Tag Archives: Animation

AFM HIGHLIGHTS DAY 5 – Animation: A Growing Territory for Independents

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Another great day at the American Film Market Online 2021! At the top of the list is Pilar Alessandra and her WRITERS WORKSHOP: The Voice of the Writer. Many examples with insight made this one “a must-see” selection.

Pilar Alessandra answering a question during a Q&A on Novemeber 5, 2021, at American Film Market Online 2021.

Another hot topic session came to the forefront this morning, Animation: A Growing Territory for Independents.

While the pandemic has limited live-action film production, animation projects have successfully forged ahead. Industry experts discussed the creative process, production, and sales opportunities for independent animated products now and what the future hold.

Moderated by Ben Dalton, International Reporter, Screen International, Panelists included: Daniel Bort, Head of International, Fantawild Animation; Edward Noeltner, President, Cinema Management Group; Tania Pinto Da Cunha, Partner/Vice President, Head of International Sales & Acquisitions, Pink Parrot Media; and Michael Ryan, Partner, GFM Animation.


How is the independent animation sector growing and how is it different?  

Michael Ryan – “It’s alive and well which I’m very pleased about.  It has been a growing industry – a lot of people have jumped on that bandwagon. It’s a particular part of our industry that’s a bit more complicated than one thinks.  If you’re [pre] selling rights, for a live action movie you’re relying on those elements that we you can sell.  But when you have an animated movie, what do you sell?  You might be able to sell [your buyer on] the voices if you have famous actors but most of the territories it’s going to be dubbed anyway so it doesn’t always matter. The financing of it versus a live action movie is a lot more complex. But it’s growing and growing.  The European industry makes a huge amount of animation and it’s a very large marketplace, so if you can tap into that and find co-producers, that’s a great way to make your movies.”

“Apart from the UK [because those movies tend to be Disney, the huge studio movies], the rest of Europe is used to making co-productions in animation and it’s surprising how much, especially in France, support they get from their government and from the EU is enormous, and the audience responds to it.  There is a separate audience that is growing and growing for animation.  It tends to be not be English speaking and in France and those certain territories…We’re now venturing into other places – Latin America and Eastern Europe just to see what’s happening there. It’s pretty vibrant.”


What types of stories are particularly in demand? 

 Tania Pinto Da Cunha – “Different than series, in feature films, it’s difficult to have content for very young children – preschoolers. In the cinema, it doesn’t work.  For us you have to have a target family audience and make family animation – it has to be aimed at 6 or 8-year-old plus.” 

Edward Noeltner – “A lot of distributors are always looking for the inclusive…animals, talking animals. They want a good story with a lot of humor, a little bit of edginess here and there that will play to an older audience.  Animation on human characters is the absolute hardest to achieve so if you set it in the animal world, independents see a lot of success with that… [It’s all about] taking families to a world, a place they wouldn’t normally be able to go for two hours and nothing can be better than that.”

Michael Ryan – “If you want Pre-school, you have to have an IP that is very important to those kids. If you want it to resonate up to the parents that’s even better. Generally, if you can find the animals like that’s what most kids want and it’s a very large age group – you probably reach up to 10 or 11 and that’s a big age group and means that the parents have to go.  It stops at a certain age point. Kids, especially boys, past 10 don’t go to animated movies – it’s very very rare. Generally, if you can find the animals like in “Zambezia” which Edward [Edward Noeltner].  Human animation is incredibly hard especially because humans aren’t typically funny in animated films unless you’re very clever.”

Edward Noeltner – “Another thing you have to be very careful about is on-screen violence…If you have scenes in an animated feature that kids think they can do at home, you’ll have a real problem with censorship. A lot of mothers determine what movies they take their kids to, so we try to target our trailers to mothers. Be very careful with the violence if you’re trying to reach a family audience.  The last thing mothers want to do is put their hands in front of their kids’ faces when they’re watching a movie…One thing I did on a couple of occasions took the screenplay to Dove [Dove Soap brand has an approval division that puts a stamp of approval] for them to review it for the Dove Seal of Approval. I had them read a couple of the scripts I was thinking of investing in and asked if they would be acceptable for their approval board and took a few cues and make a couple of adjustments just to make sure I wouldn’t run into that issue of violence or offensiveness for my animated films moving forward.”


What do you want in an animated script?  

