Bosnia’s lady in red plans for the afterlife

Zorica Rebernik, obsessed with the red color, drinks coffee in her house in the village of Breze near Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

BREZE, Bosnia (Reuters) – Zorica Rebernik has spent her life in red and plans to stay that way — even after she dies.

After four decades dressing in the color from head to toe, the 67-year-old Bosnian has had tombstones made for herself and husband Zoran — whom she married wearing a red gown — from a special red granite imported from India.

The retired schoolteacher lives in a red house, where she and Zoran eat from red plates, drink from red glasses and sleep in red bedding. Even her hair is dyed red.

“When I turned 18 or 19 there came a sudden, strong urge to wear red,” Rebernik told Reuters. “There must not be a single dot of any other color on my home decorations or clothes.”

Wearing shades like scarlet and vermillion gives her “the feeling of strength and power”.

Rebernik’s obsession with the color has made her a local celebrity in her hometown of Breze, close to Tuzla in northern Bosnia.

“Everybody knows me. As soon as people see me, they offer me different red things,” she said, adding that she would reject any gift that was not red, no matter how precious.

She even goes to funerals dressed in red, eschewing traditional black.

The only problem is that her husband does not notice when Zorica wears something new. “I can’t tell the difference. Everything is the same,” he said.

Reporting by Dado Ruvic, Writing by Maja Zuvela, Editing by Catherine Evans

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Kevin Smith Shares Plans for New Netflix ‘He-Man’ Show

Helmer Kevin Smith (Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot) revealed details about his upcoming Masters of the Universe anime series for Netflix at Power-Con in Anaheim this weekend. He told fans that the new anime series Masters of the Universe: Revelation will debut on Netflix and will feature an original story based on Mattel’s classic 1980s-era He-Man franchise.

Smith will be the new limited series’ executive producer and showrunner.

“I’m Eternia-ly grateful to Mattel TV and Netflix for entrusting me with not only the secrets of Grayskull, but also their entire Universe,” said Smith. “In Revelation, we pick up right where the classic era left off to tell an epic tale of what may be the final battle between He-Man and Skeletor! Brought to life with the most metal character designs Powerhouse Animation can contain in the frame, this is the Masters of the Universe story you always wanted to see as a kid!”

The show will be produced by Mattel Television with Rob David, VP of Mattel TV and author of He-Man: the Eternity War, serving as an executive producer on the series. Series writing staff includes Eric Carrasco (Supergirl), Tim Sheridan (Reign of the Supermen), Diya Mishra (Magic the Gathering) and Marc Bernardin (Alphas). Animation will be produced by Powerhouse Animation (Castlevania).

The growing list of Netflix’s anime series includes Castlevania, Devilman Crybaby, Aggretsuko, Ultraman, Saiki K, Rilakkuma and Kaoru, and Ouran High School Host Club.

Kevin Smith Shares Plans for New Netflix He-Man Show

Kevin Smith Shares Plans for New Netflix He-Man Show

Animation Magazine

Don’t Forget Your Pets in Emergency Plans

SATURDAY, July 6, 2019 — Your beloved pets need to be part of any plan you craft for emergencies, such as hurricanes or floods.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says you should stock at least one week’s supply of food and fresh water for your pet. If your pet takes medication, stock a one-week supply of that, too.

Have copies of your pet’s vaccination records and other medical records in your pet’s preparedness kit. If you have a pet insurance policy, be sure to include information about it.

The kit should also have photos of your pet in case you and your pet become separated, the agency noted.

If there is a warning about a weather emergency, bring your pet indoors as soon as possible. Remain indoors, preferably in a location with few or no windows, until you can confirm it’s safe. Take your emergency kit and disaster supplies with you if you switch locations.

If you have to evacuate, bring your pet with you. Ask your local emergency management agency which emergency shelters allow pets.

If you’re unable to take your pet with you when you evacuate, put a Rescue Alert Sticker on your home’s door to alert emergency crews that your pet is inside.

If you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats or pigs, make sure they all have some form of identification, according to the FDA. Map out primary and secondary evacuation routes beforehand and identify the vehicles or trailers required to transport and support each type of animal.

Make sure that your emergency destination has food and water, and access to veterinary care and handling equipment.

If you need to evacuate and cannot take your large animals, you’ll have to determine how and where to move them to shelter or if it’s better to turn them outside, the FDA said in a news release.

Previously well-behaved pets may become aggressive or defensive after a major disruption in their lives and may not return to normal for several weeks. Monitor your pet and give it plenty of time to rest.

If your pet remains extremely anxious or has other behavioral or health problems, contact your veterinarian, the FDA advised.

More information

The ASPCA has more on disaster preparedness.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: July 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Colorado Agriculture Director Has Big Plans for Hemp

Marijuana might win Colorado points, but it’s hemp that will make the state a real winner in this game. As the country’s leader in acreage devoted to hemp farming over the past two years, Colorado has a real head start on the growing industry, and it’s Kate Greenberg’s job to keep us in the lead.

The new director of the Colorado Department of Agriculture is responsible for many things, including overseeing the state’s industrial hemp program, which churns out the plants responsible for all of those CBD products we love so much. But keeping things on course has it challenges, such as looming federal regulations and more domestic competition thanks to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized industrial hemp farming at the federal level.

To learn more about the future of hemp in Colorado, we chatted with Greenberg about her goals for the plant.

Westword: How much did you know about hemp before taking the new job?

Kate Greenberg: I knew very little. I am, like a lot of us in the world of agriculture, on the learning curve. In the policy universe, I had interfaced with hemp through the Farm Bill. In my last life, with the National Young Farmers Coalition, we were working on ag policy though the Farm Bill, and definitely crossed paths with what was going on with hemp. So I was tracking it through the end of 2018, but in terms of what has taken off since the Farm Bill was signed, I think it’s a whole new universe for everyone. So we’re getting up to speed and ahead of the curve as fast as possible as we build a new industry.

