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'ASTRO' BOY AND GIRL

Kristen Bell and Matt Lucas are joining the voice cast of Imagi Studios' CG-animated motion picture "Astro Boy." The film, directed by David Bowers with Freddie Highmore in the title role, is slated for domestic release Oct. 23, 2009.

JUDGE SIDES WITH MPAA

A federal judge in Northern California has extended the temporary restraining order filed by the MPAA against RealNetworks, halting the distribution of the company's new RealDVD software. The MPAA said it was "gratified the court recognized the harm of RealDVD to the motion picture industry"; RealNetworks said the judge extended the TRO so "she can hold a more complete hearing to be scheduled."

SONY UPS KENNEDY

Sony's Jim Kennedy has been upped to executive vp global communications at Sony Pictures Entertainment. Kennedy's duties include overseeing media relations for Sony Pictures and serving as a communications counselor and speechwriter for the executive team. He will report to Sony's chairman and CEO Michael Lynton and co-chairman Amy Pascal, who announced his promotion.

SMITH TOPS EIFF

The Edinburgh International Film Festival has named producer Iain Smith its new chairman. Smith will take over from outgoing chair John McCormick this week and lead the EIFF board's search for a co-artistic director for the 2009 event to cover programmer Hannah McGill's leave.
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