Michael Ryan – “If you’re going to write in the animated field, you have to be a really good comedy writer.  All these audiences want to do when they watch an animated feature is laugh, they want to laugh out loud and it’s really difficult to find writers that can make people laugh out loud.  I am punching up the comedy dialogue in my animated films right until they’re finished because you can never get enough comedy in an animated film.”

If you are writing something like “I Lost My Body” or “Flee” those are all beautiful movies and all well written amazing screenplays, you just have to know that your audience is going to be limited but maybe you’ll earn Oscar nominees.”


What’s the importance of film market events to the independent animators?  

Daniel Bort – “You want to have the interactions also with the TV executives that are financing as well, so these are the places that you meet the TF1s and the BBCs and those people also shape up the market worldwide.”

Michael Ryan – “[Markets] It’s just as important for animation as it is for live action – it’s exactly the same thing. We’re all co-producers now, we need co-producers to produce with and the only way to do it really is to meet them in person.”


How are you working with the platforms and for animations are relationships with them a worthwhile endeavor? 

Tania Pinto Da Cunha – “It’s giving another opportunity in a way and they’ve come to stay. They’re doing quite a bit of damage on the one hand, since animation they are doing a lot so they are taking our talent and we cannot compete with those prices…but at the same time they are also putting money into production, they are financing a lot of films and if that continues it’s not necessarily bad thing for producers especially in Europe since it takes so long to get the funds from subsidies that you’re developing and trying to get the funding for so long…Platforms are buying from independents, it’s not easy and if there’s something that they want they’re paying big money. I think we’ll come to a balance.”

Michael Ryan – “We owe it to ourselves to try and work with them. I find it really very difficult to get one of the big streamers…some of them just don’t do animation – Hulu for instance, Amazon very very rarely. Netflix, they’re doing so much of their own, I think they have done it [bought] once for a big [animated] independent film.  It’s very few and far between, so that means that we should really concentrate on our business which is with independent distributors throughout the world and that’s who we sell to.  I don’t regard the streamers as a real buyer of our animated features, they’ve really never committed to it so I don’t really concentrate on it. We’ve just done a big deal with Sky on a number of territories.  Is that a streamer? Not really but kind of – it’s a hybrid so they’ll do some theatrical releases where they can. Dealing with Amazon, Netflix you can’t really rely on – our [animation] business is still with the theatrical distributors around the world.

“I do like the fact that they [Netflix] are doing regional buys for foreign language movies.  They don’t have any fear of that which is great and that’s a good service to the animation industry.  They’re very big in Germany, they’re becoming much bigger in France, Spain and I think that’s a very farsighted attitude.”

Edward Noeltner – “We should all make a concerted effort to see what Netflix is doing in terms of animation – in terms of the story structure, the production values, I think they’re doing an incredible job and that’s a bar we have to reach to because otherwise the audience is going to stay home and watch Netflix.”

Daniel Bort – “The only truly worldwide game of the streamers right now that could buy independent animation is Netflix. The other ones are not.”  


What is going to make things better for the industry for 2022?  

Michael Ryan – “I think if we can get people back to the cinema, that’s what we all need.”


Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. – Globally

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Warner Bros. Entertainment. Inc., originally founded in April of 1923, is a broad-based entertainment company, headquartered in Burbank, California on Warner Bros. Studios lot, a 142-acre parcel that houses one of the eminent production and post-productions facilities on the planet, selling its good and services in all major global marketplaces.


In addition, Warner Bros. Studios Facilities oversees the research and development, United Kingdom-based, Warner Bros. Studio Leavesden, a 160-acre production facility that has served as the site for many acclaimed Warner Bros. European productions including the eight Harry Potter films. It is also the home of the Warner Bros, Studio Tour – London, The Making of Harry Potter, a publicity, brand awareness generator. It is one of the most popular UK tourist attractions since opening in early 2012. Warner Bros. and is considered to have one of the most successful brands in the entertainment industry. Warner Bros. Entertainment. Inc. is a fully integrated Time-Warner Company, publicly traded with 89% of its shares held by institutional and mutual fund owners.


Initially, Warner Bros. consistently utilized a standardized approach to its production systems and marketing efforts with a production facility with specific job components made up of raw talent until the vertical disintegration (an impediment to coordination handed down by the US Supreme Court) of the Studio System had run its cycle by 1960. It was the end of the Golden Age of filmmaking and an organizational change was looming.

