It’s a wrap for this year’s Cartoon Movie. The 25th edition of the pitching and co-production event for European animated features, which ran in Bordeaux from 7-9 March, hosted 876 participants from 40 different countries, including 282 buyers.
The attendance figures were slightly below those recorded last year, when the gathering returned in full swing and back to its physical format after the 2021 online edition.
On this occasion, a total of 58 new projects were presented, accounting for an overall budget of €422.4 million and 81 hours of content. The most represented production countries were France (25 projects), Germany (eight projects), Spain and Italy (with five projects each).
Predictably, climate change was one of the key topics of this year’s pitches, tackled by 16% of the selected projects, including Forest, Back to Tomioka, Four Souls of Coyote and Yap Yap – The Secret Forest.
21% of the projects revolved around some of our time’s biggest challenges such as inclusion, diversity, the migrant crisis and gender equality. Some of the projects addressing these themes were Julián, The Legend of Magnus the Good, I’m Still Alive and Zako.
Moreover, a remarkable 17% of the stories boasted female heroes as the main characters. Projects of this kind include The Legend of Lune, Clarissa, Fiammetta and Rosa and the Stone Troll.
As usual, market activities and meetings have been frenetic in and around the Congress Centre. The project which recorded the highest buyers’ attendance was France’s Back to Tomioka (92), followed by Julián (90, a co-production between Ireland, Denmark, France, Canada and the UK spearheaded by Cartoon Saloon), Ninn (86, another French project) and Yap Yap – The Secret Forest (86, a Danish-Swedish co-production). Julián also took the top spot in terms of general attendance among the European co-productions (253), followed by Birds Don’t Look Back (208, co-produced by France, Luxembourg and Poland), Fox and Hare Save the Forest (199, co-produced by the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium) and Love is a Gypsy Child – A Carmen Story (189, co-produced by France and Spain).
Meanwhile, this year’s country of focus was Ukraine. A delegation of 23 professionals attended the gathering and showed the participants a number of feature-length, short-length and series projects. Notably, Oleksandra Ruban and Oleg Malamuzh’s animated feature Mavka. The Forest Song, first pitched at the gathering in 2017, was released in Ukraine on 2 March and sold to 80 territories. Malamuzh pitched his brand-new project, titled Roxelana and produced by Kyiv-based studio Film.UA Group.
On Day 2 and 3 of the event, the Cartoon Movie team announced the recipients of the 2023 Tributes.
The producers of Alain Ughetto’s No Dogs or Italians Allowed were crowned Producers of the Year. The festival hit, awarded with the Jury Prize at Annecy and the European Film Award for Best European Animated Film last year, was a co-production by French outfits Les Films du Tambour de Soie, Vivement Lundi! and Foliascope with Italy’s Graffiti Film, Switzerland’s Nadasdy Film, Portugal’s Ocidental Filmes and Belgium’s Lux Fugit Film.
Next, Dutch artist Mascha Halberstad was voted Director of the Year for her 2022 Berlinale Generation Kplus opener Oink, whilst France’s KMBO was elected Distributor of the year.
Finally, the €20,000 Eurimages Co-Production Development Award went to Roberto Saviano’s directorial debut I’m Still Alive, staged by MAD Entertainment (Italy), Lucky Red (Italy), SIPUR (Israel) and Gapubsters (Belgium).
The 26th edition of Cartoon Movie will unspool from 5-7 March 2024.
Curated by Davide Abbatescianni