a new creative executive slot. There, her focus will cross all Illumination activities from feature film development through marketing.

Meledandri commented, “Brooke, Kit and Kristin are superb executives who are a great complement to our current team.”

Skywriter’s “Camp Lakebottom” greenlit for TELETOON Canada

TORONTO — (September 28, 2011) — Skywriter Media and Entertainment Group have received the green light from TELETOON Canada Inc. to begin production on 26 episodes of Camp Lakebottom, an animated comedy for six to 11 year-olds. The half-hour series is slated for delivery in late fall 2012.

Camp Lakebottom was created by Betsy McGowen and Eric Jacobson, and developed by Skywriter’s Meghan Davies and TELETOON’s Athena Georgaklis, Manager, Original Productions and Alan Gregg, Director, Original Content. Head Writers are Rob Pincombe and Shelley Hoffman (Kid vs. Kat); Directors are Phil Lafrance and Jamie Leclaire (Jimmy Two Shoes); Animation is being done at Jam Filled; Supervising Producer is Steve Hodgins (Max and Ruby). The announcement was made by Skywriter CEO and Executive Producer, Kevin Gillis (Atomic Betty, Jimmy Two Shoes).

“We are very excited to be working with the great team at TELETOON in making Camp Lakebottom, a hilarious must-see hit for kids everywhere,” said Gillis. “This is the summer camp every kid would love to go to — if only!”

“Camp Lakebottom is the only summer camp where you don’t have to make up the late night campfire stories,” said Alan Gregg, Director, Original Content, TELETOON Canada Inc. “We are delighted with how the show has evolved and feel that it will be a great addition to our exciting lineup.”

Targeted for boys and girls, aged six to 11, the series follows the hilarious summer adventures of Lakebottom’s rambunctious young campers and their creep show counselors. Camp Lakebottom will take viewers into the most awesomely horrible summer camp in the world. The cabins are possessed, the staff members are a real creep show … and the kids are having way too much fun! With outrageous set-ups, plentiful freaks of nature and campers so over-the-top, they have to hang out a sixth story window just to tie their shoes, Camp Lakebottom will be the funniest, most horrifying vacation paradise on TV!

India’s MAAC Announces 8th Annual 24FPS International Animation Awards 2011

Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC) — leader in 3D Animation and VFX training today announced the closing of call entries for India’s most prestigious awards in animation 24 FPS International Animation Awards 2011. The India’s most coveted animation awards will be held in Mumbai on December 9, 2011.
The categories for the 2011 awards are Best VFX Short Film: Student, Best 3D Animated Short Film: —Student, Best 2D Animated Short Film: — Student, Best Game Design 2011 — Studio/Professional Category, Best Visual Effects Feature Film 2011 – Studio/Professional Category, Best TVC 2011 – Studio/Professional Category, Best TV Series 2011 — Studio/Professional Category, Best Animated (2D/3D) Feature Film 2011 — Studio/Professional.
With over 600 entries last year from countries like India, China, France, Germany and the US the event has become bigger. Over the last eight years, the event has gained momentous support from the global animation and fraternity and has been a key driver and promoter of fresh animation talent in the country. MAAC once again gears up to recognize the animation talent this year, with past winners who showcased incredible work like Metanoia and Enhaut.
Enthralled about the forthcoming awards, Ninad Karpe, CEO & MD Aptech Ltd. said “Today the animation industry is gaining prominence. Awards like 24FPS Awards will bring into lime light some of the best work that this industry has projected in the last few years. We are pleased to present the 24FPS Awards which we feel will further spur the growth of the global animation industry. This event gives youngsters the opportunity to get assessed by veterans and better understand industry demands.”
“24FPS has turned to an international scale with respect participation, quality, enthusiasm and the celebration and Aptech has extended its full support for the same. Last seven years, we have seen a successful and innovative journey of 24 FPS Awards, we had got a fantastic response from academies, colleges, universities, individual professionals and all the reputed studios across the world. 24 FPS Awards is the unique platform which recognizes all form of animation.” he added

Some of the eminent jury panel includes Lucasfilm – Singapore, Dreamworks – USA, Method Studios – Canada, Prana – India & USA, Prasad EFX – India, R&H – India, Double Negative – U.K, Trine Entertainment – India, Pixion – India, Prime Focus – India, United Nations amongst other industry stalwarts.

