The second edition of the political forum, held from November 22 to 24, expanded both in terms of the number of experts, over 80, and the number of countries represented, totalling 25, encompassing public bodies, broadcasters, production representatives and pan-European institutions.
Over three days of intense debates at Animar_BCN, key figures in the animation value chain, including organizations such as Animation in Europe and CEE Animation, engaged in substantive discussions aimed at enhancing the European animation industry’s operational mechanisms. This convergence of diverse minds in Barcelona was remarkable not only for the range of its participants — comprising government officials, educational leaders, industry veterans, and broadcasters — but also for the depth of the discussions that ensued.
This forum was a fertile ground for collaborative thinking, which led to tangible recommendations such as the need for stronger funding strategies across Europe, the development of compatible standards for co-productions, a stronger emphasis on audience building, the retention of talent and original IP by independent producers.
Philippe Alessandri, President of Animation in Europe says that: “Animar_BCN has established itself as a pivotal political forum, playing a crucial role in addressing the complex challenges facing our industry. It’s not just a meeting place; it’s a breeding ground for innovative ideas and realistic recommendations which are essential for the sustainability, future and vitality of European animation. This convention has become a catalyst for meaningful change, where thought leaders come together to shape the future of our industry.“
Marta Alonso, Vice President of ProAnimats adds: “The success of Animar_BCN can be attributed to its unique ability to centralise the collective interests of the European animation industry, transcending the usual territorial or specific concerns of individual actors. This congress has emerged as a beacon of unity, fostering a collaborative spirit that encourages a holistic approach. By bridging diverse perspectives, Animar_BCN has become a vital platform for shaping a cohesive and dynamic future for animation across Europe.“
At Animar_BCN, five critical subjects with one think tank each were at the forefront of discussions, each pivotal to the future of European animation:
- ‘The Investment of Media Services in Animation Content’. Co-chaired by Petra Tarjanne, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Employment and the Economy of Finland & Philippe Alessandri, CEO of Watch Next and Chairman of Animation in Europe.
- ‘Direct Public & Tax Related Funding in European Animation’. Co-chaired by Julie-Jeanne Régnault, Secretary General at EFAD – European Film Agency Directors & Dirk Beinhold, CEO of Akkord Film & Vice-Chair of Animation in Europe.
- ‘A Legal Framework for Animation Co-productions’. Co-chaired by Benedikte Danielsen, Advisor for Coproduction and International Financing at Norwegian Film Institute & Iván Agenjo, CEO of Peekaboo and Vice-Chair of Animation in Europe.
- ‘Market Financing, Equity Investment, Private-Public Co-Financing, and Cashflow Facilities’. Co-chaired by Ronan McCabe, CEO of Animation Ireland & Pablo Jordi, CEO of Pikkukala and Treasurer of Animation in Europe.
- ‘Distribution of European Animated Works in Europe and Globally’. Co-chaired by Eleanor Coleman, Founding Member and Vice President of Les Femmes S’Animent (LFA) & Moe Honan, CEO of Moetion Films and Vice-Chair of Animation in Europe.
The think tanks reached a series of conclusions following discussions which led to a set of concrete recommended actions aimed at policy makers:
- Introduce a requirement to consider the diversity of genres and age demographic within the European quota and investments obligations.
- Revise the AVMS Directive and its guidelines to better achieve the initial goal of involving streamers in the financing of European works.
- Urgently work on a legal framework which acknowledges animation specificities in order to encourage and streamline European coproductions for series.
- Establish effective funding support for dubbing to enhance the distribution of European animation series and films across Europe, and internationally.
- Create a meeting platform or event for production companies who wish to scale up and for equity investors interested in audiovisual content.
- Define children and youth content as difficult productions, to allow for higher public financing supports, as well as enhanced development funding.
- Facilitate better access for low capacity countries to international coproductions by revisiting Creative Europe guidelines and improving minority co-production schemes.
Animation in Europe will report at MIFA Annecy, in June 2024, on the first steps taken in response to these recommendations.