Report 2024

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After closing its 26th edition, Cartoon Movie has once again confirmed its key role in promoting new European animated feature films. Fifty-five projects at various stages of development were pitched in Bordeaux with an aim to find new financial partners and co-producers. The trend towards adventure films and films aimed at family audiences shown by the line-up are in line with the demands of a challenging market. The event, which returned to pre-pandemic attendance levels, dedicated its Spotlight to publishers in a bid to strengthen synergies between the animated film and publishing industries.

At the opening ceremony, held at the Bordeaux Congress Centre on 6 March, Annick Maes, General Director of Cartoon, welcomed the participants to the event highlighting the current creative boom of European animation.

With 885 participants from 35 countries – in line with pre-pandemic figures – Cartoon Movie continues to raise interest among co-producers, sales agents, distributors and investors. A total of 261 buyers - 12.6% of which were newcomers - were present in Bordeaux, both to discover new projects and to engage in networking activities.

Also worth noting is that the number of registered companies grew once again this year to 480 companies. Regarding gender distribution, Cartoon Movie participants break down into 55.4% male, 44% female, and 0.6% non-binary.

Since its creation in 1999, Cartoon Movie has helped 473 European animated films find financing, amounting to a global budget of 3.12 billion EUR.

Marie-Laure Cuvelier, Regional Councillor in charge of Social Economy for the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, highlighted that Cartoon Movie “is particularly attached to cultural and linguistic diversity, creative freedom, and dialogue between cultures”.

Then, Frédéric Cros, General Director at Magelis, outlined the importance of having Cartoon Movie in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region. Located in the Charente department, Magelis - one of Europe’s leading production and training centres, and partner of the event - is host to around 40 studios employing over 2,000 animation, video games, comics, and digital imagining professionals.

On his turn, Baptiste Maurin, Metropolitan Councillor for Research, Higher Education and Student Life of Bordeaux Métropole, considered Cartoon Movie to be an excellent showcase for the collaboration between increasingly intertwined disciplines, including artistic creation and technological innovation, and urged the animation community “to support freedom of expression and freedom of creation to the backdrop of the tense and complex European and global period we are living”.

Lastly, Ivanka Hahnenberger, Managing Director at VIP Brands, introduced the group of 19 publishers from all over Europe who participated in this year’s Spotlight, aimed at strengthening the bonds between the animation and publishing sectors.

A closer look at the projects

Selected from 120 submissions, the 55 projects pitched in Bordeaux hail from 16 European countries, adding up 76.5 hours of content and a total budget of 397.6 million euros, with an average cost per film of 7.2 million euros.

French animation led the line-up with 15 projects, including 4 from Nouvelle-Aquitaine; Belgium, Germany, and Spain participated with 5 projects each, while Italy and Luxembourg presented 3 projects each.

Broken down by region, the statistics show that Europe production is no longer restricted to the traditional territories. The Nordic countries have doubled their participation year-on-year with 9 projects: Norway (4), Denmark (2), Sweden (2), and Finland (1). CEE countries were present with 6 projects - Poland (3), Czech Republic (2), and Hungary (1) – one more than in the previous year.

Regarding collaborative schemes among countries, 37 projects (65%) are already co-productions between two or more partners, including 13 works involving non-Creative MEDIA countries.

Genre-wise, adventure films largely dominated this year's selection with a 60% of the line-up, while family audience is the prevailing target with 58% of the projects, followed, well behind, by Young Adults/Adult with 18%, Children with 16%, and Teenagers and Pre-schoolers with 4% each.

European animation's creative diversity was reflected in the wide range of topics addressed by the projects, including friendship, environmental and sustainability concerns, as well as sensitive topics such as inclusion, bullying, migration, health conditions, and political and gender issues, among others.

While female characters continue to gain ground in European animation – 58% of the projects feature at least one main female character – the gender gap doesn’t appear to be closing behind the camera, with barely 22% women at the helm of a project. 60% of female directors are first-timers in animated features, a steady percentage since 2019, underscoring animation’s appeal to emerging female talent. Their films often tackle social and political issues such as well-being, friendship, inclusion, gender, and environmental sustainability. In terms of production, 33% of the projects have a woman as the main producer.

Judith Colell (“Moss”), Anja Manou Hellem (“Finding Home”), Sahra Mani (“Dream of Grape Gardens”), Cécile McLorin Salvant & Lia Bertels (“Ogresse”), and Nina Wels (“Rat King”) are among the directors who presented their projects in Bordeaux.

Out of the 55 selected projects, 44% (24 projects) have incorporated sustainable elements or practices, including certifications or procedures, into their production processes. The countries that have implemented the most measures are France, Germany, Poland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Norway and Sweden.

In terms of thematic focus, 24% of the selected projects centre on sustainability or environmental issues, exemplified by works such as “The Little Run” (Picolo Pictures - France), “Spike” (Submarine – the Netherlands), Moumoush – The King of Plastic” (Mumus Production – Hungary), and “Kensuke’s Kingdom” (Mélusine Productions – Luxembourg) .

