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1. Cyber Group Studios opens North American Subsidiary

In a move to extend and globalize its operations, Cyber Group Studios announces the immediate opening of its North American subsidiary, based in Los Angeles, which will be run by media specialist and top executive Richard Goldsmith. The new subsidiary will be part of the global effort of Cyber Group Studios to extend its activity in production and distribution, in addition to all the areas related to digital and merchandise licensing. While Mirette investigates the new CGS 2D series is just being released internationally, the company’s recent hits Zou, the preschool series is entering its third season in more than 150 territories, while Zorro the Chronicles its major CGI production, sold all over the world, has been nominated as one of the top animated series of 2016 by TV France International.

Richard Goldsmith, who formerly held top positions at The Jim Henson Company and at Warner Bros. Entertainment, has been appointed to run the newly formed subsidiary. Richard will also join the top management executive board of Cyber Group Studios in Paris (France). His responsibilities will include distribution and managing Cyber Group Studios’ content in territories such as North America, China, Australia and New Zealand, as well as looking for company acquisitions of new businesses, intellectual properties and opportunities that will benefit the company globally.

2. Animation Production Day 2017 – projects can now be submitted

From 4th to 5th May 2017 Animation Production Day (APD) is taking place as part of the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film and the FMX, International Conference on Animation, Effects, VR, Games and Transmedia. For the eleventh time representatives from the German and international animation industry will be negotiating new ideas and formats at the most important coproduction and financing market for animation projects in Germany.

The project submission forms are now available for download on the APD website (http://www.animationproductionday.de/anmelden/teilnahme/). Animation projects in the areas of film, television series, mobile content, games, crossmedia and transmedia projects can all be submitted until 27 February 2017. A total of 35 projects will be selected to participate in APD 2017.

3. Kubo and the Two Strings Headed for Japan Release

LAIKA has signed a distribution deal with GAGA Corporation to release its latest film Kubo and the Two Strings in Japan in 2017 (exact release date TBA).

LAIKA’s fourth film, Kubo and the Two Strings, marks the directorial debut of the company’s CEO & President and award-winning animator Travis Knight. “Kubo and the Two Strings is a whole hearted love letter to Japan,” says Travis Knight. “I first visited Japan when I was eight-years­old and it sparked a powerful and enduring connection within me. Traveling across the country to Tokyo, small seaside fishing villages, the hot springs in the volcanic hills, and the legendary Mt. Fuji opened my eyes to a different and breathtaking world. It was a revelation, and I was utterly in its thrall. My childhood introduction to Japan was the beginning of a life-long love affair with a great and beautiful culture, and I’m so pleased to be able to share this film, this expression of love of and reverence for this extraordinary place, with the people of Japan. Creating this film is the highlight of my professional life. To partner with GAGA, the country’s premier film distributor, to bring KUBO to Japanese audiences is a profound honor. LAIKA is incredibly excited and humbled by this opportunity.”

4. Animation demo & lecture masterclass instructed by Pixar’s Michal Makarewicz

Michal Makarewicz, Directing Animator at Pixar Studios, will be teaching a 2-Day Masterclass from 28th to 29th January at the University of Cumbria for animation professionals to help support the growth of the animation industry in the North West. On the following Monday,30th January, he will be giving a 3-hour lecture on creativity and animation, open to the general public.

Geared toward students and experienced animators alike, this masterclass discusses 3D animation from a variety of artistic perspectives, breaking down the simplest to most complex theories, ideas, and choices. This 2-day course focuses on a layered approach to animation and features in-depth lectures with corresponding LIVE demonstrations in Autodesk Maya and industry-proven techniques for handling both common and unusual animation challenges.

Masterclass URL: https://makarewicz-masterclass.eventbrite.co.uk

Lecture URL: https://makarewicz-lecture.eventbrite.co.uk

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