Monthly Archives: November 2012

My Little Pony’s Andrea Libman Wins Animation Voice Award

Andrea Libman

Andrea Lib­man

For her por­tray­als of Pinkie Pie and Flut­ter­shy in My Lit­tle Pony: Friend­ship is Magic, Toronto-born Van­cou­ver per­former Andrea Lib­man, 28, won the Award for Best Voice at the inau­gural UBCP/ACTRA Awards.

Two other voice per­form­ers in My Lit­tle Pony: Friend­ship is Magic had been nom­i­nated in the same cat­e­gory: Trevor Devall (Prince Blue­blood) and Tabitha St. Ger­main (many characters).

Also nom­i­nated were Lee Tockar (Dok­tor Frogg) for League of Super Evil: “Lose Weight” and Sam Vin­cent (Lester) for Rated A for Awe­some: “Lost in Character.”

The UBCP/ACTRA Award for Best Actress went to Camille Sul­li­van (Sis­ters & Broth­ers), while the award for Best Actor was given to Stephen Lobo for Afghan Luke. Also for Sis­ters & Broth­ers, Kacey Rohl was named Best Newcomer.

The UBCP/ACTRA Award for Best Stunt was handed out to Phil Mitchell for his work in True Jus­tice: “Urban Warfare.”

Melissa Stubbs received the John Juliani Award of Excel­lence. The Lorena Gale Woman of Dis­tinc­tion Award was given to Carol Whiteman.

The UBCP/ACTRA Awards cer­e­mony took place Sat­ur­day night at the Cana­dian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion stu­dios in Vancouver.

Over 130 per­for­mances were sub­mit­ted to the nom­i­nat­ing com­mit­tee, who used a vot­ing sys­tem to deter­mine the final nominees.

The nom­i­nat­ing com­mit­tee included UBCP mem­bers Blu Mankuma, Brian Markin­son, Car­men Moore, David Myl­rea, Garvin Cross, Jay Brazeau, John Cassini, Lauro Char­trand, Melissa Stubbs, Robert Moloney, Sarah-Jane Red­mond and Sonja Ben­nett. Where a mem­ber of the com­mit­tee was also sub­mit­ted for a nom­i­na­tion, they recused them­selves from the voting.

The Union of British Colum­bia Per­form­ers (UBCP/ACTRA) is an autonomous branch of ACTRA (Alliance of Cana­dian Cin­ema, Tele­vi­sion and Radio Artists), the national orga­ni­za­tion of pro­fes­sional per­form­ers work­ing in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA rep­re­sents the inter­ests of 22,000 mem­bers across Canada.

Cartoon of the Day: Treasure Planet

Treasure Planet

Trea­sure Planet

On this date in 2002, Dis­ney released Trea­sure Planet. Sort of a Dis­ney ver­sion of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Trea­sure Island,” set in outer space.

This movie opened in both 35mm and a specifically-formatted 70mm IMAX ver­sion. This marked the first time that a film had con­cur­rent releases in both formats.

After the Sep­tem­ber 11 tragedy, Dis­ney decided that peo­ple being held at sword-point just wasn’t funny, so the ani­ma­tors were instructed to remove as many swords from the film as possible.

The film was a major finan­cial dis­as­ter. Bud­geted at $140 mil­lion, it grossed only $38.2 mil­lion by the time it left North Amer­i­can the­aters. The loss report­edly resulted in Dis­ney down­grad­ing its earn­ings esti­mate for the last quar­ter of 2002.

So what did you think of this later Dis­ney film… good retelling of a clas­sic story, or overblown CG-Fest?

Disney Animator and Story Man Mel Shaw Dies at 97

Mel Shaw

Mel Shaw

Visual devel­op­ment artist, ani­ma­tor and story man Melvin “Mel” Shaw, named a Dis­ney Leg­end in 2004, has died at 97, lay­out artist Mike Per­aza announced.

Shaw has been called one of Disney’s “elder states­men” of ani­ma­tion. Walt Dis­ney, who per­son­ally recruited him to join his team, observed another side.

Dur­ing his early polo play­ing days, Shaw recalled first meet­ing Dis­ney at the field, who announced, “You ride like a wild Indian!” And thus, the door opened for Shaw to infuse his pas­sion into Dis­ney animation.

Born Melvin Schwartz­man in Brook­lyn on Decem­ber 19, 1914, he dis­cov­ered his artis­tic bent at age 10, when selected as one of only 30 chil­dren from New York state to par­tic­i­pate in the Stu­dent Art League Soci­ety. Two years later, his soap sculp­ture of a Latino with a pack mule won sec­ond prize in a Proc­ter & Gam­ble soap carv­ing con­test, earn­ing the young artist national fame.