How educated are Colorado farmers about science and state laws surrounding hemp?

Marijuana Deals Near You

In my mind, that’s a bit of a complex question. You’ve got a lot of producers who are growing hemp and probably growing other things. But their livelihood is farming, and they make money off the land. Those farmers get how it works, how hemp works, how hemp is grown and the state regulations they need to follow.

I think what we’re seeing now is a lot folks who haven’t farmed before, who haven’t made a living off farming, coming into this boom and trying their hands at it. There’s so much excitement and momentum around it, I think a lot of folks are coming in without farming skills. So you get all ends of the spectrum in terms of farming expertise, both on how to grow the plant and how to navigate state and federal rules.

Growers have regulatory uncertainty because it’s a whole new industry, and one thing we’re hearing is that in order to grow the industry to the potential we and our governor would like to see it grow to, it would require more regulatory certainty. In that regard, I think it’s less about educating — even though we still care about educating — than creating that certainty about what they can do within that regulatory framework.

That’s an interesting observation about the inexperienced trying their hands at farming hemp because of how popular it is. Have you seen this boom mentality with any other crops?

I’ve seen it in various ways. I think hemp is unique, because folks are getting into it because they think they can make money. Most farmers don’t get into farming because they see dollar signs everywhere — this is not the business to get into if you think you’re going to get rich. The people I’ve seen and worked with for many years who have gotten into farming years ago got into because they love the land, they love to grow food, they love the place they live, and they love working for themselves. Those are the reasons most people get into ag.

This is a bit of a new territory, because there are dollar signs all over the hemp industry, so you get folks who aren’t in it necessarily for the passion of farming, but for the opportunity to make money.

How does Colorado’s hemp industry compare to that of other states around the country?

Basically, we kick butt. We had one of the first hemp programs in the country, and there’s still only a few across the country. Folks are racing post-2018 Farm Bill to set something up, but we are five years ahead of the curve, having our own hemp program. We’ve got experience with certified hemp seeds, managing registrations and inspections, working with growers and universities, and dealing with the federal government before it was legal.
We’ve got pretty incredible experience in Colorado; our state is set up for it, and our governor is all about hemp. It’s a fantastic time to be doing this work in Colorado, so I think by all accounts, we are ahead of the game. Our intent is to stay there.

I’m glad you brought up certified seeds. How important is a state-certified seed for hemp farmers, whose plants must stay below 0.3 percent THC?

That gets us into “hot hemp” territory, right? The whole premise of this hemp industry is that we’re producing end products that have 0.3 percent THC or less. In order to get there, you need some certainty about the crops that you’re growing. If farmers were just putting in whichever seeds into the ground and grew plants that were above that 0.3 level, there’s no way to have certainty about your crop. Having a certified seed just gives you much greater certainty in that what you plant is something that you’ll actually be able to harvest.

Other aspects of ag have similar things: When you put a carrot seed in the ground, you want to know that you’re getting a sweet carrot in the end. That’s not dissimilar from hemp.

How big of a problem is hot hemp (with THC levels over 0.3 percent) in Colorado?

That’s hard to say. It’s an issue we’re aware of, and one that growers certainly have encountered. It’s something we’re working to solve through our CHAMP [Colorado Hemp Advancement and Management Plan] initiative, which essentially came out of having conversations like this across state agencies, with industries, institutions of higher education and other entities. We ask questions about hot hemp and other options for growers. Before CHAMP, we didn’t have an avenue to figure these things out, so we took leadership in creating a structure that will allow regulatory agencies, industries, Native tribes, learning institutions and farmers to sit around a table and actually develop answers. There are still so many questions about the X, Y and Z of hemp — like interstate transport [and] how the Department of Public Safety can determine what is hemp and what is not. All of those questions finally have a table to sit at.

States like Idaho and South Dakota have banned hemp farming despite federal legalization, citing worries over bad actors who would grow THC-rich marijuana instead of hemp. How big of a concern are bad actors for the CDA, and how do you address it?

That’s why we partnered with the Department of Public Safety. With the CHAMP plan, we’ve coordinated with about ten other state agencies across Colorado, like DPS and the Office of Economic Development and International Trade — so we have advancement and management. DPS is on board to dig into the unlawful questions, because that’s outside of our jurisdiction. So that’s why we work closely with law enforcement to make sure they have the tools they need to do their jobs well.

Hot hemp is an issue in Colorado. We’re not exempt from what other states are facing in terms of black market and illegal grows, but that’s something we lean on our law enforcement partners to address while providing as much help as we can.

CDA director Kate GreenbergEXPAND

CDA director Kate Greenberg

Courtesy of the Department of Agriculture

With more states getting ready to allow hemp and CBD companies within their borders, how does Colorado maintain the leadership it’s had for the past five years?

I think the CHAMP initiative is a big way toward that. It’s a huge, coordinated effort that includes anyone who has a stake in the game across Colorado, but it’s also going to be open-sourced. We’ve been talking to other states that don’t have programs, and are offering our expertise. We don’t see this as something we need to hold on to and keep away from everyone. We’ve got a national and international industry with this now, and we can’t keep it it within closed borders in Colorado. This is going to have to include interstate commerce, and we really see our creativity and desire to bring in thought leaders as ways to continue our leadership.

One way to establish our leadership is getting our state plan into the USDA. We’re in close communication with the USDA to make sure they see us as a partner in this, and that we are a resource. Submitting our state plan is big here, just to make sure our state’s hemp program is still a leader. Another one is the larger CHAMP report, which will show what it takes to grow our hemp industry beyond the Farm Bill. This is a big-vision process. We just closed our stakeholder applications for eight CHAMP working groups, and I think we got about 160 applications.

