Alaric McAusland Tapped For MD Role At DNEG’s New Sydney Hub; Annecy International Animation Film Festival Extends Duration & WIFTI Unveils Netflix-Backed Worldwide Pitch Winners – Global Briefs

Alaric McAusland Tapped For MD Role At DNEG’s New Sydney Hub
Top Australian film exec Alaric McAusland has joined VFX and animation company DNEG’s new Sydney hub as managing director and will take up the role in January 2023. McAusland has held a number of significant entertainment industry leadership roles in both Australia and the U.S. across his 25-year career. Most recently, he served as Executive Director for the Australian Directors’ Guild and was previously Chief Operating Officer at the Emmy award-winning, Los Angeles-based production house, Grace: A Storytelling Company. He also served as Managing Director of Deluxe Entertainment Service Group Australia and is a past Chair of Ausfilm. Recently opened DNEG Sydney’s first project is leading the visual effects work for George Miller’s highly anticipated Mad Max prequel, Furiosa.  “I am delighted to welcome Alaric onboard to lead our new DNEG Sydney team,” said Merzin Tavaria, President Global Production and Operations, DNEG.

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Annecy International Animation Film Festival Extends Duration
France’s International Animation Film Festival will extend its duration by one day for its 2023 edition running June 11-17. Rather than its traditional Monday kick-off, the opening ceremony will take place in its Bonlieu hub on Sunday afternoon and there be a handful of screenings in the afternoon. “Each year, the number of festivalgoers is higher, the content is increasingly varied and comes from all walks of life, subsequently we find ourselves too restricted by the festival’s historical format,” said Mickaël Marin, CEO of organising body CITIA. “Bringing the opening day forward should enable us to improve everyone’s experience.” Artistic director Marcel Jean said that even though the next edition is seven months away the program was already coming together. “Quality and diversity have already made the cut, both with the major studios and the independent studios alike.” In early announcements, festival regular Guillermo del Toro recently unveiled that there will be a special focus on Mexican animation at the 2023 edition.

Women in Film & Television International Unveils Worldwide Pitch Winners
Women in Film & Television International (WIFTI)) has unveiled the winners of its inaugural Netflix-backed Worldwide Pitch event, featuring 19 projects from six continents. The top $1000 cash prize went to the Finnish feature Paloma Brouhaha, about a wheelchair-bound woman who follows her dreams to become a burlesque performer. It is written by Natalie Immonen with Oliwia Tonteri attached as director. The producers are Aleksi Bardy and Helen Vinogradov of Helsinki Filmi (Tove & Tom of Finland). The second $500 cash prize went to AGG, by writer and director Shaina Ghuraya. Producers are K. Giselle Johnson and Jack Walterman. The project, submitted by the LA branch of WIF, tells the story of a soon-to-be wedded young Punjabi woman, the titular, differently abled Agg, who moves from revenge to redemption. The WIFTI Worldwide Pitch was developed with support from Netflix’s Grow Creative Equity framework to promote unheard voices and untold stories. 

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