In 1928, his fam­ily moved to Los Ange­les, where Shaw attended high school and entered a schol­ar­ship class at Otis Art Insti­tute. But the teen had an itch to become a cow­boy and ran away from home to work on a Utah ranch.

After four months of back-breaking work, he returned home and took a job cre­at­ing title cards for silent movies at Pacific Titles, owned by Leon Schlesinger. With help from Schlesinger, two for­mer Dis­ney ani­ma­tors, Hugh Har­man and Rudy Ising, had made a deal with Warner Bros., and soon, Shaw joined Harman-Ising Stu­dios as ani­ma­tor, char­ac­ter designer, story man and direc­tor. While there, he worked with Orson Welles sto­ry­board­ing a live-action/animated ver­sion of The Lit­tle Prince.

In 1937, Shaw arrived at Dis­ney, con­tribut­ing to Fan­ta­sia (1940), Bambi (1941) and The Wind in the Wil­lows, which later became a seg­ment in The Adven­tures of Ich­a­bod and Mr. Toad (1949).

His Dis­ney career was inter­rupted by the Sec­ond World War, when he served the United States Army Sig­nal Corps as a film­maker under Lord Louis Mount­bat­ten, help­ing pro­duce films, includ­ing a live action/animated doc­u­men­tary of the Burma Cam­paign. He also served as art edi­tor and car­toon­ist for the Stars & Stripes news­pa­per in Shanghai.

After the war, he ven­tured into busi­ness with for­mer MGM Stu­dios ani­ma­tor Bob Allen. As Allen-Shaw Pro­duc­tions, he designed and cre­ated the orig­i­nal Howdy Doody mar­i­onette pup­pet for NBC; illus­trated the first Bambi children’s book for Dis­ney; and designed children’s toys, archi­tec­ture and even mas­ter plans for cities, includ­ing Cen­tury City, California.

In 1974, Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios called Shaw to help in the out­go­ing tran­si­tion between retir­ing ani­ma­tors and the next gen­er­a­tion. He offered skill and knowl­edge to such Dis­ney motion pic­tures as The Res­cuers (1977), The Fox and the Hound (1981), The Great Mouse Detec­tive (1986), Beauty and the Beast (1991), The Lion King (1994) and more.

Though uncred­ited, he was an ani­ma­tor in the the­atri­cal car­toon shorts We’re in the Money (1933), Toy­land Broad­cast and Tale of the Vienna Woods (both 1934), To Spring (1936) and Merba­bies (1938).

He offered addi­tional story con­tri­bu­tions to The Black Caul­dron (1985) and pro­vided the car­toon story for the 1957 Dis­ney­land episode “Tricks of Our Trade.” Shaw appeared as him­self in the 2001 TV doc­u­men­tary Walt: The Man Behind the Myth.

Shaw recently com­pleted his auto­bi­og­ra­phy Ani­ma­tor on Horse­back at his home in Acampo, Cal­i­for­nia. It has not yet been released.

In June, he lived with his son and daughter-in-law in Wood­land Hills, California.

Mel Shaw mar­ried Flo­rence, the widow of Dis­ney ani­ma­tor John Lounsbery.

Guardians Slow to Rise, Opens in Fourth Place

Rise Of The Guardians

Rise Of The Guardians

Such child­hood heroes as the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus save the world in Rise of the Guardians, but they didn’t stop the movie from open­ing in fourth place over the five-day Thanks­giv­ing weekend.

Fea­tur­ing the voices of Chris Pine and Alec Bald­win, the Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion movie made $32.6 mil­lion since open­ing Wednes­day, includ­ing $24 mil­lion over the week­end itself.

That’s a far cry from the $64 mil­lion made by teen vam­pire sequel The Twi­light Saga: Break­ing Yawn — Part 2 in its sec­ond weekend.

Rise of the Guardians was pro­duced by DWA for about $145 mil­lion. Dis­trib­u­tor Para­mount Pic­tures had expected it to gross $35 mil­lion in its first five days, accord­ing to Box Office Mojo.

Based on children’s author William Joyce’s book series The Guardians of Child­hood, the film is the last being dis­trib­uted by Para­mount will release for DWA. Next year, Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion movies will be dis­trib­uted by Fox.