“Song of the South” can be yours – for $1,499

Forget that old PAL video tape or the Japanese laser disc. Someone is offering a 16mm IB Technicolor print of Song of The South on eBay. The bidding starts at $1,499.

We rarely plug specific items being sold on eBay, but the 1946 live action and animation feature is one of the few Disney classics never released on DVD. The seller says it’s an original grey track IB print with colors that will never fade. Technicolor prints in this shape are rare of any film, much less one of the most requested Disney titles of all time.

For more information about this 16mm print, click here. I also recommend joining the Song of the South page on Facebook and checking Song of The South.net for the most comprehensive coverage on the film. Oh, and I’m not bidding on the picture, so let me know if you get it.

UPDATE: Brew commenter Egbert Souse writes in our comments that, “Disney is remastering Song of the South from the original negatives in 4K resolution. It’s not in the immediate pipeline for a Snow White or Bambi level restoration, but they’ll have complete digital files by the end of next year.”

Animated Fragments #12

Drawn Animation for Chris Milk’s interactive video “Three Dreams of Black” by Anthony Schepperd (US)

Brainflow by Fiorella Pierini (UK)

Jumpman by Denis Borisovich (Russia)

Hawaï Fish by Laurent Clermont (Sweden)

Droppp by Hajime Nagatsuka (Japan)

Salisbury Arts Centre Launches Open 2011: Animation

Following on from 2010’s successful Open Submission exhibition showcasing making and materials, Salisbury Arts Centre presents the 2011 Open, celebrating animation in its broadest sense.

Artists were invited to submit works on the theme of ‘animating me’, which is open to many interpretations from self-portraits to avatars to simply their portal on the world.  We have particularly looked for work which pushes the boundaries of what you might usually expect of animation, and encompassing more lateral thinking animation forms.  Some entries are made by artists who primarily work in another medium, including performance, ceramics and drawing; others employ an original approach to materials and techniques, or adopt and subvert familiar visual languages from advertising and gaming.  The final line-up is: Doug Burton, Daniel Collins, Rodney Dee, Nisha Duggal, Sarah Filmer, Sally Fryer, Mirka Golden-Hann, Tara Harland Viney, Colin Legge, David Lifton, Fin McMorran, Astrid Moors, Steve Nice, Kim L Pace, Jane Price, Edwin Rostron, Michael Shaw, David Theobald.

The selection panel is: Merlin Crossingham (Artistic Director of Wallace & Gromit for Aardman Animation); artist Oliver Michaels, who hails from the UK but now lives in Brooklyn; Helen Sloan (Director of SCAN, who recently curated Broken Stillness at Salisbury Arts Centre); and Gary Thomas (Co-Director of Animate Projects).

You are invited to vote for your favourite work in the exhibition — the three receiving the most votes will win a cash prize.  You can vote in the exhibition space or online at www.salisburyartscentre.co.uk.

Special Events:
- Panel discussion: ‘Animation — the future of film?’  Saturday 15 October, 2pm.  Panellists: Gary Thomas (Director of Animate Projects), Nag Vladermersky (Director of London International Animation Festival) and Lizzie Sykes (video artist, filmmaker and Senior Lecturer in Television Production at Bournemouth University).  Chair: Kevin Jackson. (Free, booking required)
- Join Aardman model maker Jim Parkyn for an hour-long claymation workshop to make your own Aardman character. Sunday 30th October — book a slot: [email protected] / 01722 321744 (£6 per ticket).
- Big Draw workshop: Make a flip book! Tuesday 25 October 10am-4pm. Free, suitable for ages, just drop in

Additional workshops are available for groups: call 01722 343020 or e-mail [email protected].

This exhibition is part of Re Imagining Exhibitions, an 18 month action research project developing Salisbury Arts Centre’s contemporary art programme and audiences.  The programme is supported by Arts Council England, Wiltshire Council, Salisbury City Council, The Ernest Cook Charitable Trust, and Evolver Magazine.

The View From Here
10 November — 23 December 2011 (preview 9 November)
Including work by Martin Bruch and Juan delGado, with a commissioned response from Aidan Moesby

Call For Entries: Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film

As far as the animation world’s calendar for 2012 is concerned, the month of May will remain a firm date: for the19th time, the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film will offer directors and production companies a platform to present their films as well as an opportunity for the fans of animation film to watch animated short and feature films, meet well-known filmmakers and participate at workshops and presentations over a period of six days.