Warner Bros. shifted to a glocalization strategy with standard operating procedures and adaptation strategies when needed to meet objectives as the rise of television in the 1950’s and the cultural shifts of the late 1950’s and the 1960’s caused a paradigm in viewership. It wouldn’t be long before, Warner Bros adopted a divisional structure where functions were grouped together to meet the needs of their respective products, markets and geographical regions.

With its painstaking market research including social attitudes Warner Bros. produced programming for television and home entertainment with global market products in its international promotional mix. Television, radio, newspaper, billboards and magazine advertisements are used to promote and advertise. Sponsorships and product placements are additional revenue generators.

In addition, Warner Bros. produced feature films for new international viewer markets in international joint ventures. Warner Bros. utilizes distribution agents and subsidiaries throughout its global markets to distribute not only its television, home entertainment and feature films but also a myriad of DVD, Blu-ray, digital content, comic books, animation, video games and broadcasting.


Warner Bros. Consumer Product division oversees the licensing of the intellectual property rights of Warner Bros. Entertainment library of film and television, maintains a commitment to increase and strengthen the power of its core brand recognition using extensive marketing research and analytics through promotional marketing, retailing and creative merchandizing within a vibrant network of global offices in strategic, demographically analyzed locations in Asia, Europe, North America and Latin America. Warner Bros. Consumer Product division also monitors for product counterfeiting and content piracy.

Warner Bros. is primarily in the consumer markets and industrial markets. However, in 1941 the studio was brought into the government market in producing the geopolitical drama/thriller Casablanca at the behest of President Franklin D. Roosevelt long before the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility had taken center stage.

The Warner Bros. library consists of over 7000 feature films, 5000 television programs with tens of thousands of episodes and nearly 75,000 hours of programming. As new viewers are discovering classic films, the product life-cycle of classic films are being altered as new technologies enable restoration of damaged or improperly stored film archivals.

With a direct strategy, Warner Bros. Pictures produces and distributes approximately 18-22 films per year and is a global leader in marketing and distributing feature films in over 120 territories either directly or indirectly while maintaining offices in over thirty countries. Utilizing a business strategy that minimizes risk and maximizes capital and productivity, Warner Bros. finances or co-finances its films while keeping the global distribution rights. Furthermore, Warner Bros. takes advantage of its comparative advantages in marketing and distribution with films financed by third parties in what is often a highly capital intensive industry.


For example, New Line Cinema founded in 1967, is a well-established purveyor of quality, mainstream films as well as niche market films. In 2008, New Line Cinema became a subsidiary of Warner Bros,  with all the practical benefits of a strategic alliance, maintaining its own separate business dealings in development, production, marketing and distribution.

New Line produced The Lord of the Rings, the Oscar Award-winning film trilogy, which generated a combined worldwide box office of nearly $3 billion with an additional $3 billion in consumer products and home entertainment revenue. As mentioned throughout the course, companies in a vertically integrated structure often coordinate and share certain responsibilities. While New Line and Warner Bros. are separate entities they do coordinate with Warner Bros. to maximize business efficiencies. New Line’s 2016 films are being distributed through Warner Bros.


As a sign of Warner Bros. Pictures success, 2015 marked the ninth year in a row it surpassed box office revenues of three billion dollars. In addition, 2015 marked the fifteenth consecutive year that its international and domestic gross receipts exceeded one billion dollars each. No other entertainment studio has ever achieved such a feat.

Another component of Warner Bros. success is its Home Entertainment. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment manages video games, home video and digital distribution to maximize current and next generation distribution scenarios including Blu-ray, DVD, streaming, transactional video-on-demand and delivery of theatrical content to online and wireless channels. Also, it is a substantial publisher of third party and internal video game titles.

Like its Pictures Division, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment led the industry with a nineteen percent market share through its subsidiaries Warner Horizon, Blue Ribbon, Warner Bros. Animation and WBTV.

Warner Bros. Television Group produced over seventy series for the 2015-16 season and oversees and grows the entire Warner Bros. portfolio of television businesses including production worldwide, broadcasting and traditional and digital distribution. Furthermore, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment worked across all platform including the digital, broadcast, pay-per-view and cable to remain the industry and category leader.