Local governments are also big partners for us. Towns and counties have a lot of questions about what they can do at the local level. That collaborative nature, creativity, big-thinking and inclusiveness, I think that’s what will set up Colorado to maintain leadership in this realm.

How will the USDA’s new oversight affect hemp farming in Colorado?

There are very specific bullet points that the Farm Bill lays out for states that want to run their own hemp programs. If a state doesn’t want to run its own program, the USDA will do it for you, but that’s not what we’re going to do in Colorado. We’re going to maintain our leadership and direction over hemp. So we just need to hit those bullet points — and we’ve already hit a lot of them — about where we’ve been and where we want to go.

The USDA is doing its own rulemaking around this, as well, so we want to make sure that whatever comes out of Washington, D.C., aligns with what we’ve got going on here in Colorado and enables us to advance our hemp industry as far as possible.

Where does CBD fall into all of this? Does the CDA have any say over how CBD products are regulated?

We don’t regulate or oversee anything having to do with processing, sales or products with CBD. Our jurisdiction pretty much ends with the plant harvest, and then we do THC testing on the hemp. Beyond that, it goes to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. That’s another CHAMP partner that helps us not just look at hemp cultivation, but at all end uses of the plant.

How does Colorado’s climate stack up against other parts of the country for hemp growing?

Man, from what I can tell, this place is great for it. We’ve got a lot of indoor grows, as well, but we’ve also got a lot of hail. Everyone’s got their natural disaster of choice, though. But, yeah, our climate and soil are great.
One thing I’d like to also mention is sustainability. It’s a big value for our department, and we’re really thinking about how hemp can help drive sustainability, and really reach those markets that care about sustainability.
Looking at water use — because we’re an arid state — there’s a lot of excitement around hemp for not necessarily requiring a lot of water. I think we need to make sure as we’re building out our industry that we’re taking care of our water and soil, those farming aspects, to make sure we’re still giving back.


Toke of the Town

Cyber Group Launches Gigantic Plans for Gigantosaurus

***This story originally appeared in the June-July ‘19 issue of Animation Magazine (No. 291)***

If you run into Pierre Sissmann, CEO and founder of Paris-based animation company Cyber Group Studios, at Annecy, make sure you shake his hand and congratulate him on his company’s fantastic year. The studio’s new show Gigantosaurus has been performing very well in the U.S. since it debuted on Disney Channel in December. The CG-animated 52 x 11’ show, which won the Pulcinella Award for upper preschool series at this year’s Cartoons on the Bay festival in Italy, centers on four young dinosaur friends exploring their prehistoric world and the mystery of the biggest, fiercest dinosaur of all.

The show is based on the best-selling books by Jonny Duddle, and is also broadcast on Disney Junior worldwide (excluding India, China and Taiwan), with upcoming premieres on major networks around the world, including France Télévisions, Germany’s Super RTL, RAI (Italy), SRC (Canada), as well as on Netflix in the majority of territories worldwide.

But things are just beginning to roll for the dino-centric project. “We are planning to do more episodes, of course,” says Sissmann, during a recent phone interview from this Paris office. “But the big news is that we are developing a major Gigantosaurus feature film, with screenwriter Michael J. Wilson, the creator of the Ice Age franchise. Longtime Cyber Group collaborator Olivier Lelardoux, who has worked on many of our shows (Zou, Zorro the Chronicles, Manon, etc.) will be directing the movie. We’re also working with art director Pierre-Alain Chartier (The Little Prince, Arthur and the Minimoys), so we’re very excited about our future plans.”

Prehistoric Powerhouse

Sissmann says Gigantosausus, which will be the first big feature project for the studio, will also feature lots of catchy songs, just like the TV series does. “We’re going to work with the same people who did the show’s theme song and add some major musical talent for the U.S. and U.K. version of the movie.”

According to the animation veteran, the movie will introduce several new characters, explore the world of Gigantosaurus deeply and target a slightly older audience. “I began my career at Disney, working on movies such as Tarzan, Hunchback of Notre Dame and DuckTales: The Movie,” he adds. “So for me, it’s going full circle and returning to my feature roots.”

Sissmann says he and his team began working on the film’s script last September and hope to deliver the movie by 2021-2022 after the second and third season of the series have aired internationally.

Gigantosaurus toys

Gigantosaurus toys

The show’s master toy licensee, JAKKS Pacific will launch a full range of Gigantosaurus toys including preschool playthings, figures, vehicles, playsets, outdoor seasonal, indoor furniture and Halloween costumes and accessories this fall. In addition, Outright Games is developing and publishing a video game based on the franchise that will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. The game will feature the four dinosaur heroes (Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu) in a new story. Geared towards kids and families, the debut game brings players directly into the world of Gigantosaurus, as they zoom through the series-inspired locations and engage with the storylines.

“We are working closely with them to develop assets for the video game at the same time as we’re producing them for the TV series,” says Sissmann. “We started our video game division about a year and a half ago so we could develop this cynergy between us. Right now, we plan to release three titles in 2020. I’ve seen the demos, and I have to admit they look pretty amazing.”

Sissmann says there are also developing over 40 different print titles, including activity books and novelizations, which will be released in the course of the next three years. Cyber Group will announce four major licensing partnerships at Licensing Expo in Las Vegas in June.

“It’s a truly massive brand-building effort for us,” he adds. “This also includes a series of high-quality digital shorts we’re producing for Disney Junior’s YouTube. It has a big promotional value. They are all completely original stories, they expand the world of the characters and offer useful facts about dinosaurs. We’re also planning a worldwide Gigantosaurus tour in 2020, which is part of our big, integrated brand-building initiative for this massive property.”

