The second edition of Cartoon Next took place last week (18-20 April) in Marseille, clustering 221 participants from 23 countries. 17 panels have been held on the future of Animation, thanks to 40 experts.
Among them were Aaron Davidson (Amazon/USA), Adam Woodgate (Dubit/UK), Cristian Jezdic (Cartoon Italia), Samuel Kaminka (AnimFrance), Kate O’Connor (Animation UK), Justė Michailinaitė (Lithuanian Animation Association), Mark Gustafson and Alexander Bulkley (co-director and producer of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio), Julie Kane-Ritsch (The Gotham Group/USA), Julien Borde (Mediawan Kids & Family/FR), Jean-Philippe Randisi (bRAND-WARD/UK), Thierry Baujard (Spielfabrique/DE/FR), Teddy Kossoko (Masseka Game Studio/FR), Eliza Jäppinen (Visible Realm/FI), Laurent Nicolas (WeJustKids/FR), Bartosz Sztybor (CD PROJEKT RED/PL), Alexandre Cornu (Les Films du Tambour de Soie/FR).
The conferences touched on various topics on the future of animation, which appears to be vibrant, also drawing new life from areas such as gaming.
The Warsaw-based video game studio CD Projekt Red took the winning example of its gaming franchise Cyberpunk 2077, which sold millions of copies and resulted in Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, the recent Netflix anime series. In another panel, there was talk about opportunities in Africa. The country has many creatives and a market potential that is not yet fully exploited; furthermore, it has a very young population that continues to grow and has shown great interest in video games and movies.
The phenomenon of silo marketing was explored, thanks to which it is possible to transform IP according to one’s target audience. There was also a focus on linear TV, which is still really popular among children; this is why giants such as Sky, Dreamworks and Paramount are continuing to launch new kids’ linear services.
Relevant case studies were discussed, such as the multi-nominated & award-winning I Lost My Body (Xilam/FR), representing the growing importance of adult animation.
The keynote on the State of the Animation Industry in Italy, France, UK and the Baltic region was well attended. The Italian market, with 80 companies and a concentration in pre-school productions, is very open to co-producing, also to solve the European problem of labour shortages. The French sector achieved a turnover of around EUR 600 million, but there are some aspects to be improved, such as creating better working conditions for young talents, or more substantial funding for young adult productions. UK animation has many assets (e.g. craft skills, attention to storytelling, various animation techniques and styles), which wants to continue to share with the European market, beyond the limitations imposed by Brexit. As for Lithuanian Animation, at the moment, mainly short films on social themes are produced for an adult audience, with a few TV series, but a new national fund to produce animation will be launched in 2024.
In addition to the conferences, interesting transmedia projects were also presented.
Curated by Rossella Arena