Cartoon Forum in Arles: Business as Usual
Next Stop: Licensing
CARTOON has a good reputation within MEDIA, and the Cartoon Forum has been without a doubt a success, but what plans does CARTOON have for the future? "European animation production is well developed today. Now it is time to work on licensing," says CARTOON director Corinne Jenart. "There are enough well known serials to start licensing and merchandising. We have the best animators in the world, but no licensing."
Jenart is planning the next steps. Whatever CARTOON will do, it has to be well-prepared in conjunction with professionals, she clearly states. "That's how we started the Cartoon Forum, we discussed the concept carefully with professionals." This discussion process is currently underway. Last summer CARTOON organized a licensing conference at MIFA, the market at Annecy. "I do not know yet whether we will organize something in connection with the Cartoon Forum or whether it will be something separate," Jenart says. "But if we do something, it will have to be well done from the very beginning," she underlines. "I do not want to organize an unsuccessful event."
Jenart also sees that it is important to develop the distribution of European animated features. There is a growing interest for animation in cinemas, she says. "But the main problem is distribution. We have no network for it. Take a Danish feature, it doesn't cross the border." There is European product, but it is only seen in small theaters and festivals. "This is what I want to develop," Jenart says. "But it won't be easy. Disney has a kind of monopoly. There are theaters which cannot screen animation other than Disney. Otherwise they will loose the Disney films, which are a source of secure revenue for cinemas."
Stay tuned to AWN's Animation Flash newsletter for the dates of next year's Cartoon Forum.
Heikki Jokinen is a freelance journalist and critic specializing in animation, short film and comics. He lives in Helsinki, Finland and is a board member of ASIFA-Nordic, the ASIFA regional organization for the five Nordic and three Baltic states. This Cartoon Forum is the fifth one in which he has participated.
Next Stop: Licensing