Sissmann is also excited about Cyber Group’s new ventures in China, India and Russia. “We are investing to make our brands more global,” he says. “It’s about vertical integration and producing locally in different countries. If you put yourself out there and extend your arms and legs, you have the chance to grow and learn more from all your partners.”

Wrapping up the interview, Sissmann adds, “At the heart of what we do is providing quality entertainment to kids and families all around the world in a safe environment. For me, our preschool series Zou was our first major global brand, and it was a real eye-opener. It’s the same notion with Gigantosaurus: It’s about giving kids the chance to have fun and learn something at the same time. When I get mail from audiences, it brings home the reason we create these shows in the first place. It’s about bringing happiness, education and entertainment to kids around the world.”

For more info, visit cybergroupstudios.com.

More Hits on the Way!

Gigantosaurus is only one of several hot properties happening at the studio. Here are some of Cyber Group’s other big newsmakers:

Sadie Sparks. A 52-part series about a young girl who realizes she has magical abilities and becomes a wizard-in-training, with the guidance from a grumpy ancient rabbit, Gilbert. Co-produced by Brown Bag Films in Dublin, the series is set to debut later this year on Disney Channel.

Sadie Sparks

Sadie Sparks

Taffy. The studio’s retro, slapstick show centers on a trickster racoon who disguises himself as a cat to infiltrate the comfortable home of super rich Mrs. Muchmore and her pampered dog, Bentley. After making a big splash at MIPCOM last year, the show has been performing very well on Boomerang. A second season is in the works.

Taffy

Taffy

Tom Sawyer. Based on Mark Twain’s enduring character, this 26 x 26’ 2D/CG series addresses important issues such as growing up, freedom of spirit and the importance of an inquisitive nature. Produced at Cyber Group’s new studio in Roubaix, which opened in northern France last November.

Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer

Droners. A new adventure series for TF1, co-produced by La Chouette Compagnie and Supamonks, which follows the adventures of a group of young drone racers who are on a mission to save the planet from global warming and ecological destruction.

Droners

Droners

Digital Girl. Created by Pierre Sissmann and Sylvain dos Santos (Droners), this 26 x 22’ CG series tells the story of 14-year-old Chrissie, the first ever digital superheroine. Alexis Briclot, renowned for his designs onCaptain MarvelThorAnt-Man and Avengers, is signing off the graphic bible. The show finds Chrissie challenged by Hack Girl, a digital supervillain, as she tries to restore ecological balance and a peaceful community life in a futuristic, yet contemporary world. Co-produced by famed Russian studio Soyuzmultfilm.

Digital Girl

Digital Girl

Magic Chess Odyssey. This 26 x 22’ CG series tells the story of a chess board with supernatural powers that can change the lives of children around the planet. While a pure entertainment piece, Magic Chess Odysseycombines storytelling with ground-breaking animation while immersing kids in the real intricacies of the great chess competitions. Co-produced by Soyuzmultfilm.

Animation Magazine

Canada’s National Film Board Plans an Annecy Tour de Force

The National Film Board of Canada will make a strong showing at this year’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival (June 10-15) with three short films and one VR work, all in official competition.

Annecy 2019 will see the return of three world-renowned filmmakers: Regina Pessoa, with her short film Oncle Thomas – La comptabilité des jours (Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days, Ciclope Filmes/NFB/Les Armateurs); and Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski (Clyde Henry Productions), with the European premiere of their VR experience GYMNASIA (NFB/Felix & Paul Studios). Le cortège (The Procession, NFB), the first collaboration by Pascal Blanchet and Rodolphe Saint-Gelais, will screen in the official competition and Bone Mother (NFB), by Sylvie Trouvé and Dale Hayward, will screen in the Young Audiences competition.

The NFB will also be featured in other festival sections, in addition to attending the Mifa market. Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days (13?) is about the special relationship between director Regina Pessoa and her uncle. The film is a testament to her love for this eccentric, who played a key role in her becoming a filmmaker. Pessoa won the Annecy Cristal short film award in 2006 for Tragic Story with Happy Ending. Her latest is her most personal project to date — an important film that celebrates love and difference.

The Procession: After Catherine’s fatal car accident, she speaks from the beyond to her husband, Philip, who must endure the family ritual of the funeral. The Procession (11’23”) is the first collaboration between illustrator and graphic novel writer Pascal Blanchet, known for Rapide-Blanc and his work with Wes Anderson, and animator and filmmaker Rodolphe Saint-Gelais, first known for his work on the opening sequence of the feature Dédé à travers les brumes. Lavishly set to music by Pierre Lapointe and Philippe Brault, The Procession has a chic visual style inspired by a mid-20th-century aesthetic and Art Deco.

Bone Mother: A vain and arrogant youth dares to enter Baba Yaga’s living house of bones. What emerges will forever fill our nights with terror (Young Audiences, 8’24”). With their combined years of creative experience, Montreal-based animation duo Sylvie Trouvé and Dale Hayward founded See Creature Animation in 2011. Both had taken part in the NFB’s Hothouse apprenticeship program; Dale in 2007 (Roy G Biv) and Sylvie in 2008 (Orange).

GYMNASIA: Step into the stillness of an abandoned school and enter GYMNASIA, a place where the ghostly ephemera of a lost childhood await you. GYMNASIA (VR, 6?) is directed by Oscar-nominated animation duo Clyde Henry Productions (Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, directors of Madame Tutli-Putli). Montreal-based musician Patrick Watson composed music for the experience, with immersive sound design and capture provided by Headspace Studio. The project was also supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the Niepodleg?a program of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland. The experience had its world premiere earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival, following a preview demonstration at Annecy 2018. GYMNASIA is being presented at the Phi Centre as part of its >HUM(AI)N exhibition, which runs through September 15.

