Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ottawa International Animation Festival 2011 Next Week!


About the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF)
From September 21st to 25th, the nation's capital will once again become the center of the animation universe. The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) is the largest event of its kind in North America, a major film event attracting attendees from around the world. Film buffs, art lovers and cartoon fans won't want to miss this year's great line up of screenings taking place at ByTowne Cinema, National Gallery of Canada, Empire Theatres Rideau Centre and Arts Court Theatre.

JURIES:

INTERNATIONAL JURY FOR SHORT PROGRAM, STUDENT, AND COMMISSIONED ANIMATION

Mati Kütt
Mati Kütt, painter and director, is one of Estonia's most talented animators. A budding artist since childhood, he abandoned a career in engineering and began in animation in 1981 with Monument, one of the sections in the compilation film 1+1+1. After collaborating for many years with Avo Paistik at Joonisfilm, in 1989 he embarked on a career as an independent filmmaker with Labyrinth and began one of the most complex and variegated esthetic quests in contemporary animation. His films (including Institute of the Dream, Button’s Odyssey Smoke Sprat Baked in the Sun) combine different techniques such as stop motion, oil painting and pixilation.

Jan Pinkava
Jan started at Digital Pictures in London, animating and directing TV ads and graphics. Inspired by tales of glory he moved way out west in 1993 to a town called PIXAR. There he got a big hug from John Lasseter and directed several award-winning commercials before striking Oscar® gold in 1998 for Best Animated Short Film Geri’s Game, which broke new ground in the computer animation of crazy old men. Jan also pitched in on a number of Pixar’s early features, animating on A Bug’s Life and storyboarding on Toy Story 2 and Monsters, Inc. When invited to create a feature, he eventually came up with Ratatouille, the story of a cooking rat, for which he shared an Oscar® nomination for “Best Original Screenplay” in 2008. More recently, Jan has been working on another original story about a boy and his unusual dog, titled Little White Lie.

He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and two sons.

Aaron Augenblick
Aaron Augenblick founded Augenblick Studios in 1999. He has served in a variety of roles since the company’s inception, including director, writer, designer, and voice actor. Augenblick’s productions have garnered numerous awards, critical praise, and popular success. Augenblick served as the animation director for two seasons of Wonder Showzen on MTV. Augenblick Studios garnered widespread notoriety for their spot-on parodies of classic cartoons, leading to Augenblick being named as a rising star of animation in 2005 by Animation Magazine.

Comedy Central’s Golden Age was created, written, and directed by Aaron Augenblick. The ten episode web series was later released as a 22-minute short film, playing in numerous film festivals throughout the world. Golden Age was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival and was awarded the grand prize for commissioned films by the 2007 Ottawa Animation Festival.

Augenblick was the animation director and executive producer for Superjail on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.

The latest production from Augenblick Studios is the Comedy Central horror/comedy series Ugly Americans. Aaron Augenblick is serving as the animation director, designer, and supervising producer.

INTERNATIONAL JURY FOR ANIMATED FEATURE FILMS

Anne Brotot
A fine arts student, Anne graduated from the National School of decorative arts in Paris (ENSAD), where in 1984, she first experimented with computer graphics in the brand new CG post-graduate course. She was one of the first students in France working on a CG animated short film, which received an award at Eurographic in 1985.

Anne has worked for various French computer graphic companies, including “Fantôme”, TDI, and Médialad. From 1991 to 2000, Anne taught Computer Graphics at ENSAD and ENSCI (National school of Industrial Design). In 2000, Anne was involved in the creation of the new Supinfocom School in the south of France (Arles) as the managing director.

In 2008, Anne became the managing director of Supinfocomgroup in Valenciennes which consists of three schools: Supinfocom for Animation, Supinfogame for Vidéo-game and ISD for industrial design.

Biljana Labovic

Biljana studied graphic design at the Academy of Arts in Belgrade and started her career as a children's book illustrator in Serbia. She made her first animated short Non-Stop in 1995 and two years later moved to New York to study animation at the School of Visual Arts, and pursue a career in animation.

