Every year since 1991, the organization CARTOON, with the support of the MEDIA program of the European Union, selects one short European animated film as the "Cartoon D'Or," or "best European animation film." This year's winner, announced at the Cartoon Forum in Greece (September 23-27), is "L'Enfant au Grelot" ("Charlie's Christmas") by Jacques-Remy Girerd (France), which also won awards at this year's Annecy and Stuttgart festivals. The 26-minute film is distributed by U.K.-based Eva Entertainment and was produced at Folimage in Valence, France, the studio where the 1995 Cartoon D'Or winner, "Le Moine et le Poisson" ("The Monk and the Fish") was also produced. That film's director, Michael Dudok de Wit, animated the main character in "Charlie's Christmas." Director Jacques-Remy Girerd said he will spend the Cartoon D'Or prize money (25,000 ECU, approximately U.S. $25,000) toward his feature film, "La Prophétie des Grenouilles" ("The Frog's Prophecy"). Next year, Girerd also plans to expand Folimage, a studio he co-founded, to include an animation school. In a program with three other animated shorts, and through the AFCAE independent distributor's network, "Charlie's Christmas" will be released in French theaters starting October 14. Previous Cartoon D'Or winners are "La Vielle Dame et les Pigeons" (1997) by Sylvain Chomet (France), "Quest" (1996) by Tyron Montgomery (Germany), "The Wrong Trousers" (1994) by Nick Park (U.K.), "The Village" (1993) by Mark Baker (U.K.), "Manipulation" (1992) by Daniel Greaves (U.K.) and "Creature Comforts" (1991) by Nick Park (U.K.). This year's other nominees up against "Charlie's Christmas" were "Famous Fred" by Joanna Quinn (U.K.), "Frontière" by Christian Fisher (Germany) and Maud Gravereaux (France), "Heavy Stock, the Sound of the Railway" by Michael Salkeld (U.K.), "Sientje" by Christa Moesker (Netherlands) and "T.R.A.N.S.I.T." by Piet Kroon (Netherlands).
The organizers of the Cartoon Forum also announced the formation of a forum specifically for animated features. A date and place for this new event has yet to be determined. The next Cartoon Forum, which focuses on TV animation, will take place September, 1999 in Cordoba, Spain.
The 1998 CARTOON Forum will be reviewed by Marie Beardmore in the November 1998 issue of Animation World Magazine. Plus, the organization CARTOON was profiled by Heikki Jokinen in the October 1997 issue of Animation World Magazine.