Observ­ing “the great par­ent reac­tions we’ve seen” to the film, Anne Globe, Dream­works’ chief mar­ket­ing offi­cer, said it was one of the few choices for fam­i­lies through the end of the year. The stu­dio is “hop­ing for very long legs through the hol­i­days,” she added.

In sixth place was Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph, which brought in $23 mil­lion. It was in fourth place the pre­vi­ous week­end. So far, Wreck-It Ralph has made $149.5 mil­lion domestically.

The North Amer­i­can box office for the Thanks­giv­ing week­end (Wednes­day to Sun­day) reached $290 mil­lion, beat­ing the pre­vi­ous hol­i­day week­end record of $273 mil­lion set in 2009, when The Twi­light Saga: New Moon was the leader.

Week­end ticket sales in the United States and Canada were com­piled by the box office divi­sion of

One Boy’s Story Cartoon PSA Wins Two Regional Emmy Awards

One Boy'€™s Story

One Boy’€™s Story

Blend­ing 3D ani­ma­tion with live action, the pub­lic ser­vice announce­ment One Boy’s Story has won two Emmy awards from the National Acad­emy of Tele­vi­sion Arts & Sci­ences, Chicago/Midwest Chapter.

Cre­ated by Mode Project, a Chicago-based design and pro­duc­tion stu­dio, it won for Out­stand­ing Achieve­ment for Community/Public Ser­vice (PSAs) and Out­stand­ing Crafts Achieve­ment Off-Air — Graph­ics Arts/Animation/Art Direction/Set Design. The spot was cre­ated for the non-profit orga­ni­za­tion Court Appointed Spe­cial Advo­cates, ded­i­cated to pro­vid­ing vol­un­teer advo­cacy for abused and neglected children.

The spot tells the story of a young boy who was aban­doned by his par­ents, but with the help of a CASA vol­un­teer, was adopted into a lov­ing fam­ily. Pre­vi­ously, One Boy’s Story was rec­og­nized with a Sil­ver award for Art Direc­tion & Design in the 2012 Pro­maxBDA North Amer­ica Design competition.

Mode Project was pre­sented with this oppor­tu­nity via design stu­dio Thirst/Chicago on behalf of EPIC (Engag­ing Phil­an­thropy Inspir­ing Cre­atives), an orga­ni­za­tion which helps top-tier cre­ative tal­ent join forces with non­profit clients. “Mode Project totally made Kelly Butler’s script come to life in this incred­i­ble video hybrid that is obvi­ously dig­i­tal, but remark­ably ana­log in spirit. I love this Mode brand of inno­cence!”, said Thirst founder and design direc­tor Rick Valicenti.

As always, the Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards were full of extra­or­di­nary projects pro­duced by tal­ented cre­atives with an unpar­al­leled pas­sion for their work,” said Mode Project Pres­i­dent Colin Carter. “Our whole team is incred­i­bly hon­ored by this recog­ni­tion, and we offer our con­grat­u­la­tions to all of the winners.”

These projects demon­strate the diverse capa­bil­i­ties of the stu­dio, which cre­ates orig­i­nal con­tent for an expand­ing client ros­ter that includes global ad agen­cies, non-profits, and major brands such as Gogo, Mar­riott Inter­na­tional, AT&T, United Air­lines and UPS.

The Chicago / Mid­west Emmy awards add to Mode Project’s grow­ing list of indus­try recog­ni­tion, includ­ing Cannes Lions Tita­nium and Inte­grated Grand Prix awards, New York Fes­ti­vals World Medals, and Promax/BDA North Amer­i­can Design Awards.

One Boy’s Story can be viewed at

Boy With Autism Wins Animation Award For 2nd Time

Young PK Keith of Val­ley Vil­lage, Cal­i­for­nia, who was diag­nosed with autism spec­trum dis­or­der at age two, and whose bud­ding inter­est in ani­ma­tion and film was evi­dent at an early age, received a Best Ele­men­tary School Ani­ma­tion award Sun­day from Inter­na­tional Stu­dent Film Fes­ti­val Hol­ly­wood in recog­ni­tion of his ani­mated short Ani­mal Birth­day Party.

Ten-year-old PK, who attends tutor­ing at Excep­tional Minds voca­tional school for youth with autism, won in the same cat­e­gory in last year’s ISFFH fes­ti­val, an annual event open to all ele­men­tary, junior high and high school stu­dents that rec­og­nizes young film­mak­ers from around the world. The short was selected along with more than 65 oth­ers for screen­ing at the ISFFH film fes­ti­val, which took place Sat­ur­day and Sun­day at Bev­erly Garland’s The­ater in North Hol­ly­wood, California.