The festival, founded in 1982, has developed into an essential event for animation film in Germany over the past 30 years and is one of the biggest and most important festivals for animated films around the world. Artistic animation films and the support of young talent represent the core of the festival. The various competition programmes are endowed with prize money of more than 60,000 euros in total.

You are kindly invited to submit films produced after October 1, 2010 to one of the Festival’s following competition categories!

- International Competition (Short film competition)
- Young Animation (Student film competition)
- Tricks for Kids – shorts and series (Competition for short films and TV series for children)
- NEW: Cartoons for Teens (Competition for animated series, anime series and cut scenes from computer games)
- AniMovie (Feature-length film competition)

DEADLINE: December 01, 2011

More information on the terms and conditions, the competition categories and the awards you will find on our homepage.

NEW: Online submission with or without film upload! Starting September 27., 2011. Then you can register (for free) on our homepage, fill in the online entry form and upload your film. Films can be also sent on DVD.

Online submission with film upload is also possible at Reelport. Starting: October 10, 2011.

The festival takes place from May 8-13, 2012.

Animator/Director Em Cooper Joins Film Club

London, 26 September 2011 – Film Club Productions, London-based animation production company have added filmmaker Em Cooper to their roster of award winning directors for commercials representation.

Em Cooper, a Royal College of Art graduate, is best known for creating engaging and emotionally sensitive short films, specializing in a unique mix of oil paint animation over live action.

Cooper’s style offers a sensitive,  visually rich perspective of her subjects . Her trademark approach involves the use of oil paint on glass animation as well as oil painted rotoscoped animation mixed with live-action.

Prior to joining Film Club, Cooper worked freelance as a director, editor and lead animator for commercials and documentaries, as well as directing and producing shorts for festival screenings. Her latest short film Confusion of Tongues premiered at the Brooklyn Film Festival in July 2011 to critical acclaim.

Sue Loughlin, Film Club executive producer said: “Em is a talented young filmmaker with an exceptional degree of originality. She is an all-rounder and a great signing”.

Film Club Productions is an exclusive group of hugely experienced as well as talented animation and mixed media filmmakers including a few recently graduated directors to spice up the mix.

Imira Acquires Rights to “The Lighthouse Island”

Barcelona, 26 September 2011: Imira Entertainment, Spain’s leading production and distribution company specialising in youth programming, has acquired worldwide distribution and licensing rights to two brand new series aimed at preschool and older which will line up alongside Lucky Fred on its MIPCOM slate.

The Lighthouse Island is a brand new 2D animated show aimed at 3-6 year-olds produced by TVC, publishers Editorial Claret and illustrator Pilarín Bayés and his daughter Marga Sala, with the production coordinated by Imira. Also new on Imira’s third party distribution slate is Joco, a live action comedy for 3-7 year olds from producer El Terrat.

The Lighthouse Island 26X6´follows Dana, a seven year-old girl, who is tired of the long winter and needs a holiday. So she decides to take a magical trip to the beautiful Lighthouse Island. Her companions are Micu, a Labrador retriever and Dromi, an incredible lighthouse robot found on the island. Together they discover the wildlife of her new home, a natural paradise that opens doors to great and new adventures. The series is available in all territories.

Joco (52×3’) is a selection of daily short stories brought to life by the eponymous character in non-verbal physical comedy. Joco is clumsy, funny, perseverant with a selection of brightly coloured hats. His ability to solve problems, mostly of his own making, is his virtue…and unwittingly the source of the comedy. He has a childlike approach to the silly moments that are common in real life.

Christophe Goldberger, Head of Distribution and Marketing at Imira Entertainment said: “Both series are magical and eye-catching in their own distinct way, ideally tailored for the older preschool demographic and a perfect addition to our slate. We’re looking forwarding to showcasing both to buyers and anticipate much interest.”

Imira is also set to launch brand new series Lucky Fred at MIPCOM 2011. The 52X12´2D animated series for 6-12 year olds is an Imira co-production with Spain’s Televisió de Catalunya, RAI Fiction in Italy and Top Draw Animation in the Philippines.