Other festival sections: Lynn Smith’s Soup of the Day (NFB, 2013, 3;) will screen in the Gastronomy: Soul Food special program. Chris Lavis (GYMNASIA) will be on the panel of Through the Looking Glass: Diverse Perspectives on the VR Competition in the Meetings – Making of section.

The NFB at Mifa:

Michael Fukushima, Executive Producer of the NFB’s English Animation Studio,will take part in the discussion Women in Animation (WIA) and Les femmes s’animent (LFA): Creating an Environment of Belonging (in English).

Julie Roy, Executive Producer of the NFB’s French Animation Studio, will share her expertise with Mifa Pitches participants at a training workshop entitled Market Preparation: Identify and Target to Convince Potential Partners.

– Two works, Paloma Dawkins’ Museum of Symmetry (NFB, 2018, 20?) and GYMNASIA by Clyde Henry Productions, will be showcased in the Canadian VR space (stand 6.010) in Mifa’s multimedia zone.

Learn more at nfb.ca and annecy.org.

The Procession

The Procession

Bone Mother

Bone Mother

GYMNASIA

GYMNASIA

Animation Magazine

Tanzania plans cable car for Mount Kilimanjaro

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania wants to boost tourist numbers by putting a cable car on Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain, and is in talks about the project with a Chinese and a Western company.

FILE PHOTO: A vehicle drives past Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania’s Hie district December 10, 2009. REUTERS/Katrina Manson

Around 50,000 tourists climb Kilimanjaro annually. A cable car could increase tourist numbers by 50 percent by providing access to the mountain for those unable to climb it, Constantine Kanyasu, the deputy minister for tourism, said.

The country is conducting feasibility studies on possible routes at the moment, Kanyasu told Reuters.

“We are still doing a feasibility study to see if this project works,” he said. “There are two companies one from China and another from a Western country that have shown interest.”

“This won’t be the first time in the world, cable cars are there in Sweden, Italy, the Himalayas,” he said.

Kanyasu said the government was looking at business plans, potential investors and profits.

The length of the route has not been finalised, with various options under consideration depending on cost and engineering issues, the minister said. An environmental impact assessment would also be carried out, he said.

Porter and guide groups who take tourists up the mountain oppose the project because they fear cable cars will reduce the number of climbers.

Loishiye Mollel, head of Tanzania Porters’ Organization, said visitors normally spend a week climbing the mountain.

“One visitor from the U.S. can have a maximum of 15 people behind him, of which 13 are porters, a cook and a guide. All these jobs will be affected by a cable car,” he said.

“We are of the view that the mountain should be left as it is.”

There are about 20,000 porters working between Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru, another mountain nearby, he said.

Tanzania’s earnings from tourism jumped 7.13 percent last year, helped by an increase in arrivals from foreign visitors. Tourism revenues raised $ 2.43 billion for the year, up from $ 2.19 billion in 2017.

Tourism is the main source of hard currency in Tanzania, known for its beaches, wildlife safaris and Mount Kilimanjaro, which has three volcanic cones and is nearly 5,000 meters high from its base.

Editing by Katharine Houreld and Jane Merriman

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Animaccord Plans Euro-MENA Cinema Release for ‘Masha and the Bear’

Starting this month, fans can soak up the magic and laughter of hit 3D animated series Masha and the Bear on the big screen, with a program of cinema releases announced across multiple partner territories.

AF Media GmbH will bring a selection of episodes from season 3 to cinemas in Germany, Austria and German-Speaking Switzerland during the period of April 4 to May 20 this year. In Germany, more than 100 screens that represent such cinema chains as Cineplex, Kinoplex, Kinopolis, Cinemax, Multiplex and Luxo will showcase the program. In Austria, over 25 screens at Cineplexx, Apollo-Kino, Lugner Kino and Hollywood Megaplex locations will feature the cartoon. And in Switzerland, screening engagements will be handled by Star Cine.

Spacetoon International FZ LLC will distribute selected episodes of Masha and the Bear season 3 to cinemas across MENA countries. It will be shown from April 11 to May 30 in local cinema chains such as Real Cinemas, Novo, Vox, Cinescape, Grand Cinemas, City Cinema and Cineco.

The Netherlands will celebrate an official cinema release date of April 10, showcasing selected episodes from season 3. With a number of supporting events planned to promote the screenings during April, awareness of Masha and the Bear will be at its peak across this key holiday season. A series of character costume Meet & Greet initiatives will be put in place to immerse visitors in the world of Masha and the Bear, including April 3 at Pathe de Kuip in Rotterdam and April 10 at VUE cinema with tickets already on sale.

The theatrical engagement follows Animaccord’s recent announcement of new licensing agents for Masha and the Bear across multiple territories.

Leading agency Lisans A.?. will build the licensing program for Masha and the Bear in Turkey that will include work on deals for licensed consumer products as well as management of promotional and advertising projects. Having been successfully operating in the licensing market over 17 years, Lisans exclusively represents such global market leaders in the entertainment industry as Warner Bros., Cartoon Network, Sony Pictures, Rovio Entertainment, IMPS, Turnowsky, Coca Cola and more.

Animaccord also announces partnerships with Nordic licensing and publishing agency FERLY to develop the brand across the Nordics; Lisle Licensing, a U.K. licensing group, which has extensive contacts with many Europe’s leading retail groups and category knowledge in multiple territories; ELC in Eastern Europe (except Poland, where Animaccord handles a direct business operation through locally based Licensing Management); Maurizio Distefano Licensing for Italy and Canton Ticino — MDL debuted the brand in Italy in 2014.

