Keynotes, case stud­ies & panels

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Tuesday 9 April 2024

11:30-12:15 Focus Region: A Year of Animation in the Southern Region by SudAnim

About the panel

SudAnim will be taking a look back at the highlights of the year in animation across the region, with new productions, new locations and incredible awards. It’s a good time to take stock of what’s been achieved and to look ahead to the challenges and prospects that lie ahead, to ensure that the industry continues its upward curve and holds onto its position as France’s 4th-largest animation cluster.

14:20-15:00 CartoonNext puts children, front and centre, of the debate on A.I. and generative A.I. Thanks to an inspiring keynote from renowned ethics fellow at the Alan Turing Institute, Dr. Mhairi Aitken, voted one of the top 100 brillant woman in A.I. ethics, internationally!

About the keynote

Speaker: Dr. Mhairi Aitken, Ethics Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute (United Kingdom)

In her influential research, Dr. Aiken uniquely gives children a voice, exploring what excites them and what concerns them about these revolutionary tools. Learning from the impact of social media, Dr. Aitken will discuss the benefits A.I. can bring to children and children’s media, as well as the risks, when formulating policy and governance, at a time some describe as A.I.’s “Wild West” era.

15:00-15:45 — Anime is officially HUGE! According to Japanese powerhouse, Polygon, and its recent research.

About the panel

Speakers: Manuel Cristobal, Producer at Sygnatia (Spain) & Rodney Uhler, Director of Acquisitions and Development at GKIDS (USA)

And the future looks bright, with anime forecast to grow in value from around $34.22 billion in 2024 to $ 60.7 billion* in 2030. Once the impenetrable homeland of anime, Japan is now seeking international partnerships and courting international audiences, while Europe and the wider world is opening up to what’s been dubbed anime adjacent. Pushing the boundaries of creativity and collaboration, CartoonNext hears what’s next from premier distributor, GKIDS, leading the field in award-winning anime projects, and celebrated Spanish producer, Manuel Cristobal, about his ground-breaking, "The Glassworker", the anime-influenced feature, from Pakistan.

*Source: Grand View Research

16:15-16:55 — What Next in licensing? Cult licensing is the new byword.

About the keynote

Speaker: Max Arguile, Managing Director at Reemsborko (United Kingdom)

If your idea has cult appeal, there are fresh opportunities to create your own licensing programme regarding consumer products. Licensing agent, Max Arguile, from Reemsborko, has a passion for all things pop culture. Whether it’s animé, horror, or other genres from webtoons, comics, TV, film or online, he has found a way to commercialise it and shares his insights with CartoonNext, with some fascinating case studies.

16:55-17:40 — How to nurture and mentor the next, new talent in Africa, looking to create and finance their own shows?

About the panel

Speakers: Ariane Suveg, Producer and Editorial Consultant at Célestine Blue (France) & Sébastien Onomo, President and Producer at Special Touch Studios (France)

With inspiring insights and innovative initiatives from Ariane Suveg, instrumental in developing and producing the first animated series from Nigeria for Cartoon Network; joined by Sébastien Onomo of Special Touch Studios, a pioneer in producing award-winning content with African creatives, about to launch the first Pan-African Animation Workshop.

Wednesday 10 April 2024

09:00-09:45 — Meet the first European studio, wholly devoted to adult animation: Bobbypills! What’s next for the inspiring company and its mission to empower artists to shape pop culture, through unique, accessible series, and innovate the 2D animation sector?

About the case study

Speakers: Arthur Delabays, Development Director, Nicolas Athané, Creative Director & Gabrielle d'Andrimont, Development Manager at Bobbypills (France)

With 4 diverse series under its belt, partners including Netflix, Ubisoft and Warner, 2024 sees the opening of an exciting new studio in Angouleme. Speakers, Arthur Delabays (Development Director), Nicolas Athané (Creative Director) and Gabrielle d’Andrimont (Development Manager) provide fascinating insights into their journey and ground-breaking philosophy.

09:45-10:25 — Spatial Computing – The Next big thing since the iPhone? It's being billed to become a gamechanger for 3D animation.

About the keynote

Speaker: Thomas Bedenk, Freelance Advisor (Germany)

Apple have announced their first device which is the first mixed reality headset, treating it more like a new computing platform than a metaverse device. One of the authorities in this specialisation is Thomas Bedenk.

10:50-15:40 — Pitching Sessions

15:40-16:20 — What Next for Epic Games, a major supporter of animation in Europe? In a rare keynote from Epic and their UE Business Director, Ben Minall, we explore what initiatives are planned for the next generation of studios and creatives.

About the keynote

Speaker: Ben Minall, UE Business Director, Media and Entertainment at Epic Games (United Kingdom)

Following on from their ground-breaking Unreal Engine, Ben shares some of their vision and opportunities, as well as touching upon UEFN, their application for designing, developing and publishing games and experiences, directly onto Fortnite, using the power of the Unreal Editor.