Lucky Fred follows the comic adventures of Fred, an ordinary 13-year-old boy who accidentally became the owner of a super-powered, shape-shifting robot who can turn into any object Fred can dream of with a simple voice command. Lucky Fred is already pre-sold in over 150 territories including TF1 for France; Disney Channel in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, India & Australia and Nickelodeon in Benelux, Scandinavia, Latin America, Asia & South Korea.

The series will be supported by a licensing and merchandising roll out and Imira is also launching a website and mobiles based interactive treasure hunt for the whole family to play, which will be available via the broadcasters and Lucky Fred websites.  The geo-localised cell phone application leads kids on missions to track down and neutralize in their own city aliens from the series in exchange for prizes including exclusive collectables and discounts for local attractions – it´s a brand new way for kids to submerge themselves in the Lucky Fred world.

Imira will be launching Lucky Fred at MIPCOM 2011, with a presentation on October 03rd from 18-20hrs in the Hotel Majestic Barrière and will be available at stand number R32.25.

Nashville Animator Mike Silva Wins 3 Development Deals From NY TV Fest

NEW YORK, NY — The New York Television Festival was held September 19-24, 2011. Nashville animator Mike Salva left the festival with three development deals for his comedic animation work, more than any other artist received at the festival this year.

The New York Television Festival provides unprecedented access for emerging television artists looking to showcase new and innovative ideas for television programming.

Bing “Decisions” Project
NYTVF teamed up with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Ben Silverman’s Electus studio to develop a new show created by a member of the NYTVF community. Mike Salva’s cartoon Death Row Diet won this competition, receiving a $25,000 development deal.

Death Row Diet stars Jonathan Katz (best known for Comedy Central’s Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist) and Tom Leopold (who wrote episodes for Seinfeld, Cheers, Will & Grace, others) about a man who is on death row and Weight Watchers.

MTV’s “Voice and Vision” Awards
MTV offered two development deals at the television festival for comedic animation submissions. The awards, each valued at $5,000, were to be presented to an outstanding comedic writer (Voice”) and animator (“Vision”). Although the awards could have been given to separate entrants, NYTVF gave both awards to Mike Salva for his Pound Dogs cartoon.

Pound Dogs was a 100% Nashville-based production, with Nashville standup comedians Ryan Williams and Sean Parrott in the lead roles. Williams and Parrott play comedic cartoon dogs that live in an animal shelter. The cast also includes Andy Merrill (Brak from Adult Swim’s Space Ghost Coast to Coast; Aqua Teen Hunger Force), Samantha Newark (best known as Jem & Jerrica on the 80s animated series Jem) and Nashville filmmaker/singer/producer Steve Taylor.

More information about the New York Television Festival can be found at www.nytvf.com. More information about Salva’s animation work can be found at www.projectmeatball.com.

Millimages Launches “Mouk” At MIPCOM

Paris, 27 September 2011. Leading European production and distribution company Millimages is heading to MIPCOM 2011 with its brand new property Mouk and a slate of new animated shows in production and development.

Mouk is a 62 x 11-minute animated preschool series which has already been commissioned by France Télévisions and Disney Channel UK and Millimages will be looking for further international broadcast deals in Cannes, as well as seeking licensing, merchandising and gaming partners for the new brand. The show has been selected as one of the finalists of the Licensing Challenge at MIPCOM Junior.

Based on the work of Marc Boutavant and directed by François Narboux, join Mouk and Chavapa, our two globetrotting adventurers, as they explore the wonderful world we live in, and discover the unique culture and identity of each amazing place they visit.

Millimages is also showcasing it new kids’ property Trust Me I’m a Genie as well as launching two 22-minute specials of its preschool show Louie.

Commissioned by CBBC in the UK and France’s Canal+, Trust Me I’m a Genie (52 x 13’) is a comedy driven animated series based around Diego, a chilled out camel, who lives in a peaceful oasis.  One day he stumbles upon an old soda can which he kicks and out pops a Genie called Ziggy who is a Racoon!  Diego is granted two of his three wishes, but then sand gets in the can! Each episode follows Ziggy’s attempt to cajole Diego into making the third and final wish and the hilarious consequences that follow.