For more than ten years, Biljana has been collaborating with Bill Plympton on numerous short films, commercial projects and three feature films. She produced the Academy Award nominee Guard Dog, and produced and co-art directed the award-winning feature, Idiots and Angels. Biljana has also collaborated with director Emily Hubley on the animation for Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Hubley’s feature debut, The Toe Tactic. Her motion graphic work can be seen in the Academy Awarded documentary Freeheld by Cynthia Wade. Currently, Biljana is the animation producer on The Ruined Cast, an animated feature film in pre-production, directed by Dash Shaw and produced by John Cameron Mitchell. She has also been teaching at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Claude Cloutier
Born in Montreal, Claude Cloutier studied printmaking and worked as an illustrator before turning to comic strip art, mainly for Croc magazine. He has cultivated an absurdist sense of humour based on shifts in meaning and has gained recognition for the meticulous execution of his drawings, which are suggestive of engravings. He joined the NFB in 1986 and directed The Persistent Peddler, an adaptation of his comic strip album La Légende des Jean-Guy. The film was selected for screening in competition at Cannes in 1989. His next film, Overdose (1994), which is part of the Rights from the Heart series, competed in the 1995 Berlinale. In 1999-2000, he collaborated on the Gémeaux Award-winning Science, Please! series. After From the Big Bang to Tuesday Morning (2000), he directed Sleeping Betty (2007), a short animated comedy that received wide public and critical acclaim and swept up 23 international awards, including a Jutra and a Génie. With his last animated short The Trenches (2010), Claude Cloutier delivered an anti-war film in which archival World War I images were reconstituted and contemporized through his artistry brushwork. He is now currently working on a new production with the National Film Board of Canada.

Each year, the Ottawa International Animation Festival commissions an artist to create original artwork for celebration and promotion on an international scale.

FESTIVAL POSTER:

The 2011 Festival Poster was designed by renowned illustrator and animator Gary Leib.

Gary has won wide praise for his work as an animator and cartoonist, including a 1994 Harvey nomination for his comic book Idiotland. His illustrations and cartoons have appeared in The New Yorker, Musician Magazine, The New York Observer, Raw, Blab and as weekly features in The New York Press for many years. He is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and has taught in the graduate computer animation program at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

Gary has been generous enough to create two variations of this year's festival poster: the grown-up version you see here, and a family-friendly version which you can check out on the Toon Apprentice website here.

The grown-up poster will be available to purchase at the Aniboutique at this year's Festival. Be warned: if you look under 25, we will ask for ID!

Festival Facts:
Last year's event had a total attendance of over 27,000.

Over 1800 delegates from the animation community attended last year including animators, production executives, educators, students and fans.

During the week of the Festival, there are 92 screenings and 46 professional development events at six venues across downtown Ottawa.

You don't have to work in animation to attend! Tickets for screenings are $12 and can be purchased at the door. It's as easy as going to a movie. If you want to attend everything - there are day, weekend and full passes available. We also have a ticket six-pack.

The OIAF is a division of the Canadian Film Institute, a charitable organization.

In addition to the main Festival - the OIAF runs a number of outreach events and activities such as our:
  • Toon Apprentice high school lecture series
  • Animation Celebration (a free screening for elementary classes)
  • Animation School Fair
  • free NFB workshops for families and teens
  • the Adobe Toon Apprentice Pass
  • and our Toon Apprentice website.

We also work to help the Canadian animation industry with the Canadian Animation Directory.
Our industry side event TAC generated over 7 million dollars worth of production deals in 2009.
The Festival has been running since 1976. Read about its history here.

AND GET YOUR CALENDARS READY!!! Here are some other Animated Festivals coming up soon courtesy of Animated-festivals.com:

ANIMAFRIK Animation Festival
Ghana 25th Oct 2011 - 28th Oct 2011
Competitive - No Fee Submission Deadline: On-going Details >

ANIMACAMPUS TALLINN 2011
Estonia 15th Nov 2011 - 19th Nov 2011
Non-competitive - Fee Required Submission Deadline: 5th Sep 2011

Animation Film Festival Animated Dreams
Estonia 16th Nov 2011 - 20th Nov 2011
Competitive - No Fee Submission Deadline: 15th Aug 2011

Anilogue International Animation Festival
Hungary 23rd Nov 2011 - 1st Dec 2011
Competitive - No Fee Submission Deadline: 15th Sep 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Martin Sheen Confirms His Return As The Illusive Man For "Mass Effect 3"

I talked to Martin Sheen about whether or not he will indeed return as the Illusive Man for "Mass Effect 3."