Animation Magazine

Netflix Plans Oscar-Qualifying Release for Original Feature ‘Klaus’

During a press preview at its Hollywood headquarters recently, Netflix announced that it is planning an Oscar-qualifying theatrical release for its first original animated feature film, Klaus. Attendees got to check out early footage from the film, which is directed by Despicable Me creator Sergio Pablos and produced by his Madrid-based The Spa Studios.

Klaus is a family comedy that explores the origin story for Santa Claus, anchored by the friendship between a young postman and a genial toymaker. Spa is utilizing proprietary animation technology that integrates hand-drawn techniques into a CGI pipeline to recreate a traditional animation aesthetic.

Netflix Director of Character Animation James Baxter (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King) is also involved with the project.

Klaus is part of an ambitious and diverse lineup of event animation underway at Netflix, including original features, series and specials from internationally renowned creators.

The movie is set to launch on the streaming platform around the winter holidays.

[Source: Hollywood Reporter]

Animation Magazine

SIGGRAPH Festival Plans Global Growth

ACM SIGGRAPH has announced the newly formed Computer Animation Festival Advisory Board, which will be chaired in its first term by Jason RM Smith, a former festival director. The organization puts on the Computer Animation Festival twice annually, and now aims to grow the event around the world.

“The Computer Animation Festival is core to the SIGGRAPH experience,” noted ACM SIGGRAPH President Jessica Hodgins. “Establishing the advisory board is an important step to ensure the festival’s long-term vision of supporting the evolution of technology in storytelling, and expanding outside our twice-annual conferences in an effort to share the much-loved festival with audiences around the world.”

What started as a primitive showcase of the capabilities of computer animation has since grown into an Academy Award-qualifying event. The festival is also credited as the first venue to show early looks at beloved computer-animated films, such as the now classic Toy Story (1995).

Festival programming is comprised of the Electronic Theater, VR Theater (since 2017), and Production Sessions. A recent addition to the festival is its Traveling Show screenings, which take the North American showcase around the world from fall to spring during the conference’s off-season. In 2018, the Traveling Show offers all four award-winning pieces from the summer showcase: Overrun (Student), Bilby (Jury’s Choice), One Small Step (Audience) and Hybrids (Best in Show) as well as the SIGGRAPH 2018 world premiere, Miazmat.

See the full 2018 program here.

The all-new advisory board will consist of past and future Computer Animation Festival directors from both North America and Asia. A British-born U.S. resident, Smith has spent 25 years working in computer graphics for games, interactive, and VR. He previously worked at Electronic Arts & Lucasfilm before founding an independent studio and consultancy in San Francisco. Smith holds a B.A in animation from the Arts University Bournemouth (U.K.)

“It was an amazing experience to direct the Computer Animation Festival, and is an honor to, once again, be working with a talented team to bring new ideas to the beloved showcase,” said Smith.

The SIGGRAPH Asia 2018 Computer Animation Festival was screened 4-7 December in Tokyo, Japan. Upcoming dates for the North American Traveling Show available here — including January 18 in Montreal and February 21 at Savannah College of Art and Design.

SIGGRAPH 2019 is set for July 28–August 1 in Los Angeles, California, and festival submissions will open in January 2019.

Animation Magazine

Nickelodeon Plans Holly Jolly December for Pre-K Viewers

Nickelodeon is decking the halls with festive programming for little ones this month! Starting Saturday, Dec. 8, at 11 a.m. (ET/PT), preschoolers can unwrap the gift of all-new premieres of hit series PAW Patrol, Butterbean’s Café, Blaze and the Monster Machines, Top Wing and more. Throughout the month of December, fans can also tune in to the Nick Jr. preschool block on Nickelodeon and the Nick Jr. channel to catch holiday-themed encores of Nella the Princess Knight, Sunny Day, Dora the Explorer, Blue’s Clues, Bubble Guppies, Peppa Pig and Team Umizoomi, among others.

Preschool premieres for December…

Nick Jr. Preschool Block on Nickelodeon (all times ET/PT):

FRIDAY, DEC. 14
12:00 p.m. – PAW Patrol “Pups Save a Frozen Camp-Out/Pups Save the Fizzy Pickles” Alex and Mr. Porter are on a tropical island camping trip when a freak snowstorm hits. / Mr. Porter is delivering his famous fizzy pickles to people around town when a bumpy road shakes up the deliveries and causes the pickle jars to pop.

12:30 p.m. – Butterbean’s Café “The Sugar Plum Fairy!”It’s the holiday season in Puddlebrook. When Butterbean’s Sugar Plum Fairy Cake goes missing, Cricket is afraid the Sugar Plum Fairy won’t visit. Guest Star: Giada De Laurentiis

FRIDAY, DEC. 21
12:00 p.m. – Blaze and the Monster Machines “Snow Day Showdown” It’s a snowy day in Axle City, and every truck in town is lining up for a delicious winter warm-up — hot chocolate! When Crusher tries to take all the hot chocolate for himself, Blaze is in hot pursuit to get it back.

12:30 p.m. – Top Wing “Top Wing Rescues Survivor Bear/Timmy Wings It” The Cadets team up to rescue TV adventure star Survivor Bear who comes to Big Swirl to brave Icy Summit. / When Swift hurts his wing, Timmy Turtle has to help pilot the Flash Wing to save the day.

Nick Jr. Channel:

SATURDAY, DEC. 8
11:00 a.m. – Rusty Rivets “Rusty Saves Christmas” Rusty, Ruby, and Liam head to the North Pole to fix Santa’s conveyor belt that he uses to load gifts from his workshop into his gigantic toy bag. Frankie stows away to find the present he really wants for Christmas.