Some peo­ple don’t know until after grad­u­at­ing from col­lege what they want to do. PK has always wanted to be an ani­ma­tor. Even before he could talk, he’d go through reams and reams of paper, draw­ing and lay­ing out his sto­ry­boards on the floor. This is his thing,” says mom Mol­lie Burns Keith, who enrolled PK in pri­vate tutor­ing ses­sions at Excep­tional Minds over the sum­mer to develop her son’s skills and pre­pare him for even­tual employ­ment as an animator.

PK orig­i­nated the Flash ani­ma­tion with tutor­ing and instruc­tion from Laura Robin­son and other instruc­tors at Excep­tional Minds, a Sher­man Oaks, Cal­i­for­nia voca­tional school for young adults on the autism spec­trum who aspire to become ani­ma­tors and com­puter artists. Started last year by pro­fes­sion­als in the post-production and film indus­try, and instructed by work­ing ani­ma­tors with the help of experts expe­ri­enced in autism devel­op­men­tal issues, Excep­tional Minds is being lauded as the poster child for what’s next for young adults with ASD, many of whom are under­em­ployed or unem­ployed, yet who demon­strate an apti­tude for com­puter ani­ma­tion and tech­nol­ogy in general.

PK is one more exam­ple of what these young and tal­ented indi­vid­u­als can do given the right tools, the right instruc­tion and the space to do it,” says Yudi Ben­nett, the direc­tor of oper­a­tions for Excep­tional Minds, and the par­ent of a young adult on the autism spectrum.

The Inter­na­tional Stu­dent Film Fes­ti­val Hol­ly­wood is in its 10th year as a venue “where the next gen­er­a­tion of film­mak­ers show­case their work,” plac­ing PK among an elite and esteemed group of young aspir­ing talent.

At the fes­ti­val, the Grand Jury Award went to Shaun Seong-young Kim of USC for the ani­mated Hu’s Game. The award for Best Ani­ma­tion was given to fel­low USC stu­dent Wen Huang for The Sev­enth Star.

Named Best High School Ani­ma­tion was Snub-nosed Elf, directed by Chi Keung Wong of Hong Kong’s Yung Yau Col­lege. It was writ­ten by Ngo Yin Ip and Man Ho Wan. Chak Fung Ip, also of Yung Yau Col­lege, won Best Junior High School Ani­ma­tion for Make a Dif­fer­ence, writ­ten by Ka Yung Che­ung and Wing Hang Chan.

Cartoon Zebras From South Africa Get Distributor



South Africa’s Trig­ger­fish Stu­dios’ 3D ani­mated fea­ture Khumba has been picked up for North Amer­i­can dis­tri­b­u­tion by Mil­len­nium Enter­tain­ment. The film has just com­pleted pro­duc­tion. Khumba is a half-stripped zebra who sets out on a dar­ing quest to earn his stripes.

Khumba was co-written by Anthony Sil­ver­ston (Zam­bezia) and Raf­faella Delle Donne (Zam­bezia), with Lion King writer Jonathan Roberts. Anthony Sil­ver­ston also directed the fea­ture, and Stu­art For­rest of Trig­ger­fish Ani­ma­tion (Zam­bezia) pro­duced it. The film stars Jake T. Austin (Wiz­ards of Waverly Place, Rio, The Per­fect Game), Anna­Sophia Robb (Char­lie and the Choco­late Fac­tory, Bridge to Terebithia, Soul Surfer) and Loretta Devine (Crash, I am Sam, Grey’s Anatomy).

When Khumba, a half stripped zebra is blamed for the lack of rain by the rest of his insu­lar, super­sti­tious herd, he embarks on a dar­ing quest to earn his stripes. In his search for the leg­endary water­hole in which the first zebras got their stripes, Khumba meets a quirky range of char­ac­ters and teams up with an unlikely duo: an over­pro­tec­tive wilde­beest, MamaV and Bradley, a self-obsessed ostrich. But before he can reunite with his herd, Khumba will have to come face to face with Phango, a scary leop­ard who con­trols the water­holes and ter­ror­izes all the ani­mals in the Great Karoo.

Mil­len­nium Enter­tain­ment is eager to earn its stripes with the lov­able ‘Khumba’, which marks the company’s first ven­ture in the world of ani­ma­tion,” said Mil­len­nium Enter­tain­ment CEO Bill Lee. “We look for­ward to con­nect­ing the film and its endear­ing cast of ani­mals with the whole family.”