Warner Bros. Animation is yet another division of Warner Bros. and is one of the leading animation studios in the entertainment business with an organizational culture made up of a highly creative roster of animators, artists and storytellers working on global products under the scrutiny of long-standing business analysis to discern what products will yield the greatest revenues.

Warner Bros. Animation is home to the animated library containing the popular Looney Tunes, DC Comics, Hannah-Barbera characters and MGM animations. With concept testing, the animation studio is also at the leading edge of technology with its prolific use of computer generated imaging, 360 degree cinema and the exciting new virtual reality technologies as the studio attempts to create an affordable product design with cost-prohibitive technologies.

That’s all folks!


Balio, Tino. “Film Quarterly.” Film Quarterly, vol. 49, no. 1, 1995, pp. 50–52. www.jstor.org/stable/1213500. Hollywood TV: The Studio System in the Fifties

Fell, John. “Film Quarterly.” Film Quarterly, vol. 39, no. 4, 1986, pp. 56–57. www.jstor.org/stable/1212506. “Inside Warner Bros. (1935-51)


Introduction to Global Business by Gaspar, Arreola-Risa, Bierman, Hise, Kolari, & Smith, FIRST EDITION

POKORNY, MICHAEL, and JOHN SEDGWICK. “Profitability Trends in Hollywood, 1929 to 1999: Somebody Must Know Something.” The Economic History Review, vol. 63, no. 1, 2010, pp. 56–84. New Series, http://www.jstor.org/stable/27771570.

Warner Bros. Entertainment to Acquire Machinima

Warner Bros. has signed an agreement to acquire Machinima, the global programming service focused on fandom and gamer culture, and it will become part of the recently founded Warner Bros. Digital Networks. The announcement was made today by Craig Hunegs, President, Business and Strategy, Warner Bros. Television Group and President, Warner Bros. Digital Networks.


“Machinima is a strong gamer and fandom content and social brand with enormous reach and high engagement with audiences that play our games and are big fans of DC films and television shows,” said Hunegs. “Machinima also produces great, high quality content for their community, and together we can create an even more compelling experience and do some really exciting things involving our key franchises. This acquisition is another meaningful move forward as Warner Bros. develops more direct relationships with our consumers.”

“Since making their first investment in Machinima in 2014, Warner Bros. has been an active business partner in our transformation, so we already have proof points as to how the companies can work together to accelerate Machinima’s growth plans,” said Chad Gutstein, CEO, Machinima. “We’ll now be able to take full advantage of Warner Bros.’ intellectual property, sales and distribution, while still creating content for social and premium digital platforms that gamers and geeks love. Plus, we’ll be fully embedded and can help Warner Bros. continue their incredible digital marketing successes. It’s honestly a win-win.”

In the past two years, Machinima has transitioned from a YouTube MCN to a global programming service and production company delivering popular programming to millions. Since joining Machinima in 2014, Gutstein revamped the executive team, brand, programming and business strategy. As part of that strategy, the company opened a full-service production studio and executed first-of-its-kind premium content partnerships with platforms, including Playstation Vue, Amazon Prime, Verizon’s go90, China’s Sohu and The CW Network. According to comScore, Machinima is the 10th largest digital video entertainment media company in the U.S. ranked by total unique viewers.

Machinima will operate as a wholly owned part of Warner Bros. Digital Networks, a division founded in June 2016 to grow the Studio’s digital and OTT offerings. As part of Time Warner’s overall strategy to reach audiences directly through company-owned current and yet-be-launched OTT services, WBDN works closely with Time Warner’s divisions Turner and HBO.

About Warner Bros.:
Warner Bros. is a leader in all forms of entertainment and their related businesses across all current and emerging media and platforms. The Studio stands at the forefront of every aspect of the industry, from feature film, television and home entertainment production, animation, comic books and video games. Warner Bros. manages one of the most successful collections of brands and franchises in the world, and has a library of more than 79,000 hours of programming, including nearly 7,500 feature films and 4,500 television programs comprised of tens of thousands of individual episodes.

About Machinima:
Machinima is the most notorious purveyor and cultivator of fandom and gamer culture. The FIRST! Many2Many programing service (M2M), we create, curate and celebrate the best fandom and gamer content across multiple video platforms. As one of the largest online video platforms in the world, Machinima programs to a community passionate about video games, animation, movies, TV, and the other endless forms of pop culture. With a focus on scripted, topical and gaming programing, and a talent network of thousands of programmers, Machinima reaches nearly 150 million viewers each month.


