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A Closer Look: Cartoon Forum, A Success Story

The "Cartoon d'Or" 1999 was announced at the Cartoon Forum this pastSunday. The winning film is "Migrations" by Constantin Chamski (France), a4-minute CGI film. The director received 25,000 ECU (approximately U.S.$25,000) to spend on a new animation project. This year the forum welcomeda record attendance of 620 participants, which included producers,distributors and broadcasters. Sixty-nine projects seeking partners wereoffered to potential investors and producers. Since its start ten yearsago, the Cartoon Forum has become a major venue for European animationproducers looking for co-production financing. Over 150 projects initiatedat the Forum in previous years have been produced and broadcast. Between1996 and 1999, 53 animation series have been produced, representing a totalof 420 hours of programming. Cartoon's main achievement is to havesucceeded in structuring a sector that was initially very fragmented,enabling European animation to become stronger against growinginternational competition. Cartoon contributed to the creation of aEuropean Federation of Animation Producers at its 1998 forum. In February1999, Cartoon launched Cartoon Movie, an annual forum specifically foranimated features, using the same method successfully applied to theCartoon Forum. The animated feature industry is still young in Europe;indeed, it is comparable to the television market at the time of the firstCartoon Forum. Ten years from now, let's see if Europe's feature industryhas enjoyed a comparable success to those productions boosted by theCartoon Forum.

Last year's Cartoon d'Or winner, "L'Enfant au Grelot" ("Charlie'sChristmas"), a 26-minute film by Jacques-Remy Girerd (France), was one ofthe 19 projects presented at the forum in 1996 which received the necessaryguarantees to secure short term financing. Girerd spent the Cartoon d'Orprize money toward his new feature film, "La Prophétie des Grenouilles"("The Frog's Prophecy").

Previous Cartoon d'Or winners are: "La Vielle Dame Et Les Pigeons" (1997) by Sylvain Chomet (France), "Quest" (1996) by Tyron Montgomery (Germany), "The Monk And The Fish" (1995) by Michael Dudok de Wit, "The Wrong Trousers" (1994) by Nick Park (UK), "The Village" (1993) by Mark Baker(UK), "Manipulation" (1992) by Daniel Greaves (U.K.) and "CreatureComforts" (1991) by Nick Park (UK).

The 1999 Cartoon Forum will be reviewed in the November 1999 issue of Animation World Magazine. The 1998 edition was reviewed by Marie Beardmore in the November 1998 issue.

In the November '98 issue, Animation World Magazine asked Jacques-Rémy Girerd to share his thoughts on winning the Cartoon d'Or, the status ofanimation production, and his upcoming projects. To accompany thisinterview, we also presented a Quicktime movie of "L'Enfant au Grelot."

Heikki Jokinen reviewed the Cartoon Forum 1997 in the November 1997 issue of Animation World Magazine.

New to Cartoon? Heikki Jokinen profiled the organization in the October 1997 issue. Find out what it's all about.