Starz Opens State-of-the-Art Animation Studio in Toronto



    Animation Veteran Steinberg Named EVP/GM of the Studio

    Tim Burton-Produced Fantasy 9 Tops Busy Production Schedule at the
    Facility

    TORONTO, Sept. 25 /CNW/ - Starz, LLC, Chairman and CEO Robert B. Clasen
today unveiled the U.S. media company's state-of-the-art animation studio in
Toronto, and announced the appointment of veteran animation executive David
Steinberg to run it. The studio will be one of Canada's largest, with 150
employees in 2007 and growing substantially as new projects begin production.
The studio will produce computer-generated animated feature films and more.
    "Starz Animation Toronto is a key piece of our strategy to be a
full-service production and distribution company worldwide, and to be a major
presence in the Canadian entertainment business," Clasen said. "The talent and
technical support in Canada are second to none in the world. And we're kicking
off the production schedule with a feature produced by Tim Burton, one of the
world's top film artists."
    Clasen noted that Starz Animation Toronto has just begun production on a
major new project: Focus Features' animated theatrical release 9. The fantasy
epic tells the story of a band of courageous rag dolls that battle for the
survival of civilization in a post-apocalyptic parallel world. 9 is produced
by Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov, and Jim Lemley, and directed by Shane Acker,
based on his Student Academy Award(R)-winning animated short. The film will
feature the voices of Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, Crispin Glover, Martin
Landau, Christopher Plummer, and John C. Reilly.
    "Toronto is an animation powerhouse," said Steinberg, who has been named
Executive Vice President and General Manager of Starz Animation Toronto after
an almost 30-year career in studio-level animation. "We are tapping into a
city incredibly rich in animation talent, fed by world-class universities of
art and technology. Add Starz' leadership and commitment to CG production and
you have an animation formula that is sure to generate compelling animated
entertainment for audiences around the world."
    Prior to joining Starz Animation Toronto, Steinberg spent a decade as a
producer and executive at Walt Disney Feature Animation, where he helped
shepherd such films as Meet the Robinsons, Mulan, Hercules, Tarzan and others.
Previously, he was executive producer on Turner Feature Animation's Cats Don't
Dance and The Pagemaster, and spent a decade with animation legend Don Bluth,
where he was instrumental in such films as The Secret of NIMH, An American
Tail and The Land Before Time. Steinberg also directed character animation for
a Universal Studios Florida attraction, the video game "Dragon's Lair 2," and
various international commercials.
    As executive vice president of Starz Animation Toronto, Steinberg will be
charged with initiating proprietary feature animation projects as well as
securing projects from third parties. The studio will also produce animation
for TV, commercials and live action visual effects.
    Starz Animation Toronto has been built on the foundation laid by a
venerable Toronto animation house. Since Starz acquired the company in late
2006, it has invested heavily to prepare the new studio to produce world class
projects.
    The studio recently completed production on The Pirates Who Don't Do
Anything: A VeggieTales Movie, for Universal Pictures and Big Idea, Inc. This
project, which was begun under previous ownership at the studio, was produced
by Paula Marcus and directed by Mike Nawrocki. It is due for release
theatrically by Universal Pictures.
    Starz, LLC, is a fully integrated media company that produces programming
in all media and distributes it internationally on all platforms, including
broadcast, cable and premium television, feature films, DVD and other home
entertainment, and on digital and broadband channels. It is the umbrella
company for Starz Media - a production and distribution company that includes
Starz Animation Toronto - as well as Starz Entertainment, which encompasses
the premium movie channels of Starz and Encore. Starz is also parent of the
new motion picture studio Overture Films.

    About Starz Media
    ------------------
    Starz Media, LLC, is a programming production and distribution company
operating worldwide. It includes the Film Roman, Anchor Bay Entertainment, and
Manga Entertainment brands. Its units create animated and live-action
programming -- including theatrical films -- and programming created under
contract for other media companies. It distributes that programming, and
programming acquired from outside producers, through home video retailers,
theaters, broadcasters, ad supported and premium television channels, and
Internet and wireless video distributors in the US and internationally. Starz
Media is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a wholly owned subsidiary
of Liberty Media Corporation that is attributed to Liberty Capital Group.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/




For further information:

For further information: Jonathan Taylor, Starz Media, (818) 748-4032,
Jonathan.Taylor@starz.com; Jennifer Rideout, Temple Scott Associates, Inc.,
(416) 360-6183, Jrideout@tsa.ca

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STARZ ANIMATION TORONTO

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