“The Little Run” explores our connection with nature through a naturalist and documentary lens, while the producers of “Spike” collaborated closely with rhino specialists to portray our world in order to make it “the biggest character of the movie”.

Lastly, regarding animation techniques, 3D is on top with 24 projects, while 2D projects stand at 16. Fourteen projects combine 2D/3D, and one uses drawing as a technique.

Cartoon Movie 2024 full selection is available here.

Projects that caught the eye

Top 10 of projects that received the most attention from the buyers
Only projects in Development & in Production are included in this ranking. – The order reflects the percentage of buyers present in the pitching room.

1. Rosa & Dara and their Great Summer Adventure (Czech Republic / Slovakia) - 63%
2. Rouxelle and the Pirates (Belgium / Switzerland) - 61%
3. Milo (Ireland) - 58%
4. Niko - Beyond the Northern Lights (Finland / Germany / Ireland / Denmark) - 54%
5. Mami Fatale and the Great Cookbook (Poland) - 51%
6. Balls (Sweden) - 49%
6. Kaja the Great (Norway / Belgium) - 49%
7. Agent 203 (Germany / Spain) - 48%
8. Flamingo Flamenco (Germany / Spain) - 46%
9. When Mumbo Jumbo Grew Giant (Denmark) - 45%
9. Dom Fradique (Portugal / Italy) - 45%
10. Twisted (France / Italy) - 43%
10. Yugly (Belgium / France) - 43%
10. Out of Frame (Germany) - 43%

Top 10 of European co-productions that had the largest audiences at their presentations

1. The Island of Salamanders (France / Slovakia / Germany)
2. Pesta (Norway / France / Germany)
3. Yugly (Belgium / France)
4. Ogresse (France / Belgium)
5. The Defects (Luxembourg / France / Belgium)
6. Twisted (France / Italy)
7. Picasso in Royan (France / Spain)
8. Flamingo Flamenco (Germany / Spain)
8. Super Charlie (Sweden / Denmark / Norway)
9. Dom Fradique (Portugal / Italy)
9. The Treasure of the Wyrm (Italy / France / Czech Republic)
10. Into the Wonderwoods (France / Luxembourg)

Spotlight & Awards

Organised in collaboration with Frankfurter Buchmesse and VIP Brands, this year's Spotlight was dedicated to the publishing industry. Delegates from some 20 publishing companies from all over Europe had the opportunity to present books with potential for screen adaptation, as well as to discover animation producers interested in enhancing their projects and IPs with new content. With 15 projects (28%) based on books or graphic novels, the close relationship between the publishing and animation film industries was apparent in this year's line-up.

During the 26th Cartoon Movie, several recognitions were awarded, including the Cartoon Movie Tributes, the Eurimages Co-Production Development Award and, for the very first time, the Euroregional Audiovisual Award.

Voted by the animation professionals attending the event, the Cartoon Movie Tributes recognise the companies and personalities whose major contributions in their respective fields have significantly enhanced the European animation industry over the previous year. In this occasion, France and Ukraine shared the podium:

  • Distributor of the Year: Eurozoom (France).
  • Director of the Year: Jérémie Périn for “Mars Express”.
  • Producer of the Year: Animagrad (FILM.UA Group) for “Mavka. The Forest Song” (Ukraine).

An initiative by the Council of Europe, the Eurimages Co-production Development Award aims to encourage international co-production from the initial stages of a project. A selection of 10 projects from Cartoon Movie’s line-up were pitched to a jury panel, which awarded this 20,000 euros’ prize to “Pesta” by Hanne Berkaak, a film produced by Mikrofilm (Norway) in collaboration with Xilam Films (France) and Knudsen Pictures (Germany).

Lastly, the feature film “La revuelta de las putas”, directed by Pablo Iraburu and produced by Arena Comunicación Audiovisual, has won the Euroregional Audiovisual Award, organized by the audiovisual working group from the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Euskadi Navarre Euroregion.

Looking ahead to the future

Animation & Transmedia, an activity looking to create synergies between the animation, video games & transmedia industries, featured two roundtables: “Sustainability in animation production: exchanges between European professionals” and “How to sell a book for screen production? How to approach a publisher as producer looking for rights? Following these roundtables, Cartoon organised one-to-one meetings between animation professionals and representatives of video game companies and publishers.

With an eye on the future, Cartoon Movie organized a new edition of its Coaching Programme, an initiative aimed at young talents from 12 local French schools which included several masterclasses about the ins-and-outs of the animation industry. The students also had the opportunity to network and connect with local companies at a Jobs & Internships Market.

The event concluded with a Farewell Cocktail at the Palais de la Bourse where the dates for the next edition, to be held in Bordeaux from 4 to 6 March 2025, were announced.


First statistics & Sustainable commitment