The Illusive Man is one of the most sinister and complex video game villains in recent memory.

Courtesy: NBC Action News

So, when I interviewed him for NBC Action News about his new film, "The Way," I had to ask him if the Illusive Man would be back.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

2011 Free State Comicon this Weekend in Lawrence, KS

Kansas City Fan Conventions Presents

2011 Free State Comicon
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2011
10am - 5pm
A D M I S S I O N $3
children 12 and under are FREE!
Douglas County Fairgrounds Building
#21 2110 Harper St.
LAWRENCE, KS

Rango To Be Honored at the Hollywood Film Awards

Press Release from Hollywood Film Festival

Hollywood, CA, September 06, 2011: The 15th Annual Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Film Awards, presented by Starz Entertainment, have announced that "Rango" will receive this year's Hollywood Animation Award at the festival's gala ceremony on October 24, 2011, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The Paramount Pictures/Nickelodeon Movies feature film is directed by Gore Verbinski and stars Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone and Timothy Olyphant as the Spirit of the West. The screenplay was written by Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan with the story by John Logan, Gore Verbinski and James Ward Byrkit. Produced by Verbinski's Blind Wink Productions, Graham King and John Carls, "Rango" also marks the first animated feature film for award-winning special effects house Industrial Light & Magic (ILM).

The announcement was made today by Carlos de Abreu, Founder and Executive Director of the Hollywood Film Festival. "It is a great pleasure to recognize "Rango" as the recipient of our animation award. This piece of cinematic treasure borders on surrealism and "Rango" will be a classic for generations to come."

Past recipients of the Hollywood Animation Award include "Cars," "Ratatouille," "Toy Story 3," "UP," and "Wall-E."

About "RANGO"
From the director of "The Pirates of the Caribbean" comes RANGO, featuring Johnny Depp in an original animated comedy-adventure that takes moviegoers for a hilarious and heartfelt walk in the Wild West. The story follows the comical, transformative journey of "Rango" (Depp), a sheltered chameleon living as an ordinary family pet, while facing a major identity crisis. After all, how high can you aim when your whole purpose in life is to blend in? When Rango accidentally winds up in the gritty, gun-slinging town of Dirt, a lawless outpost populated by the desert's most wily and whimsical creatures, the less-than-courageous lizard suddenly finds he stands out. Welcomed as the last hope the town has been waiting for, new Sheriff Rango is forced to play his new role to the hilt . . . until, in a blaze of action-packed situations and encounters with outrageous characters, "Rango" starts to become the hero he once only pretended to be. With a cast that includes Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone and Timothy Olyphant as the Spirit of the West, Rango is an exciting new twist on the classic Western legend of the outsider who saves a town, and himself in the process.

About Starz Entertainment, LLC:
The festival and awards presenter is Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service provider operating in the United States. The company offers 17 premium channels including the flagship STARZ and ENCORE brands with approximately 19 million and 32.9 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs in total more than 1,000 movies and original series every month across its pay TV channels. Starz Entertainment is recognized as a pay TV leader in providing HD, On Demand, HD On Demand and online advanced services for its STARZ, ENCORE and MOVIEPLEX brands. Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation and is attributed to the Liberty Starz tracking stock group (NASDAQ: LSTZA).

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Help Us Out!!! Donate to MAPA!


If you would like to help MAPA continue to provide services to artists and the arts community throughout the Midwest, you can make a donation using the button on the right of this screen.  Help us keep bringing you great animation exhibitions and workshops! 

Thank You for Supporting MAPA!!! ;)

Dylan Dietz
Director, Midwest Association of Professional Animators

MAPA JOB ALERT: FLASH WEB DESIGNER/SEO EXPERT NEEDED!!!

A local construction firm needs a new webpage.  They have a couple of concepts and need heavy Flash work and optimization.  If you want more information and would like to big for the job, please email mapa@themotionstation.com.  We will provide a description of the project so you can include costs for initial website optimization; ongoing optimization is recommended.

