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Where Creative Convergence Begins

Digital entertainment, effects, animation and games conference to be held this November in New Zealand.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. and WELLINGTON, New Zealand – August 11, 2008 – AnimfxNZ, the world’s leading conference for digital animation, effects, animation and games today announced the theme for this year’s conference. “Where Creative Convergence Begins,” represents the conference’s goal of bringing together leaders from the four major creative digital mediums to share ideas and further the creation of digital entertainment. AnimfxNZ will take place November 14-16th, in Wellington New Zealand and present a line-up of keynotes and panels that feature the brightest minds in digital media today.

“The goals of AnimfxNZ are to further the exchange of creative ideas and to provide a platform for digital entertainment‘s greatest minds to share their views on the state and future of the industry as well as the technologies influencing the craft,” said Jos Ruffell, Chairman of the New Zealand Games, Animation and Visual Effects Trust (NZGAV), the organizing body behind AnimfxNZ. “AnimfxNZ will present a program that is relevant and inspiring to digital content creators from each of the four major disciplines as they look for new ways to create digital content that pushes the boundaries of what is possible and immerse an ever demanding audience, worldwide.”

“We’re extraordinarily pleased to come back as one of the partners of AnimfxNZ,” said Eric Roth, Executive Director of the Visual Effects Society (VES). “With AnimfxNZ, New Zealand is once again showing how it’s leading the way in all things digital. Expanding beyond film and animation into the fields of games and all forms of digital entertainment means that all forward thinking companies will want to see and hear what AnimfxNZ has to offer.” Roth added.

The first announced speakers for AnimfxNZ 2008 include Barrie Osborne, Carolyn Soper, Howard Postley, Jeff Okun and Habib Zargarpour.

About The Speakers

Barrie M. Osborne is currently overseeing post production of The Laundry Warrior, and recently produced The Water Horse, and The Lord of the Rings: Return Of The King. He has won awards including the 2004 Academy Award and the British Academy of Film and Television Award for Best Picture. In addition to his work on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Mr. Osborne Executive Produced the worldwide box office blockbuster and groundbreaking special effects award winner The Matrix.

Carolyn Soper is vice president of production for Walt Disney Animation Studios, and is responsible for overseeing the production of Disney’s films, shorts and special projects. Her credits include Bolt, Meet the Robinsons, Chicken Little, Rapunzel, Glago’s Guest and Dinosaur.

Howard J. Postley, COO of 3ality Digital, is a serial entrepreneur and a member of the iMagic founding team. He is an experienced executive focused on building businesses who brings strong leadership and demonstrated skills in business management, technology management and product development with an emphasis on strategic business and technology planning. 3ality Digital, the only full service studio dedicated to high-quality live-action 3D production, has brought together top people in 3D and digital production to create a unique environment that is purpose built for uncompromising quality, from acquisition through exhibition. Postley has won many awards, and has an Emmy for technical excellence.

Jeff Okun is supervising the visual effects work on The Day The Earth Stood Still where he is creating invisible visual effects for the film. Okun is known for creating ‘organic’ and invisible effects, as well as spectacular ‘tent-pole’ visual effects that blend seamlessly into the storytelling aspect of the project. His credits include Blood Diamond, The Last Samurai, Stargate, Sphere, Red Planet, Deep Blue Sea, Die Hard 2: Die Harder and The Last Starfighter. Okin also serves as the Chair of the Visual Effects Society Awards Committee.

Habib Zargarpour currently serves as a visual effects supervisor and senior art director at EALA collaborating on a new next-gen game project with Doug Church and Steven Spielberg. Zargarpour is responsible for the visual aspects of the project including production design and the overall look. With over 12 years of experience in the visual effects industry working on both games and film, Zargarpour has been nominated for two Academy Awards in visual effects, for his work on Twister and The Perfect Storm while at ILM. His other projects include the pod race sequence in Star Wars Episode I, Star Trek First Contact, Spawn, and Signs.

About the VES

VES is a professional, honorary society, dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences, and applications of visual effects and to upholding the highest uniform standards and procedures for the visual effects profession.

VES is the entertainment industry's only official organization representing the extended community of visual effects practitioners including supervisors, artists, producers, technology developers, educators and studio executives. Its 1,800 global members contribute to all areas of entertainment from film, television and commercials to music videos, games and new media. VES strives to enrich and educate its members and the entertainment community at large through many domestic and international events, screenings and programs. Visual effects professionals constitute a vital creative force in content creation and are literally shaping the future of entertainment

About AnimfxNZ

AnimfxNZ was founded in 2006, to provide a global platform for the creative content community to exchange ideas across the various disciplines of digital media. Since its inception, the conference has presented leading speakers on the topics of animation, digital entertainment, digital effects and games, and has served as the crossroads of collaboration for creative media convergence. The 2008 conference is organized under the theme, “Where Creative Convergence Begins,” and is focused on the current and future states of creative digital content creation, worldwide.



Eric Roth

Visual Effects Society


Sean Kauppinen

International Digital Entertainment Agency (IDEA)


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