Toon biz needs TLC

Heyward sez U.S. animation need gov't help

DIC Entertainment chairman Andrew Heyward Wednesday urged the animation industry to lobby for legislation to even the global playing field during a keynote address at the 8th World Animation Celebration.

Heyward, speaking before an assembley of animation industry professionals in Hollywood, said, “While it was once true that it was relatively easy for U.S. producers to sell animation abroad, the governments of other Western nations — individually and collectively — have taken steps to counteract this.”

With a combination of quotas limiting the broadcast of imported series, tax incentives and cash subsidies, the governments of Europe, Canada and Australia support their homegrown animation industries and their producers, writers, artists and craftspeople, he told the audience.

“Our government,” the animation vet pointed out, “is the richest country in the world and yet we are the only Western country that does not support its animation artists. U.S. producers and artists are expected to compete in a worldwide market.”

Heyward’s remarks are part of a growing chorus of calls from Hollywood producers for Washington to intervene on behalf of the U.S. film and TV industry and stem the tide of runaway production to Canada, Australia and elsewhere.

Asked why Congress should be interested in supporting producers, Heyward insisted that it’s not producers who need such legislation, but rather production people whose jobs are leaving the country. He further stated that tax incentives in other industries are needed as well.

Jobs at stake

Unless something is done on behalf of the animation business, Heyward argued, Hollywood players will abandon or scale back their TV animation because the revenues cartoons generate cannot justify the economics of large overheads and production costs.

The festival launched Tuesday night with a world premiere of the Warner Bros. live-action/animated pic “Osmosis Jones.” (See story, page 52.)

Wednesday featured four panels on different aspects of the TV animation business, including a round table called Made in America/Made in India, Korea and Japan. Participants included Film Roman’s Mike Wolf, Sunbow’s Ken Olshansky and CartoonNetworks’ Linda Simensky.

The festival, co-sponsored by Animation Magazine and Variety and takes place at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and the Egyptian Theater, continues through Sunday evening. More than 15,000 attendees are expected for the six-day event.

More Film

  • Halloween

    Movies Featured More Female Protagonists in 2018, But It's Not All Good News (Study)

    “Halloween,” “A Star is Born,” and “Crazy Rich Asians” made headlines for featuring strong roles for women, but even though the number of female film protagonists hit a high in 2018, the movie industry still offered its juiciest parts to men. At a time when Hollywood is under pressure to become more inclusive and is [...]

  • Colin Farrell Dumbo

    Colin Farrell To Star in Andrew Haigh's BBC Two Thriller 'The North Water'

    Colin Farrell is set to star in “The North Water,” the BBC Two thriller which will be directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Andrew Haigh (“Lean on Pete”). Based on Ian McGuire’s novel, the four-part series is being adapted by Haigh and produced by See-Saw Films for BBC Two. Set in the U.K. and in the [...]

  • New Fox Appoints Wayne Borg to

    New Fox Appoints Wayne Borg to Los Angeles Studio Role

    Wayne Borg, who has headed the Fox Studios Australia operations in Sydney for the past four years, has been appointed president and general manager of studios at New Fox. He will relocate from Australia to Los Angeles. Fox Studios Australia, which is to remain part of 21st Century Fox and will become part of Disney [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Keira Knightly as "Rachael Morgan" in

    Film Review: Keira Knightley in 'The Aftermath'

    Less widely seen (and acclaimed) than it deserved to be, James Kent’s debut feature “Testament of Youth” was one of the great recent love-in-wartime dramas, translating the intimate romance and sprawling human tragedy of Vera Brittain’s WWI memoir with a grace and heft worthy of its David Lean allusions. Four years on, it’s not hard [...]

  • Inside Amazon's New Feature Film Strategy

    Amazon's New Film Strategy: Straight-to-Service Titles and Starry Sundance Buys

    It was close to midnight when Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke got the text. The company had failed in its quest to acquire “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” a body image dramedy that captivated Salke when she saw it at Sundance. A sales agent on the project messaged her to say that a competitor offered a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content