Report on Cartoon Movie 2014

CARTOON MOVIE INCREASES EUROPEAN AUDIENCE

Since the Cartoon Movie creation in 1999, the number of animated feature films produced in Europe has multiplied by 5 and the number of viewers for European animated features in Europe has increased by 1000%. Ten times more European viewers are going to the theatre to watch European animated films. Cartoon Movie has played a fundamental role in fostering co-productions, circulating European audiovisual works and improving the quality of animated films within Europe.

Setting a new record in participation, the 16th edition of Cartoon Movie reflected the health and vitality of the European animation industry, which continues to produce quality films with a variety of subjects and genres and for a wide range of audiences. From 5-7 March the event welcomed 750 producers, distributors and investors from 40 countries, representing a 50% increase from 2009 when Cartoon Movie settled in Lyon, France. Once again, this annual forum became a meeting point for the major players of the animation sector, including over 200 buyers who had the opportunity to discover upcoming European animation films and sign commercial deals.

The event opened on 5th March with the Swedish-Danish coproduction “Beyond Beyond”, a S3D animation adventure tale directed by Esben Toft Jacobsen (“The Great Bear”), produced by Copenhagen Bombay and sold to the US market.

The next morning at the Centre de Congrès de Lyon, Frédérique Bredin, President of the CNC (the National Center of Cinematography and the moving image of France) welcomed the participants and thanked Cartoon Movie for its work to promote European animation, which he defined as an authentic greenhouse of projects and a place to foster the development of cross-border coproductions and collaborations. 

MADE IN EUROPE

For two days, Cartoon Movie was the showcase for a new batch of 60 European animated features from 23 countries, including finished films and works in development and production. The 60 projects from 23 countries presented at the event had a global budget of 348 million euros, with an average of 5.8 million per film.  

Gathering up to 300 participants, the pitching sessions had a full house. The most attended projects were the following: TeamTO’s film in production “Yellowbird” (FR / BE); the comic book adaptation by Arthur de Pins “Zombillénium” (FR); one of Folimage’s 4 projects “The Dreadfuls’ Christmas” (FR); Germany’s “Richard The Stork” (DE / BE / LU / NO); Tomm Moore’s second film “Song of the Sea” (IE, LU, DK, BE, FR); Finland’s “The Gnome” (FI / FR / EE); the autobiographical film “Funan, the New People” (FR) by Denis Do; Sacrebleu productions’ “Longway North” (FR / DK) by Rémi Chayé; Finnish film “Hugo – The World’s Worst Comeback” (FI / DK); Germany’s film in production ”Ooops ! Noah is gone…” (DE / LU / BE / IE); “The Ghosts of Père Lachaise” (FR) and Studio 100 Media’s “Maya the Bee – Movie” (DE / AU). 

The 25 projects in concept, pitched in grouped sessions, also aroused a strong interest amongst potential business partners and buyers.

Films for young adults and adults are on the rise in Europe, doubling their presence at Cartoon Movie since last year to represent 30% of the line-up. Highlights of these projects include animated films and documentaries about political and social topics such as the former Yugoslavian civil war (“Chris the Swiss”), the Khmer Rouge’s years in Cambodia (“Funan, the New People”) and the plight of refugees around the planet (“The Tower”, “Hot Heart Story”).

FRANCE AND NORDIC COUNTRIES LEAD

Of the 60 projects from 23 countries presented this year, 25 projects were in concept, 17 in development, 11 already in the production stage and 7 completed.  

France, involved in 22 projects, remains the undisputed leader of European animation. The Nordic countries showed an impressive dynamism, representing a quarter of the line-up, in particular Norway with 6 projects, Finland with 4 and Sweden with 3 projects. Germany, Italy and Poland tied for third place with 4 projects each, followed by Hungary, Ireland, Spain and the UK with 2 each.

Among the French selection, there were 7 productions from the Rhône-Alpes Region, which has consistently increased its presence since Lyon was established as the capital of the event in 2009 and is the second largest region in France in terms of animated production.

FRANCE LEADS THE CARTOON TRIBUTES AWARDS

During the 16th Cartoon Movie, participants voted the winners of the Cartoon Movie Tributes 2014, the awards for outstanding contribution to the development of European animation film over the last year. 

Hélène Giraud and Thomas Szabo, directors of the French animation hit “Minuscule” were awarded Directors of the Year (1.2 million admissions in France), while Le Pacte, - distributor, producer and international sales agent based in Paris and responsible for the launch of “Minuscule” in France - won Distributor of the Year. 

Belgium’s Walking the Dog, an independent animation studio that has recently co-produced “Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart” was honoured as Producer of the Year and Folimage’s founder Jacques-Rémy Girerd --director of films such as “Raining Cats and Dogs”, “Mia and the Migoo” and more recently “Aunt Hilda!”--received the Rhône-Alpes Personality of the Year.

PARALLEL ACTIVITIES  

For the third consecutive year, CARTOON and Imaginove, the cluster of digital content in Rhône-Alpes, organized CARTOON GAMES, an initiative aimed at fostering collaboration between animation producers and video-game developers. Some 80 companies in both sectors from seven countries participated in the event, holding 600 individual meetings. 

For the first time, a feature film project presented at CARTOON MOVIE is coming from a video-game: “Dofus Book I – Julith” by Jean-Jacques Denis & Anthony Roux and produced by Ankama. Following the success of the game (over 25 millions players since its release in 2004), the IP has been developed as a TV series, currently airing on France 3, and now as a feature film in development. 

Beyond the Centre de Congrès, animation also took over the streets of Grand Lyon, an area recognised for its strong and dynamic audiovisual industry, which includes an important network of companies, research laboratories and training centres. For two weeks and coinciding with CARTOON MOVIE, audiences in the urban community of Lyon had the opportunity to participate in ON CARTOON DANS LE GRAND LYON!, which offered audiences a selection of recent European animated Films as well as the chance to meet directors and producers at a wide range of events.  The selection included film such as “Minuscule”, “Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart”, “Aunt Hilda”, “Lolou, l'incroyable secret, “Aya de Yopougon” and “Kérity, the House of Tales”, among others. 

Meanwhile, students from the Emile Cohl and La Poudrière animation schools had the chance to participate in a coaching programme that put them in contact with the animation industry and allowed them to participate in lectures and master classes with well-known directors.

The 16th edition of CARTOON MOVIE was organised with the support of the Creative Europe - MEDIA, CNC (Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée), the Rhône-Alpes Region, Greater Lyon and in collaboration with the Imaginove cluster.

The next edition will take place from 4 to 6 March 2015 in Lyon.