Dylan Dietz
MAPA Director
816-267-0719

Friday, September 2, 2011

4Kids, 4sight to Present Lineup at Brand Licensing Europe 2011

Press Release from 4Kids Entertainment International


Among the hit brands being presented is Yu-Gi-Oh! - the global phenomenon that boasts millions of fans across the world and has inspired several hit TV shows and a series of best-selling trading card games. Currently celebrating its tenth anniversary, the franchise is more popular than ever, with the latest series, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s broadcasting across Europe along with the previous generations Yu-Gi-Oh! and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. A brand new series, Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, is set to launch across the continent soon, whilst a movie, Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D: Bonds Beyond Time, was successfully released earlier this year. An extensive licensing programme covers sectors such as toys, video games, apparel, costumes, calendars, publishing, BTS, stationery, games and puzzles and trading card accessories. The popularity of Yu-Gi-Oh! has been boosted even further by the recent launch of a new global web hub – www.yugioh.com – where fans can read about their favourite characters, download exclusive wallpaper and screensavers and find out about all the latest Yu-Gi-Oh! merchandise and games.

Another exciting 4Kids property at BLE 2011 will be Max Adventures – a popular kids’ brand aimed at 6-10 year olds that features Max the Lion and is currently making a mark across Europe. A TV show has been snapped up by key European broadcasters and a Max Adventures ice cream range is proving extremely popular and is available through retail, restaurants and leisure parks in most European markets, supported by Max-branded POS materials. This presence is being bolstered by marketing activities including print and TV ads, DVD promotions, online cooperations, and costume character appearances and themed activities at leisure parks and outdoor events. The brand is also promoted through digital channels, with a seeding strategy targeting children’s websites and video streaming pages such as YouTube. Additionally,, a dedicated Max Adventures website has launched across Europe and is adapted for each market in which the brand is present, featuring games, activities and a sing-along animation. 4Kids is acting as a brand consultant for the property and is currently exploring a number of potential categories for licensing, including publishing, collectibles, promotions, mobile applications, digital content and accessories, stationery, BTS and amusement park attractions.

4Kids will also be presenting Dinosaur King – the popular animated series that chronicles the adventures of Max, Rex and Zoe, known as the ‘D Team’, who search the world for dinosaur cards that have the power to bring dinosaurs back to life. The show is broadcast across EMEA, enabling 4Kids to build a strong and varied licensing programme. Publishing has been a particularly successful category for the property and partners include Signature Publishing and Egmont. Other sectors represented include stationery, apparel, toys, collectibles, confectionary, BTS, homeware, gifts, novelties and sporting goods, whilst Quick recently used Dinosaur King in a promotion across its chain of European fast-food restaurants.

4sight licensing solutions, a subsidiary of 4Kids that specialises in brands geared primarily to adults, teens and tweens, will also be presenting a strong range of properties at BLE 2011. These include aspirational fashion property Chicaloca, which is proving to be a big hit across Europe and represents an independent, fun-loving, confident and trendy attitude that embodies the mindset and lifestyle of today’s teen and tween girls. Licensees have been quick to realise the property’s potential and 4sight is building up an impressive European licensing programme. In the UK, Celestial Imports, Peers Hardy and SLG are on board to produce an exclusive range of Chicaloca lines for BHS that include toiletries, gifting items and accessories. In Spain and Italy, BLGS Hometextile is developing beach products including 42 different designs of beach towel and 10 designs of flip-flops that are set to launch in 2012. September will also see the launch of a new multi-platform Chicaloca game, which can be played via iPhone, Android, Facebook and online gaming portals. Players enter a virtual world where fashion rules – they can choose a virtual fashion model, buy Chicaloca clothes and accessories using virtual money, dress their model and take part in fashion shows where they compete for unique prizes against other users.

Another 4sight licensing solutions brand at the show will be the popular animal photography franchise Artlist Collection: The Dog and Friends. Featuring The Dog, The Cat and The Pig, and newcomers The Duck, The Rabbit and The Hamster, the property is based around irresistibly cute and expressive pictures of the animals, which are taken using a fish-eye lens to produce a trademark 70:30 head-to-body ratio. The franchise is hugely popular and this has enabled 4sight to put together a strong and varied licensing programme covering a vast range of categories, from plush to apparel to digital. One of the most successful licensees has been partworks specialist Eaglemoss, which has used The Dog and The Cat to create a partworks range that is proving very successful across Europe. There have also been a number of highly successful promotions involving the lovable animals with partners including McDonalds and Quick Restaurants, whilst The Continuity Company (TCC) is enjoying huge success with a loyalty campaign using The Dog plush that has been picked up by leading grocery stores and petrol stations worldwide.