16:50-17:25 — CartoonNext highlights animation excellence in Hungary.

About the case study

Speaker: Réka Temple, Executive Producer at Cinemon Entertainment (Hungary)

Keynote and case study with producer and female entrepreneur Réka Temple, who’s celebrating the power of 2D and animation, as cinema. She provides fascinating insights into her ground-breaking feature, “4 Souls of Coyote”, chosen for the Academy International Category. And looking to the future, she sets out what Hungary and Eastern Europe has to offer the rest of European animation.

17:25-18:15 — Animating The Future! CartoonNext presents The Dor Brothers, celebrated A.I. pioneers and "among the most prolific producers of A.I. in the world", according to Charlie Fink of Forbes magazine. They "rock cinematic A.I.".

About the keynote

Speakers: Yonathan Dor, CEO at The Dor Brothers (Germany) & Japhet Asher, Director at Polarity Reversal (United Kingdom)

Specialising in all things creative in A.I., from A.I. generated music videos, animation, film, commercials and more! A big part of their mission is "to show the world the significance of A.I. art and expand humanity’s knowledge of these powerful and world-changing tools."
We speak to Yonatan Dor, about his remarkable story, his innovative craft, his deep-felt philosophy, and what the future of A.I. might hold. We also give the audience the opportunity to try out their "Event Station: the world’s first A.I.-powered photobooth experience!".

Thursday 11 April 2024

09:00-09:40 — CartoonNext gazes into the Crystal Ball at Animation’s “Future Horizon”. And it’s not all doom and gloom, following recent market downturns!

About the keynote

Speaker: Alex Cameron, Director EMEA at Parrot Analytics (United Kingdom)

Leading industry analysts, Parrot Analytics, take a data-driven approach to historical trends and current market data to anticipate what lies ahead, pinpointing opportunities for growth and innovation. Exploring the rising demand for varied animation content, with increased interest in adult animation and broadcasters strategically investing in anime and related genres. Special attention will also go to "Local Roots, Global Reach" and how stories like "Miraculous Ladybug & Cat Noir" can evolve from local favourites to global franchises.

09:40-10:40 — What’s Next for our broadcasters? Thanks to a series of strategic initiatives, CartoonNext asks: are European Channels re-aligning, what are their future plans and what opportunities might that mean for our industry?

About the panel

Speakers: Krešimir Zubčić, Editor and Buyer at Croatian Television (HRT) (Croatia), Anna Taganov, Head of Children's Content at BBC (United Kingdom) & Annalisa Liberi, Head of Acquisitions at Rai Kids (Italy)

Early 90s, the EBU helped set up visionary animated co-productions, with the Public Channels, such as ecological Animals of Farthing Wood. Since then, FTV has raised its animation budgets, DR made a call for projects to support local production and, post-Brexit, the BBC is seeking more animated projects, in co-production with Europe. Now the EBU has launched a new initiative to bring the pubcasters together and two new co-productions have been announced.

11:10-13:10 — Pitching Sessions

14:40-15:15 — What Next for Studio Meala! This dynamic Irish studio is all about pushing the boundaries of hand-drawn animation, and creating a fair, sustainable studio for artists to thrive in.

About the case study

Speakers: Stephen Fagan, Co-founder, Producer and Creator & Shane Perez, Head of Development at Studio Meala (Ireland)

Recently chosen to bring to life an episode of cult horror franchise, "Banquet of Hungry Ghosts", Studio Meala will soon be embarking upon an exciting new slate of their own and also looking to work with under-represented and diverse studios, across Europe.

15:15-16:00 — What's New and Happening in the world of publishing and what fresh opportunities might there be for creators and storytellers in Europe?

About the keynote

Speaker: Bob Higgins, President at Trustbridge Entertainment (USA)

Children and Family Alumni, Bob Higgins, President of recently created production company Trustbridge Entertainment (in NY), talks about sourcing, developing, and producing premium content across Europe and the Globe, based on books, and how he is introducing innovative cross-media ideas to the process.

16:00-16:35 — The innovative, social media-driven “Samuel” has come of age! A hit at Cartoon Forum, the emotive yet humorous depiction of adolescence is airing on France’s ARTE, and Spain’s 3Cat and RTVE. A broadcasting first for Spain!

About the case study

Speakers: Pablo Jordi, CEO and Producer at Pikkukala Barcelona (Spain) & Damien Megherbi, Producer at Les Valseurs (France)

CartoonNext will follow the creation of young talent, Emilie Tronche, from its inception on Instagram, to its incarnation as TV and an Instagram - YouTube series and onto its launch on TikTok as a parallel series. Challenging traditional formats, "Samuel" offers fresh inspiration for cross-media-led projects and demonstrates that innovation and a 360 strategy do not have to be at the expense of an author’s unique voice and vision.

17:00-17:50 — Grand Finale

About the panel

An entertaining and informative “End of the Show” Round Table, with surprising questions and revealing answers from a cross section of CartoonNext’s eminent speakers and experts. With audience participation and Q&A.