SPA celebrates its 10th with special screenings

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Sony Pictures Animation

Sony Pic­tures Animation

The 10th anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion con­tin­ues with a five-week series of spe­cial screen­ings fea­tur­ing SPA’s tech­ni­cally com­pe­tent but pro­saic col­lec­tion of ani­mated and hybrid films, as well as reunions with film­mak­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing in Q & As fol­low­ing each screen­ing, rare footage/materials from the SPA archives, and giveaways.

The series, which will cul­mi­nate with an exclu­sive screen­ing of the highly-anticipated com­edy Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia, in the­aters Sep­tem­ber 28, was announced Mon­day by Bob Osher, pres­i­dent of Sony Pic­tures Dig­i­tal Pro­duc­tions, and SPA pres­i­dent of pro­duc­tion Michelle Raimo-Kouyate.

Held in con­junc­tion with ASIFA-Hollywood and Ani­ma­tion Mag­a­zine, the screen­ings will com­mence Wednes­day, Sep­tem­ber 5 with the spot­light on SPA’s 2006 inau­gural film, Open Sea­son. Ensu­ing weekly Thurs­day pre­sen­ta­tions on the Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion cam­pus will fea­ture the Acad­emy Award-nominated Surf’s Up, the block­buster hit Cloudy With A Chance Of Meat­balls, and last summer’s inter­na­tional smash The Smurfs. The series will con­clude with a screen­ing of Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia dur­ing the Sat­ur­day of the film’s open­ing week­end of release.

Enhanc­ing each film exhi­bi­tion will be unique offer­ings of rarely– or never-before-seen footage and mate­ri­als from SPA’s first decade, and pre­sented in coor­di­na­tion with panel dis­cus­sions led by direc­tors, pro­duc­ers and key crew mem­bers from each indi­vid­ual film. The exclu­sive weekly events will be mod­er­ated by respected ani­ma­tion experts, and the pro­ceed­ings will be filmed and doc­u­mented for shar­ing across the social media chan­nels of Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion, ASIFA-Hollywood and Ani­ma­tion Mag­a­zine.

Mile­stones are an essen­tial step for every insti­tu­tion to both cel­e­brate and inspire, and I’m very proud of all that Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion has accom­plished in 10 short years,” Osher said. “I think these screen­ings and pan­els will give won­der­ful per­spec­tive as an appre­ci­a­tion of how far we’ve come, what we’ve achieved, and where we can go next.”

This is an excit­ing time at Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion with so much on the hori­zon, both near and far, but we stand here today because of the won­der­ful movies and film­mak­ers who came before us,” said Raimo-Kouyate. “These screen­ings will prop­erly honor our sem­i­nal slate of films, while also giv­ing fans a glimpse toward our bright future.”

It is truly impres­sive to see the strides that Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion has made in its first decade.” said ASIFA-Hollywood pres­i­dent Frank Glad­stone. “And it is an honor for ASIFA-Hollywood, work­ing with Ani­ma­tion Mag­a­zine, to help com­mem­o­rate that jour­ney with this ter­rific ret­ro­spec­tive film series.”

Adds Jean Thoren, pres­i­dent and pub­lisher of Ani­ma­tion Mag­a­zine: “Through­out this past decade, we have been lucky to wit­ness and chron­i­cle the rise and artis­tic growth of Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion in the pages of our mag­a­zine. Now we are hon­ored to help cel­e­brate the achieve­ments of this inno­v­a­tive stu­dio along with ASIFA-Hollywood and mil­lions of fans world­wide lead­ing to the open­ing of Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia.”

The series’ ini­tial four screen­ings will be hosted in Sony Pic­tures Animation’s revered Ray Har­ry­hausen The­ater, which will fea­ture inti­mate exhi­bi­tions of SPA art­work in and around its facil­i­ties. Tick­ets for these one-time events will be pri­mar­ily made avail­able to mem­bers of ASIFA-Hollywood and through give­aways via Ani­ma­tion Mag­a­zine.

The cur­rent slate of films, and film­mak­ing panel par­tic­i­pants (pend­ing pro­fes­sional avail­abil­ity) for the Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion Spe­cial Screen­ing Series, goes as follows:

On Sep­tem­ber 5, SPA will present Open Sea­son, the first film in the stu­dios’ decade-long his­tory. Among the rar­i­ties of the evening will be a pre­sen­ta­tion of the Oscar-winning short, The Chub­bchubbs, along with a panel dis­cus­sion among pro­ducer Michelle Mur­docca, exec­u­tive pro­ducer Steve Moore and char­ac­ter ani­ma­tor William Haller.

The Acad­emy Award-nominated fea­ture film Surf’s Up will screen on Sep­tem­ber 13, fol­lowed by a panel dis­cus­sion by Oscar-nominated direc­tors Ash Bran­non and Chris Buck, pro­ducer Chris Jenk­ins and VFX super­vi­sor Rob Bredow.

Break­out direc­tors Christo­pher Miller and Phil Lord (21 Jump Street) return to their ani­ma­tion roots to present Cloudy With A Chance Of Meat­balls on Sep­tem­ber 20. The direc­tors will be joined by pro­ducer Pam Mars­den and VFX super­vi­sor Rob Bre­dow for a panel dis­cus­sion of the film.

SPA’s inter­na­tional ani­ma­tion hybrid sen­sa­tion, The Smurfs, will screen on Sep­tem­ber 27. A panel dis­cus­sion will fea­ture film­mak­ers and key artists.

The screen­ing series will close its sum­mer run with a Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 29 offer­ing of Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia — dur­ing its open­ing week­end in the­aters — at a pub­lic venue in order to accom­mo­date ASIFA fam­ily mem­bers. Three-time Emmy-winning direc­tor Gen­ndy Tar­takovsky and pro­ducer Michelle Mur­docca will lead the festivities.\

Fol­low­ing Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia on Sep­tem­ber 28, SPA will wel­come the July 2013 release of The Smurfs 2, the follow-up to the 2012 global sen­sa­tion. Cloudy 2: Revenge Of The Left­overs, a sequel to Sony Pic­tures Animation’s pop­u­lar ani­mated block­buster, will reach the­aters world­wide in Feb­ru­ary 2014.

Also now in devel­op­ment is Pop­eye, based on the King Fea­tures comic strip of that name, being directed by Tar­takovsky, with the screen­play by Jay Sch­er­ick and David Ronn (The Smurfs), and Avi Arad (The Amaz­ing Spider-Man) and Ari Arad (Iron Man) exec­u­tive producing.

Kazorn and the Uni­corn has Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2, Gnomeo & Juliet) at the helm, with co-director Troy Quane. Lloyd Tay­lor is writ­ing the screen­play. Sam Raimi and Joshua Donen are exec­u­tive producing.

The hybrid live-action/CG fea­ture Secret His­to­ries, writ­ten by John Fran­cis Daley and Jonathan Gold­stein, is being pro­duced by Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Eric Robin­son of the Gotham Group with Greg Little.

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