MONDAY, DEC. 10
3:00 p.m. – Becca’s Bunch “Runaway Acorns” When Wagtail Woods’ supply of acorns is lost, Becca and her Bunch go on a mission to recover them before a winter storm arrives.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 12
3:00 p.m. – Becca’s Bunch “Merry Woodsmas” Becca and her Bunch pick Santa as their Secret Santa, but how do you give the best present giver in the world a gift?

THURSDAY, DEC. 13
3:00 p.m. – Becca’s Bunch “Snowball Rumble” Becca and her Bunch are finally old enough to compete in the Snowball Rumble and face off against their Cheddarton rivals.

SATURDAY, DEC. 15
11:00 a.m. – Thomas & Friends “Kangaroo Christmas/Hunt the Car” Thomas is surprised that it’s summer in Australia over Christmas and helps to reunite a baby kangaroo with its mother. / Bill and Ben’s latest game consists of hiding cars and making other engines hunt for them. After they discover that one of the cars is for the children’s Christmas Party at Ulfstead Castle, they want to give it back but it’s not where they left it.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 19
3:00 p.m. – Cleo & Cuquin “The Big Freeze” Everyone is having fun ice skating until Cuquin, who can’t skate, discovers how fun it is to knock them down. Everyone gets angry and sore, but Cleo knows how to fix it — they just have to teach Cuquin how to skate!

THURSDAY, DEC. 20 3:00 p.m. – Cleo & Cuquin “Christmas Day” Everyone is decorating the house for Christmas, but they soon learn that Cuquin’s present destroyed Santa’s toy factory. Cleo comes up with the solution — they’ll be Santa’s elves and help him with the presents

Animation Magazine

D23 Plans 10th Anniversary Festivities

D23: The Official Disney Fan Club turns 10 in 2019, and the org is adding some extra Disney magic throughout the year to celebrate. This includes the return of some of its most popular events, as well as brand-new fan experiences.

Return to Walt’s Birthplace: In 2016 and 2017, D23 Members had the amazing opportunity to visit Walt Disney’s birthplace in Chicago. The home, which is being restored, was constructed by Walt’s father, Elias, and designed by his mother, Flora. This June, D23 Members will have the chance to see the incredible progress made on bringing the home back to its initial glory.

Screenings on the Walt Disney Studios Lot and at Walt Disney World Resort: Throughout the year, D23 will once again offer special screenings on both coasts of classic Disney favorites. As part of D23’s anniversary celebration, all the films screened will also be celebrating milestones, including Up (10th anniversary), Sleeping Beauty (60th), Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (35th), and The Lion King (25th).

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

The Official Walt Disney Studios Tour – Presented by D23: D23 Gold Member-exclusive tours of the historic studio lot return and, for 2019, the tour — traditionally held four times a year — will run monthly starting in March and will include VIP experiences on select tours. Guests are able to take a look inside the Walt Disney Archives and see Walt Disney’s office suite during the tour, which offers fans a unique perspective on historic moments from Disney films, television shows, and theme parks.

D23’s Lunch with a Disney Legend: Beginning in January, D23 brings back these exclusive luncheons with Disney luminaries. This year, D23 will be crossing the country so more fans than ever can enjoy the opportunity to meet Disney Legends and hear their fascinating stories, including an intimate lunch with Linda Larkin — the speaking voice of Jasmine in Aladdin — in New York City next April.

Linda Larkin

Linda Larkin

D23 Heads to the Hollow: To celebrate the 70th anniversary of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow — and its infamous headless villain — D23 will hold a special event in Sleepy Hollow, New York, with a screening, special guests, reception, and more.

Advance Screenings: D23 Members can look forward to a host of exclusive, advance screenings across the country in partnership with our friends from The Walt Disney Studios. This year, D23 brought movie magic to 35 cities across the country, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Plus, D23 Members attended the red-carpet premiere of Disney’s Christopher Robin. D23 Gold Members across the U.S. will once again be selected at random to receive complimentary movie passes, and in honor of D23’s 10 years, 10,000 pairs of tickets will be sent throughout 2019.

Signature Events: D23 will bring back foodie favorite Sip & Stroll during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Walt Disney Imagineering’s exclusive merchandise store, Mickey’s of Glendale, will open its doors to members. Guests at Walt Disney World Resort will once again make the holiday season bright next December, and on the West Coast, members will be invited back to The Walt Disney Studios to Light Up the Season. The Walt Disney Family Museum will extend a warm welcome to Gold Members for an exclusive look at a new exhibit in May. Also, D23’s Behind-the-Scenes Experiences will return, offering exclusive, one-of-a-kind events to D23 Gold and Gold Family Members.

Light Up the Season

Light Up the Season

Member Mixers: After mixing and mingling at complimentary gatherings in places such as Houston, Seattle and San Diego in 2018, D23 will bring more mixers to U.S. cities in 2019, including a special San Diego Comic-Con mixer to celebrate Marvel Comics’ 80th anniversary.

D23 Expo 2019: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event returns. It’s D23’s biggest event of the year, when all of Disney’s wonderful worlds come together once again August 23–25, 2019, at the Anaheim Convention Center for three magical days of once-in-a-lifetime live performances, star-studded presentations, exclusive collectibles, and more celebrating Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars.

Plus, 2019 will mark a year-long Fanniversary celebration for D23’s 10th anniversary. Every year, D23 honors a Disney favorite that has reached a milestone anniversary. And in celebration of a decade of D23, the Fanniversary will continue all year long with additional special events to be announced, new member discounts, and more.

Full details on D23’s lineup of 2019 special events and ticketing will be made available at www.D23.com/events.