Two other properties in the 4sight line-up are the Kennel Club and Crufts, two separate brands that are closely linked. The Kennel Club is specifically dedicated to the health and welfare of dogs, with a broad remit to protect and promote their general wellbeing. At its heart are programmes and investments in education and health initiatives to ensure that dogs are healthy, happy and long-lived. The Kennel Club also organises and hosts Crufts, the world’s most famous dog show, which is attended by dog lovers from the across the globe who come together to experience the competitions and events that celebrate the diverse role dogs play in society. The response from the licensing sector has been very positive and 4sight has developed a dedicated licensing programme, with more than 12 licensees now on board. Categories represented include dog bedding and accessories, branded pet tags, publishing, greetings, collectibles, digital content prints and canvasses.

Pachanga is also part of the 4sight portfolio - a distinctive and beautiful set of artwork, illustrations, drawings and designs by Ecuadorian artist Belen Ména, which has been created from the natural designs and colour patterns found on the wings and bodies of over 300 different species of South American moths. The artist spent five years in the forests of Ecuador observing, photographing, drawing and cataloguing the moths, which served as the inspiration for the collection. A growing licensing programme includes A3 Media for digital content, Atlas Wall Coverings for wall murals and Art.com for fine art canvas prints and posters. Other key sectors being targeted include home textiles, home décor, tableware, stationery and publishing.

”We are looking forward to what promises to be a very positive BLE 2011 and are hoping to build on the success of all our brands by presenting them to potential partners from across the licensing spectrum. There should also be a few new third party acquisitions revealed at the show” said Sandra Vauthier-Cellier, Managing Director, 4Kids Entertainment International and 4sight licensing solutions.

WonderCon Moves to Anaheim


Press Release from Comic-Con International

WonderCon, part of Comic-Con International's (CCI) family of conventions, today announced that the 2012 show will be held March 16-18, and Anaheim, California, will play host to the long-running comics and popular arts convention. San Francisco's Moscone Center, WonderCon's traditional venue, will undergo renovations in early 2012, leaving the 25-year-old show in the unenviable position of either being canceled or finding a new venue.

In a move to help alleviate an overcrowded calendar, ReedPop's C2E2, which has been waiting to announce dates for its own show in March 2012, will now seek alternative dates while Wizard World has announced that it will postpone its April 2012 Anaheim show.

"It certainly was not our wish to move," commented David Glanzer, director of marketing and public relations for the nonprofit event. "However, when faced with the prospect of canceling the show for a year or moving locations, after careful consideration we decided to keep WonderCon on the 2012 calendar at a venue that could accommodate our needs."

"We fully understand the challenges of trying to secure dates at any venue, let alone one undergoing renovation," said Lance Fensterman, Group Vice President of ReedPop. "In an effort to minimize the impact on exhibitors and attendees we are currently looking to shift C2E2 from our traditional March dates."

Gareb Shamus, CEO of Wizard World offered a unique solution to offset any potential conflict for fans and exhibitors: "All of us who produce conventions know securing dates can often be a frustrating experience especially when you find yourself having to move to a new city." Shamus continued, "Because of their long history, Wizard World has decided to accommodate WonderCon and postpone our April 2012 Anaheim show."

"We appreciate the efforts of Lance and Gareb for going above and beyond in making the WonderCon transition more manageable," said Glanzer.

MAPA CELL-A-BRATION MOVED TO OCTOBER 7th!!!

OK...after some trouble here and there, we are officially moving the MAPA Cell-a-Bration 2011 Animated Art Show to October 7th at Screenland Crossroads for First Friday! (Thank you Butch Rigby and Patrick Matthews!)  That means the deadline for submissions is extended until September 28th!

Keep working on those pieces and expect more surprises for the show to come!

Dylan Dietz
Director
Midwest Association of Professional Animators

Submission forms below:

Hobo Stew by Beejay Hawn

Click panel for large view

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