Stu­art For­rest, Trig­ger­fish Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios’ CEO stated, “This is another excit­ing step-up for Trig­ger­fish Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios as we con­tinue to break new ground in estab­lish­ing our com­pany as Africa’s lead­ing enter­tain­ment fran­chise. We are thrilled to be work­ing with Mil­len­nium and feel our film is in good hands with a tal­ented group behind the the­atri­cal release.”

Deal was nego­ti­ated dur­ing the AFM between Mil­len­nium Entertainment’s VP of Acqui­si­tions, Tris­ten Tuck­field and inter­na­tional sales agent Cin­ema Man­age­ment Group’s Pres­i­dent, Edward Noelt­ner whose com­pany also han­dled all inter­na­tional sales on Triggerfish’s first 3D ani­mated fea­ture Zam­bezia.

Turkeys Ready To Be Served in November 2014



The ani­mated com­edy “Turkeys” will be released Novem­ber 14, 2014, Rel­a­tiv­ity Media and Reel FX announced Thursday.

Turkeys is helmed by Jimmy Hay­ward, direc­tor of box office hit Hor­ton Hears A Who! and ani­ma­tor on such films as Disney/Pixar’s Find­ing Nemo and Mon­sters Inc. The film is jointly pro­duced and financed by Rel­a­tiv­ity and Reel FX, and is now set for the­atri­cal release.

The film stars the voice tal­ent of Owen Wil­son, who pre­vi­ously voiced Light­ning McQueen in Disney-Pixar’s Cars; Woody Har­rel­son from The Hunger Games; and Dan Fogler, who pre­vi­ously voiced Zeng in Dream­works Animation’s Kung Fu Panda. Pro­duc­ing are Scott Mosier (Clerks), Craig Mazin (The Hang­over Part II), John Strauss (The Santa Claus 2) and David l. Stern (Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia). The screen­play was writ­ten by Stern and Strauss, with a rewrite by Mazin. The film will be dis­trib­uted world­wide by Relativity.

Turkeys is an irrev­er­ent, hilar­i­ous, adven­tur­ous buddy com­edy where two turkeys from oppo­site sides of the tracks must put aside their dif­fer­ences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of his­tory — and get turkey off the menu for good.

Reel FX is a fully-integrated movie stu­dio that devel­ops and pro­duces both ani­mated films and live-action movies. In addi­tion to Turkeys, Reel FX’s grow­ing ani­ma­tion slate includes Day of the Dead (Guillermo del Toro pro­duc­ing) and Beasts of Bur­den (Aron Warner and Andrew Adam­son pro­duc­ing). Reel FX’s own film slate fol­lows almost 20 years of expe­ri­ence as an award-winning one-stop stu­dio for ani­mated con­tent, includ­ing films, spe­cial attraction/live venue projects and inter­ac­tive projects, for com­pa­nies like Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion, Fox, Warner Bros. and Uni­ver­sal Studios.

Michael Hefferon Appointed President of Rainmaker Animation

Rainmaker Entertainment

Rain­maker Entertainment

Rain­maker Enter­tain­ment Inc. has appointed fea­ture film and TV exec­u­tive Michael Hef­feron as pres­i­dent and exec­u­tive pro­ducer, Craig Gra­ham, newly appointed chair­man and CEO of the Vancouver-based CGI ani­ma­tion pro­duc­tion stu­dio, announced.

The appoint­ment of Hef­feron reflects Rainmaker’s con­tin­u­ing expan­sion into both areas of client CGI ani­ma­tion ser­vices, as well as orig­i­nal pro­duc­tion with enter­tain­ment part­ners world­wide, such as the studio’s part­ner­ship with the Wein­stein Com­pany on the upcom­ing fea­ture film Escape From Planet Earth.

Hef­feron joins a team of pro­fes­sional ani­ma­tion and cre­ative tal­ent at Rain­maker led by Kim Dent Wilder, senior vice-president of pro­duc­tion and operations.

Hef­feron brings to his lead­er­ship role at Rain­maker an exten­sive career in the TV and fea­ture film indus­try, hav­ing pro­duced more than 500 half-hours of pro­gram­ming for tele­vi­sion and numer­ous the­atri­cal motion pic­tures. Hef­feron joins Rain­maker Enter­tain­ment from Bardel Enter­tain­ment, where he served as vice-president of busi­ness devel­op­ment and exec­u­tive pro­ducer, and over­saw the Van­cou­ver ani­ma­tion company’s numer­ous high-profile pro­duc­tions and asso­ci­a­tions with broad­cast­ers worldwide.

