EU animation players from 25+ countries identified five critical subjects pivotal for the future as they gathered in Barcelona to identify, debate, and make recommendations on key industry growth issues, including needed funding strategies, standards for co-production, and retention of talent and original independent IP.
The European Animation Convention/political forum Animar_BCN concluded its second edition in Barcelona, Spain, from November 22 to 24. The event hosted over 80 experts from 25+ countries, including broadcasters, production representatives, and pan-European institutions.
The three-day event offered a venue for targeted discussion among various participants, including representatives of Animation in Europe and CEE Animation. Forum participants identified and agreed on specifics needed to benefit the industry, including additional funding strategies across Europe, development of compatible standards for co-productions, fostering the growth of the audience base, and retention of talent and original IP by independent producers.
"Animar_BCN has established itself as a pivotal political forum, playing a crucial role in addressing the complex challenges facing our industry,” said Animation in Europe president Philippe Alessandri. “It's not just a meeting place; it's a breeding ground for innovative ideas and realistic recommendations which are essential for the sustainability, future, and vitality of European animation. This convention has become a catalyst for meaningful change, where thought leaders come together to shape the future of our industry."
"The success of Animar_BCN can be attributed to its unique ability to centralize the collective interests of the European animation industry, transcending the usual territorial or specific concerns of individual actors,” added ProAnimats vice president Marta Alonso. “This congress has emerged as a beacon of unity, fostering a collaborative spirit that encourages a holistic approach. By bridging diverse perspectives, Animar_BCN has become a vital platform for shaping a cohesive and dynamic future for animation across Europe."
Discussions concluded with five critical subjects identified as pivotal to the future of European animation:
- 'The Investment of Media Services in Animation Content' - Co-chaired by Petra Tarjanne, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Employment and the Economy of Finland & Philippe Alessandri, CEO of Watch Next and Chairman of Animation in Europe.
- ‘Direct Public & Tax Related Funding in European Animation' - Co-chaired by Julie-Jeanne Régnault, Secretary General at EFAD - European Film Agency Directors & Dirk Beinhold, CEO of Akkord Film & Vice-Chair of Animation in Europe.
- 'A Legal Framework for Animation Co-productions' - Co-chaired by Benedikte Danielsen, Advisor for Co-production and International Financing at Norwegian Film Institute & Iván Agenjo, CEO of Peekaboo and Vice-Chair of Animation in Europe.
- 'Market Financing, Equity Investment, Private-Public Co-Financing, and Cashflow Facilities' - Co-chaired by Ronan McCabe, CEO of Animation Ireland & Pablo Jordi, CEO of Pikkukala and Treasurer of Animation in Europe.
- 'Distribution of European Animated Works in Europe and Globally' - Co-chaired by Eleanor Coleman, Founding Member and Vice President of Les Femmes S’Animent (LFA) & Moe Honan, CEO of Moetion Films and Vice-Chair of Animation in Europe.
In addition to the identification of the critical subjects, participants recommend the following actions to policymakers:
- Introduce a requirement to consider the diversity of genres and age demographics within the European quota and investment obligations.
- Revise the AVMS Directive and its guidelines to better achieve the initial goal of involving streamers in the financing of European works.
- Urgently work on a legal framework that acknowledges animation specificities in order to encourage and streamline European co-productions for series.
- Establish effective funding support for dubbing to enhance the distribution of European animation series and films across Europe and internationally.
- Create a meeting platform or event for production companies who wish to scale up and for equity investors interested in audiovisual content.
- Define children and youth content as difficult productions to allow for higher public financing support as well as enhanced development funding.
- Facilitate better access for low-capacity countries to international co-productions by revisiting Creative Europe guidelines and improving minority co-production schemes.
Animation in Europe will report the first steps taken in response to these recommendations at Annecy’s MIFA in June 2024.