Newark, N.J. July 22, 2003 – IDT Media’s animation unit, Digital Production Solutions (DPS), today announced that it has entered into a partnership agreement with Vanguard Animation to co-produce and co-own all Vanguard properties including feature film releases, direct-to-DVD and broadcast. IDT Media is a subsidiary of IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT, IDT.C), a multinational carrier, telephone and technology company.
“Digital Production Solutions’ strategy of building a library of impressive content is in high gear,” said Jim Courter, IDT’s CEO. “DPS now has credibility in the television industry through our new venture DPS-Film Roman, and we will find the same in feature film releases with this partnership with Vanguard. We have built credible studios for multi-platform releases.”
“We’re excited to be working with Vanguard, a company headed up by management associated with so many important and groundbreaking films,” said Morris Berger, President of DPS. “Vanguard and DPS complement each other. Vanguard is an entertainment industry powerhouse and DPS is continuing to build its intellectual property using innovative technology. Together, we intend to pursue animation projects with broad entertainment appeal.”
DPS will work with John H. Williams, CEO of Vanguard Animation and Neil Braun, President. In addition to being a producer with the blockbuster film Shrek, John Williams’ credits include Seven Years in Tibet and the live-action film The Tuxedo. Neil Braun has held numerous senior positions within the media and entertainment industry, including President of the NBC Television Network, Chairman and CEO of Viacom Entertainment, President of Imagine Entertainment, and Senior Vice President of HBO.
“Our deal with Digital Production Solutions has dramatically upped our production capital base, and we believe our combined creative and technical expertise promises to make Vanguard a significant player in the computer graphic (CG) animation business,” said John Williams, CEO of Vanguard Animation.
“Vanguard is built upon the creativity of John Williams, a disciplined approach to computer graphic production and the most efficient production financing in the business,” said Neil Braun, President of Vanguard Animation. “Together with IDT Media’s Digital Production Solutions, we are building the animation paradigm of the future.”
Vanguard Films was founded in 1985 by John Williams. Vanguard Animation opened in 2002 and was founded by John Williams and Neil Braun. Vanguard Films has had a first look deal with DreamWorks for the past eight years. Their films have included Seven Years in Tibet and The Tuxedo. Vanguard has upcoming productions of Toad Trip with DreamWorks, Roald Dahl’s The Twits, adapted by John Cleese for Disney, and three films with Nickelodeon/Paramount, Alien Pet, Ted and Gateway to the Gods.
John Williams was the originating producer of Shrek and is also a producer for Shrek 2. Vanguard concluded a four-picture CG animation deal with Disney recently, with Valiant being the first film of that slate. Vanguard won the “Best Pilot of a Series” Award at the 2001 World Animation Celebration in Los Angeles for a five-minute short film, Thunderpig, which Vanguard and Loose Moose Productions, a London stop-motion company, produced for Nickelodeon. Vanguard also produced a CG animation short called Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance, which became the Silver World Medal winner at the New York 2001 Festival of Film and Video. Vanguard has developed animation projects with Disney, Warner Brothers, Sony and Nickelodeon.
DPS through its subsidiaries DPS Films and DPS Film Roman is currently in production of two theatrical 3D computer graphic animation productions, including, Gene Roddenberry’s Starpoint Academy, as well as other projects for direct to DVD and broadcast including, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Xmen, Jim Jinkins’ Monster Monster Trucks and Cabbage Patch Kids.
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.
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