Animation Magazine

AFM: Odin’s Eye Plans ‘Sanctuary City’ Franchise

Odin’s Eye Entertainment has kicked off production on a new animated feature trilogy, Tales of Sanctuary City, from award-winning studio Like A Photon. The movies will explore a world of talking animals inspired by the diversity of Aussie fauna. Supported by Screen Australia and Screen Queensland, the first film in the franchise, The Wishmas Tree, is slated to debut in 2019.

The films have already presold in a number of territories, including Korea (Cinema Republic), Poland (Kino Swiat), former Yugoslavia (Blitz), Bulgaria (Tandem) and the Middle East (Phoenicia).

The Wishmas Tree is set to launch in December 2019, and will follow the adventures of a young, rebellious possum. It will be followed by Combat Wombat, about a crimefighter who happens to be a cute marsupial, in June 2020. The third picture will arrive in January 2021, Daisy Quokka: World’s Scariest Animal (working title), which will center on an Olympics-style competition.

All three movies are being directed by Richard Cusso in his feature film debut. Nadine Bates and Kristen Souvlis (Like A Photon) are producers. Matt Everitt (The LEGO Movie, The LEGO Batman Movie) is executive producer.

[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]

Animation Magazine

Report: Burger Chains’ Antibiotics Plans Flawed

Oct. 17, 2018 — Only two of 25 U.S. burger chains surveyed earned a top rating for serving beef raised without the routine use of antibiotics, according to a new report issued by six consumer groups. One other restaurant chain earned a D-minus. The other 22 failed.

Earning A’s were Shake Shack and Burger Fi. Wendy’s got the D-minus. Heavy hitters such as McDonald’s and Burger King got F’s.

The results were surprising, says Matt Wellington, antibiotics program director of the U.S. PIRG Education Fund and the lead author of the report, “Chain Reaction IV: Burger Edition,” issued Wednesday.

In a previous report, the groups found that restaurants are increasingly getting their chicken from sources that do not use antibiotics routinely, he says. “The beef industry has a long way to go,” he says.

Experts know that the growth and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria pose a health crisis worldwide. Each year, at least 23,000 Americans die of resistant infections, and Wellington says that estimate is probably conservative.

If fast-food restaurants insist that meat producers use antibiotics responsibly, it would help tremendously, experts say.

Survey Details

This year’s report focuses on the ways antibiotics are used in beef sold in the top 25 U.S. burger chains. The 25 were picked based on sales in 2017. To protect public health, Wellington and others say, restaurants should commit to getting beef from producers that use antibiotics in cattle only under the guidance of a licensed veterinarian and only to treat cows diagnosed with an illness or to control a disease outbreak that has been verified.

For the survey, restaurants were asked to describe their policy for getting beef. They were also asked how transparent the policy was and whether their customers could get to the policy publicly, such as on the restaurant website.

“Those questions are what we graded the restaurants on,” Wellington says. “They had to prohibit the routine use of antibiotics in their supply chain” to earn passing grades.

The survey responses were then compared with publicly available information; if the responses did not match, the researchers took the public information as the response, Wellington says.

Only seven of the 25 restaurant chains returned the survey, he says, so they found the information that was publicly available for the non-responders and graded them based on that.

More on the F’s

Besides McDonald’s and Burger King, these burger restaurants also earned an F:

  • Sonic
  • Jack in the Box
  • Hardee’s
  • Whataburger
  • Carl’s Jr.
  • Five Guys
  • Culver’s
  • Steak ’n Shake
  • In-N-Out
  • White Castle
  • Checkers
  • Krystal
  • Smashburger
  • Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
  • The Habit Burger Grill
  • Rally’s
  • Fuddruckers
  • A&W
  • Jack’s
  • Farmer Boys

Wendy’s gets 15% of its beef from producers that have decreased the use of tylosin, an antibiotic, by 20%. The researchers call this step ”modest.”

In addition to the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, others involved in the survey are the Center for Food Safety, Consumer Reports, Food Animal Concerns Trust, Friends of the Earth, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Industry Response

WebMD reached out to Shake Shack, McDonald’s, and Five Guys for comment.

By deadline, McDonald’s had responded. Lauren Altmin, a spokesperson for McDonald’s, says such a policy is in progress for beef. “Preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics for future generations is highly important to McDonald’s.” she says. “In 2016, McDonald’s fully implemented its pledge to no longer serve chicken treated with antibiotics important to human medicine in its U.S. restaurants, which led to the 2018 implementation of an antibiotic use policy for broiler chicken in markets around the globe. McDonald’s is currently finalizing a global antibiotic policy for beef, to begin rollout before the end of 2018.”

The FDA put new antibiotic use guidelines into place in late 2016 that were aimed at reducing “inappropriate” antibiotic use by 20% among patients admitted to hospitals and by half among those in outpatient settings. But, the report authors note, ”it continues to allow medically important antibiotics to be routinely used in animal feed or water to prevent disease — even in healthy animals — so long as a veterinarian approves that use.”

The guidelines also allow vets to write orders so that all animals on a farm can be given antibiotics for up to 6 months, blurring the line between disease prevention and growth promotion.

Moving Forward

In the report, the authors say policymakers need to set national goals for reduction of antibiotic use in food animals, among other measures.

“These reforms are vital to preserving life-saving medicines for the future health of both animals and people,” the report concludes.

Sources

U.S. PIRG Education Fund, et. al.: Chain Reaction IV: Burger Edition. How Top Restaurants Rate on Reducing Antibiotic Use in Their Meat Supply Chains. October 2018.

Matt Wellington, antibiotics program director, U.S. PIRG Education Fund, and lead author of the report.

Lauren Altmin, spokesperson, McDonald’s.

© 2018 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.


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