FILM REVIEW: The Wind Rises (Miyazaki, 2013): Japan

Reviewed by Larry Gleeson. Viewed during AFI Filmfest 2013.

The Wind Rises, is a new animated, full-length, feature film from legendary Japanese animation director, Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki announced at this year’s Venice Film Festival this will be his last film. In 1997 his Princess Mononoke, was the highest revenue grossing film in the history of Japan at the time of its release and it also received the Japanese equivalent of an Academy Award for Best Film. Miyazaki is also well known for the films Spirited Away, (2001) and Howl’s Moving Castle, (2004) In 2003 Miyazaki received an Oscar for Best Animated Feature for the film Spirited Away.

His films have garnered international acclaim from critics and have provided Miyazaki public recognition within Japan. His films are known for compelling characters, engaging plots and eye-catching animation. Remarkable by today’s standards his films allow no more than 10% of the footage to come from computer animation.

In The Wind Rises, Miyazaki tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi, a real-life aeronautical engineer who designed fighter aircraft in Japan during WWII. The film opens with the young Jiro fantasizing of his plane flying above his hometown. As I watched the scene unfold, a rather powerful ominous feeling surfaced as I was reminded of Leni Riefenstahl’s opening scene from the Nazi propaganda documentary, Triumph of the Will. Nevertheless the early moments of the film are very heartwarming as Miyazaki chooses to highlight Jiro’s youth as an older brother to a delightfully spirited younger sister in a single parented household run by their kind and caring mother.


Jiro’s passion throughout the film is making good airplanes. Jiro’s daydreaming, which he does a few times during the story’s arc. Admittedly, several of my favorite moments are Jiro’s imaginings with Count Caproni, a larger-than-life mustachioed Italian airplane designer who mentors Jiro with playful and good-natured ribbing, that provide insight into  Jiro’s creative passion. Jiro finds his inspiration through such moments and Miyazaki makes space for them throughout the film.

The story is partially based on Tatsuo Hori’s 1938 novelette, “The Wind Has Risen.” Miyazaki’s animation provides beautiful plush scenery with Monet-like backdrops and landscapes providing striking visuals while creating a powerful nostalgia for a simpler time lightly brushing over the complications of war and economic depression. With such a breathtaking mise-en-scene it’s no wonder a young Jiro falls in love with the  young woman he saved during a traumatic, historic earthquake a few years before (the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake).

In direct juxtaposition to this frantic and rather manic scenario in the aftermath of the earthquake, young Jiro finds himself vacationing in a rural setting enjoying the greenery and the soft “rising” winds complete with majestic and billowing, flowery clouds when he coincidentally crosses paths with the beautiful girl he saved from the earthquake as she paints poetically on a hillside overlooking the spectacular countryside.

The Wind Rises, is a very light-hearted, entertaining film. The film focuses pretty much exclusively on the protagonist, Jiro, as an idealistic engineer whose primary purpose in life is to make planes. Granted, he falls in love and rubs elbows with German plane builders during WWII. Yet, WWII and the social unrest after the  Great Kanto Earthquake are left virtually untouched. Tellingly, Jiro’s concern at the end of the war was over the planes that didn’t come back. Nevertheless, I wholeheartedly recommend the film for children and for adults with a penchant for Monet-esque visuals.


Hosoda hopes to surpass anime legend Miyazaki

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Olivier Fabre

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-5-01-37-pmTOKYO —

Mamoru Hosoda, one of Japan’s young anime directors hoping to lead the industry after the retirement of legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki, says he hopes to surpass his boyhood hero one day, but don’t look for Miyazaki in his movies.

“That won’t happen. It is only right that different directors create totally different works,” Hosoda, 49, told Reuters TV ahead of the Tokyo International Film Festival next month where a retrospective of his work will be shown.

“I think there are movies that only I can create and movies that only I know how to make people enjoy them,” he said.

Hosoda’s rise to fame culminated with his 2015 box office hit “Boy and the Beast”, which grossed over 5.8 billion yen ($57 million) to become the second most watched movie in Japanese theatres that year.

His movies are colorful and vibrant and appear to follow in Oscar-winning Miyazaki’s footsteps. However, Hosoda regularly chooses themes related to family and identity, which disappoint some fans who seek the more immersive fantasy provided by works out of Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli.

