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CARTOON’s Alexandra Tholance Passes Away

Alexandra Tholance, press attaché for CARTOON, passed away Nov.7, 2004, after a long battle with breast cancer.

Alexandra Tholance, press attaché for CARTOON during the past decade, passed away Nov.7, 2004, after a long battle with breast cancer.

Her family has organized a religious ceremony Nov. 10 at 3:00 pm at the Notre Dame Church in Villerupt, the little village east of France near the Belgium/Luxembourg border where she lived with her companion Alain Berberi.

Tholance started her career in 1977 as an archivist for the French TV channel France 3, before working as a production assistant and a press attaché. Then, she was appointed press attaché in 1983 at Radio/Télévision France Outre-Mer (RFO), a French broadcaster covering news in French-speaking territories outside Europe. Later she was appointed head of PR for RFO.

She decided to create her own company specialized in consulting in 1988. The firm was dedicated to promote companies and projects from the audiovisual industry, with a special focus regarding animation.

From 1989 until December 2000, she played a key role as director of the French Animation Producers Syndicate (SPFA), striving for the success of the young French animation industry. She achieved national and international awareness and recognition for French know-how.

Assuming that European animation would never take off without international cooperation and a stronger support from TV broadcasters, she joined the European association CARTOON as press attaché. Together with Cartoons team, she committed into fostering exportation of European programs for television. She worked in 1991 for the second Cartoon Forum in Saint-Malo, France. Tholance got immediately involved in Potsdams Cartoon Movie when the group created a special market for pitching and selling European feature films in 1999.

Since August 1998, she had largely taken part into developing Angoulêmes Pôle Image (France) as head of PR. In early 2000, her commitment had led her to move into the French capital of comic strips, where lots of foreign producers had a chance to meet her during the International Technology Forum.

Raquel Benitez, ceo of Comet Entertainment and one of the founders of Cartoon Forum, said Tholance worked to push forward animation in Europe with her dedication for the past decade to CARTOON (European association of animation film). Benitez credits Tholance as basic in creating the Cartoon Forum. Well connected with investors and broadcasters, Tholance pushed really hard for the creation in Angouleme of more than 600 work positions in the audiovisual industry, according to Benitez, which lead to the town to start special tax incentives and programs for animation investors in that region of France.

Messages of condolence and remembrance may be sent to her e-mail address: alexandra@tholanceseil.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to L'association Laurette Fugain, 99/103, rue de Sèvres, 75006 Paris.

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