With 3 seasons and 117 episodes, Louie is already a firm favourite with broadcasters and audiences around the globe and the new specials will give preschool viewers the chance to explore his exciting world through these new adventures.

Millimages will also be at MIPCOM 2011 looking for partners for its latest development projects: Call for CHI-CHI and Caroline and Her Friends.

A full-length episode is available for the first time for Call for CHI-CHI, a 52 x 11’ preschool 3D animated series co-produced between Millimages and South Korean companies Neon Pumpkin and Pixtrend.

When Bella and Tommy want to share their joys and woes, they call for “Chi-Chi”. She appears and chooses a page from her living pop-up book world, the two Children lean forward quite fascinated, and watch Chi-Chi and all her extraordinary friends enjoying and resolving similar joys and woes. The stories help Bella and Tommy understand their own world and relationships.

Aimed at older preschool children, Caroline and Her Friends is based on Hachette’s best-selling classic illustrated storybooks about the adventures of a young girl and her eight pet animals that have existed for fifty years. The books have been published worldwide and 38 million copies have been sold so far!

Millimages will be looking for partners for the 52 x 13 minute stereoscopic 3D animated series at MIPCOM.

Call For Entries: 84th Academy Awards for Animated Short Film

Beverly Hills, CA — Monday, October 3, is the deadline to submit entries in the Live Action Short Film, Animated Short Film and Foreign Language Film categories to be considered for the 84th Academy Awards®. Complete entries must arrive at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences by 5 p.m. PT that day.

In the short film categories, filmmakers must submit an entry form, one film print or copy in an approved digital format, and all other required materials by the deadline. In the Foreign Language Film category, filmmakers must submit entry forms, one English-language subtitled film print or copy in an approved digital format, and all other required materials by the deadline. Only one motion picture will be accepted from each country.

Complete 84th Academy Awards rules are available at http://www.oscars.org/rules. Additional information may be obtained by contacting Awards Coordinator Torene Svitil via phone at (310) 247-3000, ext. 1116, by fax at (310) 247-2600, or by e-mail at [email protected]

Sentai Acquires “Persona 4: The Animation” For U.S. Release

HOUSTON, September 27, 2011– Sentai Filmworks proudly brings the hit Persona game franchise to anime with the acquisition of the red-hot new series Persona 4: The Animation. Based on the megahit game-within-a-game from Atlus, in which extraordinary humans take on even more extraordinary “Personas,” the 25 episode series is being helmed under the direction of Seiji Kishi (Angel Beats!, Magikano, Raagnorok the Animation,) with script supervision by Yuuko Kakihara (Special A, Stitch!, Heaven’s Lost Property,) while the signature original character designs by Shigenori Soejima are being adapted by Kazuaki Morita (Nyan Koi!, My Bride is a Mermaid, Kamisama Dolls.)

When Yu Narukami’s family moves to the rural country town of Inaba, he’s expecting a lot more peace and quiet than he’s been used to in the big city. Instead, the peace has been shattered and the only quiet is the quiet of the grave, as a rash of mysterious murders and kidnappings sweep the countryside. With the police stymied, Yu finds himself joining with a group of eight other teenagers in a desperate bid to solve the mystery. A mystery that is somehow connected to both the local weather patterns and a strange video game world which Yu, his friends and the enigmatic killer can all enter. And where each must wield a unique weapon and learn to use amazing powers if they wish to survive. Journey beyond the Velvet Room as the hit PlayStation 2â„¢ game becomes a spectacular anime in PERSONA 4 the Animation!

Digital distribution of Persona 4: The Animation will begin soon through many outlets, with a home video release on DVD & Blu-Ray in 2012.

FIRST LOOK: “The Lorax”

Someone on the Chinese video site Sina posted this work-in-progress trailer for The Lorax from Illumination Entertainment, whose earlier films were Despicable Me and Hop. Some shots are incomplete and unfinished, but it’s worth a look:

The Lorax, which is slated to open March 2nd, 2012, is directed by Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda. It’s the second Seuss adapation for Illumination founder Chris Meledandri, who previously produced Horton Hears a Who! while running 20th Century Fox Animation. Danny DeVito voices the Lorax, and Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Ed Helms and Betty White provide additional voices.

UPDATE: Universal Pictures has had the trailer removed from the original host site in China. We look forward to the finished version and will post that when it appears online.