“The Boy and the Beast” explores the relationship between a paternal beast-father figure and a run-away child. His previous film, “Wolf Children”, centered on a single mother raising children fathered by a werewolf.

Hosoda said his deeper exploration of the meaning of self-identity in an extremely homogeneous nation are often lost on viewers.

“I think there are possibly people in the audience here who were not able to understand that. And that, in a way, is representative of Japan today,” he said.

Hosoda is hopeful for the future of Japan’s animation industry despite the fact that more and more animators rely on computer graphics to polish their work.

“There are, or should be, multiple correct ways to express oneself in animation,” he said.

“If you start saying that only Disney or Pixar animations are the right kind of animations, that just becomes very boring. If everything needs to have computer graphics,then you lose a lot of the richness in expression available in animations,” he added.

“The World Of Mamoru Hosoda” retrospective runs from October 25 to November 3 at the Tokyo International Film Festival and will include movies such as the critically acclaimed “Summer Wars”.

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016.

(Source: http://www.japantoday.com)

NY Film Academy Student Showcase to Open the Market at 73rd Venice Film Festival

xgi_145247_pasotti-png-pagespeed-ic-o7g3ah4z8dThe New York Film Academy (NYFA) is proud to announce a special student showcase as part of this year’s 73rd Venice Film Festival Market.

Providing an unprecedented opportunity for exposure and networking to a selection of our talented students, NYFA’s Venice Showcase will feature 5 short films spanning all three academic departments – fiction, documentary and animation. The NYFA event is set to open the brand-new Venice Production Bridge platform in the morning of September 1st at the Spazio Incontri of Venice’s Excelsior Hotel.

Italian actor and NYFA alumnus Giorgio Passoti (The Great Beauty, After Midnight, Salty Air) is scheduled to introduce the showcase and discuss his career after NYFA during a lively and informal Q&A with industry, press and general audience all encouraged to attend.

Following the showcase will be a networking cocktail hour from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m., as well as one-on-one info sessions for those interested in learning more about the Film Academy.

The NYFA Venice Showcase will include the following selections:

The Life of Janka, by Luis Henriquez Viloria (fiction)

After the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, thousands of kids went to the streets and became a target for organizations of child traffickers. These kids were traded like livestock. “Life of Janka” is a fictional story of two brothers who go through such an experience.

Fumo, by Sean Miyakawa (fiction)

Set in the mid-1920’s, a frustrated sound composer works as one of the first sound engineers in the history of cinema who happened to be madly in love with the main actress of the production. On the day he decides to finally declare his love to her, he finds out about an affair going on between her and the director. The discovery drives him crazy.

Alive & Kicking: The Soccer Grannies of South Africa, by Lara-Ann de Wet (documentary)

In Limpopo, South Africa, the village grannies lace up their soccer boots and start kicking their way down the field – and through centuries of oppressive taboos. They play serious soccer and then break into the laughter and traditional song that help fuel their singular struggle for decent lives and a league of their own.

The Perfumist, by Yukari Akaba, Shannon Lee, Daniela Lobo Dias, Sandra Rivero Ortiz (animation)

“The Perfumist” is a dramatic story highlighting the battle of Machine-Equipped Man against Cosmic Nature. Seeking the perfect scent for his perfume within, what seems to be, an enchanted rainforest, Benedict Malville runs into the consequences of trampling on sacred, natural ground.

The Right Way, by Elena Zobak Alekperov & Flavia Groba Bandeira (animation)

A short animated story of the day in a mom’s life of raising her young child. While the child tests the mother’s patience, there is a final moment of relief after the mom reveals her secret oasis within the confines of the home.

About the 73rd Venice Film Festival

Dedicated to recently deceased Michael Cimino and Abbas Kiarostami, this year’s Venice Film festival includes new films from Natalie Portman, Terrence Malick, Ryan Gosling, Tom Ford, Amy Adams, and Derek Cianfrance competing for the event’s prestigious Golden Lion award, joining two lifetime Achievement Golden Lions for Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jerzy Skolimowski.

About New York Film Academy

With locations all around the world, the New York Film Academy has grown into an international film and performing arts school with a focus on learning by doing, providing its students with hands-on instruction. Students can choose to enroll in one of the Academy’s MFA, MA, BFA, BA, and AFA U.S. accredited degree programs and short-term workshops in filmmaking, acting for film, photography, producing, 3D animation, cinematography, screenwriting, documentary filmmaking, game design, musical theatre, broadcast journalism, music video, graphic design, illustration, and digital editing.

