Newark, N.J., October 21, 2003 – IDT Media today announced that its animation unit, Digital Production Solutions (DPS), has entered into a production services agreement with BAF Berlin Animation Film, a film production company headquartered in Berlin, Germany. According to the terms of the agreement DPS will act as the single source animation company for Happily N’Ever After, a feature length 3-D Computer Graphic (CG) animated motion picture. Work will begin immediately. IDT Media is a subsidiary of IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT, IDT.C), a multinational carrier, telephone and technology company.
Happily N’Ever After, a humorous action/adventure reinterpretation of classic Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales, is intended for all audiences. The 3-D CG feature, which will utilize DPS’ Global Animation Studio, its worldwide network of satellite animation facilities, is scheduled for theatrical release in late 2004. The film’s voice talents include Sigourney Weaver, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., George Carlin, Andy Dick, Wallace Shawn and Patrick Warburton. Paul Bolger will direct from an original script by Robert Moreland. Rainer Soehnlein is executive producer, Shrek 1 & 2 producer and Vanguard Films principal John H. Williams will produce. Michael Algar is the line producer.
“You don’t need a magic mirror to see that Digital Production Solutions is one good looking entertainment company,” said Jim Courter, IDT’s CEO. “Packed with talent, technology and guided by a clear business strategy, DPS is now a global animation leader. Happily N’Ever After is just one of many projects in production including numerous television series and direct-to-DVD programs.”
Happily N’Ever After tells the story of the world of fairy tales turned upside down. When the scales of good and evil tip towards the evil side, Cinderella, The Prince, The Seven Dwarfs, and assorted Fairy Godmothers battle the forces of fairy tale evil, led by Frieda, the Empress of Evil, to bring it back in balance.
“This agreement confirms that our partnership with John H. Williams and Neil Braun of Vanguard Films is working,” said Morris Berger, President of DPS. “With A-list talent, script, director and producers, Happily N’Ever After is the perfect vehicle to showcase DPS’ animation capabilities.”
As part of the agreement, DPS will perform animation services on the film including, modeling, rigging, texturing, color, location construction, 3-D workbook, lighting, effects, rendering and compositing.
“DPS’ participation was essential to making this project happen as a Computer Graphic animated film,” said John H. Williams, President of Vanguard Films. “DPS’ unique global network allows it to deliver high quality Computer Graphic animation work at lower costs than any other CG production entity.”
In March, 2003 DPS acquired rights to Starpoint Academy and Char, both Gene Roddenberry creations. Starpoint Academy in presently in production. In May 2003, DPS acquired a controlling interest in Film Roman, the animation company well known for its production work on The Simpsons, King of the Hill, and other popular broadcast television programs. In July 2003, DPS entered into a partnership agreement with Vanguard Animation to co-produce and co-own all Vanguard properties. Vanguard has a deal in place with Disney to complete 4 CG features. The first film, Valiant is presently in production. Recently, IDT Media announced it has a binding letter of intent to acquire a controlling interest in Mainframe Entertainment.
IDT Corporation, through its IDT Telecom, Inc. subsidiary, is a facilities-based, multinational carrier that provides a broad range of telecommunications services to its retail and wholesale customers worldwide. IDT Telecom, by means of its own national telecommunications backbone and fiber optic network infrastructure, provides its customers with integrated and competitively priced international and domestic long distance telephony and prepaid calling cards. IDT and Liberty Media Corporation own 95% and 5% of IDT Telecom, respectively. Liberty Media Corporation also owns a 5.6% stake in IDT Media. IDT Media, Inc. is the IDT subsidiary principally responsible for the Company’s initiatives in media, new video technologies and print media. Winstar Holdings, LLC is the IDT subsidiary through which we provide broadband and telephony services to commercial and governmental customers through a fixed-wireless and fiber infrastructure. In December 2002, we announced that the services offered by Winstar would begin to be offered under the name “IDT Solutions.” Net2Phone, Inc., a subsidiary of IDT Corporation, is a leading provider of high-quality global retail Voice over IP services, either directly or via a partner.
IDT Corporation common shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols IDT and IDT.C.
In this press release, all statements that are not purely about historical facts, including, but not limited to, those in which we use the words “believe,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “plan,” “intend,” “estimate, “target” and similar expressions, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. While these forward-looking statements represent our current judgment of what may happen in the future, actual results may differ materially from the results expressed or implied by these statements due to numerous important factors, including, but not limited to, those described in our most recent report on SEC Form 10-K (under the heading “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”), which may be revised or supplemented in subsequent reports on SEC Forms 10-Q and 8-K. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following: potential declines in prices for our products and services; our ability to maintain and grow our retail telecommunications services, particularly our prepaid calling card business; availability of termination capacity; financial stability of our customers; our ability to maintain carrier agreements with foreign carriers; effectiveness of our marketing and distribution efforts; increased competition, particularly from regional bell operating companies; our ability to manage our growth; competitiveness of our Winstar subsidiary; impact of government regulation; our ability to obtain telecommunications products or services required for our products and services; and general economic conditions, particularly in the telecommunications markets. We are under no obligation, and expressly disclaim any obligation, to update the forward-looking statements in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.