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Cartoon Movie Honors 'Wrinkles', 'Zarafa'

The 14th Edition of Cartoon Movie ended on Friday with special honors given to Spanish production company Perro Verde as European Producer of the Year for “Wrinkles.” French directors Remi Bezancon and Jean-Christophe Lie won the European Director Honor for their 2D-animated movie, “Zarafa.”

Press release from Cartoon Movie:

Cartoon Movie 2012, the co-production forum for European animated feature films, ended in Lyon, France on March 9, where more than 700 producers, distributors, buyers and investors from 34 countries came together to raise the necessary financing, set up co-productions and develop international sales.

With its characteristic creativity, quality and diversity, European animated film was back on stage with 55 projects coming from 18 countries pitched during two very intense days. Despite France's unquestionable leadership, with 40% of the projects pitched, animated film production continues its expansion across Europe, extending its reach to small countries like Switzerland, Estonia, Greece, the Netherlands and Poland. Production continues to pick up in the Nordic countries, Belgium and Luxembourg, while Germany, Spain and Britain show signs of a slowdown.

Projects showed a diversity of techniques, some of them mixing animation and live action, like the so-called hybrid film "Animal'Z" by French graphic novel star Enki Bilal, and others close to the video game techniques, like Ireland's sci-fi film "Deep". A growing number of producers also conceive their film in a cross-media approach.

An event marked by big names and new talent

Animation attracts more and more personalities. Among this year's big names were French director Patrice Leconte with its animation debut "The Suicide Shop", comic book writers Enki Bilal ("Animal'Z") and Arthur de Pins ("Zombillenium"), and rock singer Mathias Malzieu ("The Boy with the Cuckoo Heart").

Attendees were also able to see fragments from Aardman Features' next stop-motion film ("The Pirates! Band of Misfits") as well as upcoming projects by Shane Acker ("Deep"), Esben Toft Jacobsen ("Beyond Beyond"), and the duo Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli ("Phantom Boy").

New talent in European animation could be seen in projects by directors Jean-Christophe Dessaint ("Le Jour des Corneilles"), Kaspar Jancis (Cartoon d'Or 2010 winner), Raúl de la Fuente and Damian Nenow ("Another Day of Life"), among others.

More than 100 distributors attended the event, showing their marked interest in animation features, which have become one of the best exports of the European audiovisual sector. The Icelandic film "Thor", which was presented at Cartoon Movie, clocked up 750,000 admissions in South Korea. This is a good example of how European animation is conquering new markets.

Cartoon Movie Tributes

As in previous editions, the event served as the backdrop for the Cartoon Tributes, recognising outstanding contribution by businesses and personalities to the European animation sector. This year's winners were:

  • European Director of the Year: Rémi Bezançon & Jean-ChristopheLie for "Zarafa" (France)
  • European Distributor of the Year: Cinéart (Belgium/Netherlands)
  • European Producer of the Year: Perro Verde Films (Spain)

In addition, the Rhône-Alpes' Personality of the Year was awarded to Marc Bonny, director of the distribution company Gebeka Film, one of the most active companies in the animation sector.

The first Cartoon Games, a success

If Cartoon Movie's objective is to speed up the production of animated feature films, the role of Cartoon Games is to encourage cooperation upstream between the video games and animation film sectors in order to help set up projects based on the same model sheets. For the first edition, which took place on 7 March, there were 250 one-to-one meetings organised between 17 video games companies (notably, Ubisoft and Rovio) and 40 animation producers (Millimages, Dupuis Audiovisuel, PMMP, Planet Nemo, TeamTo, amongst others).

 Cartoon Movie 2012 in figures:

  • 700 participants from 34 countries including a record number of 100distributors (10 % increase from last year)
  • 55 projects from 18 countries. This year's projects had a globalbudget of 382 Million EUR with an average cost of 6.9 million EUR eachfilm
  • 40% of the projects conceived to be made in Stereoscopic 3D,doubling last year's figure.

The 14th edition of Cartoon Movie was organised with the support of the MEDIA Programme of the European Union, CNC (Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée), the Rhône-Alpes Region, Greater Lyon and in collaboration with the Cluster Imaginove (Lyon). Cartoon Movie 2013 will be held in Lyon from 6-8 March.

About CARTOON CARTOON - European Association of Animation Film is an international non-profit association based in Brussels that organises Cartoon Movie, together with Cartoon Forum, a co-production forum for animated TV series, Cartoon Master training seminars and Cartoon Connection, a new programme intended to explore ways of reinforcing cooperation between EU and non EU animation professionals.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.