He pre­vi­ously served as man­ag­ing direc­tor of Aus­tralian CGI ani­ma­tion com­pany Fly­ing Bark Pro­duc­tions PTY Ltd, and as senior vice-president of pro­duc­tion and devel­op­ment for Ger­man ani­ma­tion stu­dio BFC Berliner Film Com­panie Pro­duc­tions GmbH, where he also was co-producer on the ani­mated fea­ture film Hap­pily N’ever After.

Ear­lier in his career, Hef­feron headed up ani­ma­tion co-productions for Gul­lane Entertainment/HIT Enter­tain­ment and served as vice-president of pro­duc­tion and devel­op­ment for Toronto-based ani­ma­tion com­pany Cat­a­lyst Enter­tain­ment. Hef­feron also was founder and Pres­i­dent of Phoenix Ani­ma­tion, his own stu­dio, which quickly gained a rep­u­ta­tion as a high-quality pro­duc­tion stu­dio with such cred­its as Fer­n­Gully: The Last Rain­for­est, Thum­be­lina, A Goofy Movie and All Dogs Go To Heaven 2.

Hef­feron will con­tinue to serve as exec­u­tive pro­ducer on his cur­rent series projects with Bardel Enter­tain­ment.

In addi­tion to Hefferon’s appoint­ment, Bardel Enter­tain­ment CEO Delna Bhe­sa­nia was appointed to Rainmaker’s board of directors.

We are extremely pleased to announce Michael Hefferon’s appoint­ment to Rain­maker Enter­tain­ment. Michael ranks among the top ech­e­lon on tele­vi­sion and film pro­duc­tion and busi­ness exec­u­tives whose exten­sive expe­ri­ence and impres­sive track record of suc­cess will prove to be of great ben­e­fit to our com­pany as we con­tinue our growth as a co-production part­ner and ani­ma­tion ser­vice provider,” said Graham.

At the same time, we are delighted to wel­come Delna Bhe­sa­nia to Rainmaker’s board. A glob­ally rec­og­nized ani­ma­tion exec­u­tive, we look for­ward to Delna bring­ing her wealth of ani­ma­tion expe­ri­ence to our group.”

Stray Bullet Kills Boy Watching “Wreck-It Ralph”

Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph

Mys­tery con­tin­ues to sur­round the fatal shoot­ing of a 10-year-old boy who was watch­ing Wreck-It Ralph in a south­ern Mex­ico City theater.

Hen­drik Cuacuas died two days after a Novem­ber 2 shoot­ing when he, his father and 12-year-old sis­ter were view­ing the ani­mated Dis­ney film, accord­ing to an con­tin­u­ing police inves­ti­ga­tion and local media reports.

Cinepo­lis, the chain own­ing the the­ater, was a Twit­ter top trend Tuesday.

Strangely, the boy’s father and oth­ers in the the­ater said that they did not hear any gunshots.

Hen­drik was hit in the head by a 9-mm bul­let at the the­atre in the rough neigh­bor­hood of Izta­palapa, pros­e­cu­tor Edmundo Gar­rido said Tuesday.

Accord­ing to an autopsy report, the vic­tim was shot from four to six feet away. It said that the bul­let entered the front of his head. Oddly, how­ever, the coro­ner was quoted as say­ing that the shooter was not nec­es­sar­ily stand­ing in front of the victim.

The boy’s father, Enrique Cuacuas, told inves­ti­ga­tors and radio sta­tion Radio W that his son was sit­ting on his right side in a full the­ater when, roughly half an hour into the screen­ing, he heard some­thing whiz past his ear, then the sound of a thud. Turn­ing to his right, he saw his son con­vuls­ing and bleed­ing from the head. He real­ized that his son had been shot.

Accord­ing to bal­lis­tics expert Anselmo Apo­daca, a bul­let passed through the building’s lam­i­nate roof, then through a sus­pended ceil­ing, and trav­eled to the upper right side of the boy’s head.

Hen­drik was rushed to a hos­pi­tal in crit­i­cal condition.

Cuacuas told Radio W that he learned sim­i­lar inci­dents had taken place in the same the­ater in the past. How­ever, he did not pro­vide proof.

The head of Cinepo­lis’ legal depart­ment, Pablo Jimenez, told Foro TV that there was an inci­dent in March, “also dif­fi­cult to explain… in which a per­son received an injury to the foot.” He said he did not know if the injury caused by a gunshot.

Police have closed the the­ater as the inves­ti­ga­tion continues.