With more than 8,000 students from over 100 countries, NYFA offers courses in New York City, Los Angeles, South Beach (Miami), Sydney & Gold Coast in Australia, Florence, and more.

The New York Film Academy’s Florence, Italy location holds film and acting programs in a renovated renaissance era building, across the street from Le Cappelle Medici, moments away from the Duomo.

Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Bruce Springsteen, Al Pacino, Robert Downey Jr., Kevin James, Jamie Foxx, and Jodie Foster are among the many figures in the film industry that have sent their family members to study at the New York Film Academy.


@la_Biennale di Venezia will pay a Special Tribute to U.S. producer Chris Meledandri

La Biennale di Venezia will pay a Special Tribute to U.S. producer Chris Meledandri, the Academy Award®-nominated founder and CEO of Illumination Entertainment, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of the field of animated films.

Meledandri will be presented on Monday, September 5th 2016, at 3 pm, at the Sala Giardino in the Lido, during the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. In addition to receiving this prestigious tribute, Meledandri will participate in an exclusive festival “In Conversation” event, culminating in a presentation of footage from the forthcoming Illumination Entertainment movie SING (2017).

Here’s a peak at the film’s Official Trailer:


The tribute will begin with the Italian Public Premiere of Illumination Entertainment’s THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (2016) at the Sala Giardino on September 4th at 9:00 pm.
Here’s a look at the film’s Official Teaser Trailer:
THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS opens in theaters in Italy on October 6, 2016.
Festival Director Alberto Barbera comments:
alberto-barbera-1-foto-asac-e1438170611394Chris Meledandri has revolutionized our way of understanding and making animated film with his more than excellent achievements, both in terms of quality and box office, thanks to careful and skilfully-targeted investments. Under his leadership, Illumination Entertainment has grown into one of the most dynamic and innovative creative hubs in the world of animation in a matter of years. This tribute from the Festival wishes to spotlight the artist’s extraordinary contribution, leading to worldwide hits such as Despicable Me and Minions, both of which changed our relationship with cartoons forever”.
Chris Meledandri, the Academy Award®-nominated founder and CEO of Illumination Entertainment, is responsible for the hugely successful Despicable Me, Ice Age and animated Dr. Seuss franchises, which have collectively grossed close to $6 billion worldwide. Meledandri has built Illumination Entertainment into one of the entertainment industry’s leading producers of all-audience event films.
Illumination Entertainment, which has an exclusive financing and distribution partnership with Universal Pictures, is the creator of the hugely successful Despicable Me franchise, which includes Minions, the second-highest-grossing animated film of all time, as well as the Academy Award®-nominated film for Best Animated Feature Film Despicable Me 2. In all, Illumination Entertainment’s films, which also include Hop (2011) and Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (2012), have grossed more than $3.5 billion in worldwide box-office revenues and feature some of the world’s most renowned talent.
Upcoming Illumination Entertainment films include Sing (2016), Despicable Me 3 (2017) and Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2018).
Meledandri also oversees Illumination Entertainment’s creation of content for marketing campaigns, mobile platforms, consumer goods, social media and theme parks such as Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem in 3D at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood, ensuring the same high level of quality he brings to his feature productions. The company’s first mobile game, “Despicable Me: Minion Rush,” has been downloaded more than 750 million times.
Prior to Illumination Entertainment, Meledandri was a senior executive at 20th Century Fox. He became the founding president of 20th Century Fox Animation, where he created original material with the birth of the Ice Age franchise and also shepherded existing brands into the feature space, including The Simpsons and the Dr. Seuss library (Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!).
Meledandri has received numerous awards for his work with Illumination Entertainment including the Producers Guild of America’s 2014 Visionary Award as well as being named to Vanity Fair’s “New Establishment” list and by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the “most powerful people in entertainment” on The THR 100 list.

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS – For their fifth fully-animated feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures present The Secret Life of Pets, a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day. The Secret Life of Pets opens in theaters October 6th 2016.

SING – Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, a dapper Koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal optimist—okay, maybe a bit of a scoundrel—who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now facing the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition. In theaters January 26th 2017.


(Source: http://www.labiennale.org)