Cartoon Movie, the pitching event to raise funds for animated feature films
Cartoon Movie is the world’s largest co-production and pitching forum for European animated feature films. It takes place in Bordeaux and this year 16 European countries in total took part. In total, 55 film projects were presented, including 21 French and nine Spanish.
In Spain in particular, the animation industry is changing. Ivan Agenjo, president of the Catalan Association of Animation Producers, told us more about it.
He says Spain has “a lot of talented people who had to emigrate to the United States, Ireland or the United Kingdom because there was not enough production in Spain”. But according to him, “some of these people have come home and they’ve created new animation studios and now it’s these studios that are launching new projects, really powerful and good.”
To add to this radical change in the animation industry in Spain, there are now more academies, universities and specialized schools teaching the techniques necessary for animation. “It’s also useful for improving and expanding our pool of talented people,” Agenjo says.
A good example of an animator leaving Spain and returning to start his own successful business is director Sergio Pablos. He worked in Paris at Walt Disney Animation Studios then in the USA. He returned to Spain and founded The SPA Studios in Madrid. His latest film “Klaus” was nominated for an Oscar.
Three Romanian films were shown at Cartoon Movie. One of them was “The Adventure of Fram the Polar Bear”, an adaptation of a children’s book by Romanian author Cezar Petrescu. The other two came from internationally renowned Anca Damian. According to Damian, it is impossible to finance his events with Romanian public funding alone. She told us that there is a lot of creativity in Romania, but “artists who are well known abroad and here in Romania have no recognition”. She adds that some of them are lucky enough to have “international relations” and are able to co-produce films. But she thinks that the Romanian system does not support their work in any other way.
The projects presented represent a total budget of 297,000,000 euros. Many of the films that appear on the Cartoon Movie get international recognition, as does “Wolfwalkers” which has just been nominated for an Oscar.
Cartoon Movie is also supported by the EU Media program. For Harald Trettenbrein, Head of the Media Unit of the EU Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, this is a good thing because “the animation industry is important for Europe (… ) animation travels well, animation succeeds across borders, it is popular with the public “.
Since the creation of Cartoon Movie in 1999, 398 films have found funding, representing a total budget of 2.63 billion euros.