Los Angeles, CA and Newark, N.J., April 12, 2006 – Vanguard Animation and IDT Entertainment have announced the launch of production of their new all CG-animated feature film, SPACE CHIMPS. The comedy, which follows the galactic misadventures of a hapless descendant of the first chimps in space, will be distributed domestically through IDT Entertainment’s multi-picture deal with Twentieth Century Fox. IDT Entertainment is a subsidiary of IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT, IDT.C), an international telecom, entertainment and technology company.
“We have developed this project over the past several years with extremely talented writers and I’m thrilled with the result,” says the film’s producer and Vanguard CEO John H. Williams (Shrek). “We’ve put enormous time and creative energy into the evolution of the characters, the look of the film, and the story arc, and we’re convinced we have a franchise film.”
“We’re delighted that Space Chimps is now underway,” says Morris Berger, IDT Entertainment CEO. “This comedic family entertainment has everything we look for in the films we produce including enthralling storytelling and engaging characters. We’re looking forward to a terrific collaborative experience.”
Norton Virgien (The Rugrats Movie, Rugrats Go Wild!) and Donovan Cook (Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Mouseketeers) will direct. The writer is Kirk DeMicco, whose credits include last year’s comedy Racing Stripes, The Twits, in development for Vanguard/Disney (co-writing with John Cleese), and the upcoming Crood Awakening for Aardman and DreamWorks. Other writers are Jason Venokur, Dave Goetsch, & Ross Venokur.
Extensive character design and storyboarding are currently underway in Vancouver, BC at IDT Entertainment and Vanguard’s state-of-the-art CG animation studio.
John Williams is the Producer, Curtis Augspurger is Co-Producer, Tom Jacomb is Associate-Producer, and Eric Bennett and Neil S. Braun are Executive Producers for Vanguard Animation. Morris Berger, Stephen R. Brown, Janet Healy and Jerry Davis are Executive producers for IDT Entertainment. Space Chimps is an IDT Entertainment presentation of a Vanguard Animation film. Odyssey Entertainment has sold the film in all major international territories.
Neil Braun, IDT Entertainment’s President of Feature Films and Television, continues to serve as President and Chief Operating Officer of Vanguard Animation. IDT Entertainment owns approximately 23% of Vanguard Animation.
Vanguard Animation/Vanguard Films is a film and animation production company which produced The Tuxedo with Jackie Chan for DreamWorks and Seven Years in Tibet with Brad Pitt for Sony. Vanguard’s first independently financed animated feature film, Valiant, was distributed domestically by Disney in 2005 and debuted on DVD in December, 2005. Vanguard’s next CG animated film with the Berliner Film Center and Berlin Animation Fund, Happily N’Ever After, has just wrapped production.
IDT Entertainment is a vertically integrated entertainment company that develops, produces, and distributes proprietary and licensed entertainment content. The company’s first CG feature film, Everyone’s Hero, distributed through Twentieth Century Fox, premieres nationwide on September 15th. IDT Entertainment is a division of IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT, IDT.C), an international telecom, entertainment and technology company.