Cartoon Movie 2001 has established the market
The third edition of the CARTOON MOVIE, organised in Potsdam from 15 to 18 March 2001, with the support of the European Union's MEDIA Programme and of the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, has brought together 360 participants from 20 countries.
Among these, 60 investors and 50 distributors (50% more than last year) have discovered 42 European projects or films in development, in production or already released, representing a total amount of over 70 million EUR. 38% of these projects are for teenagers, 35% for very young children.
Several major changes were made this year and it seems that producers and participants both approved and enjoyed the renovated concept:
The creation of 10' pitch sessions for projects
at the concept stage and for projects presented the year before. For the projects at the concept stage, it is very interesting to analyse that between 134 and 151 professionals attended these common presentations. It represents an unexpected success, and it could confirm that distributors would like to be more and more involved from the very beginning of a project.
The avoidance, as far as possible, of competition between films
in development presented at the same time, by limiting to 2 the number of pitch rooms; and by presenting films in production in exclusivity.
- Among the projects in development, the most successful were:
Dragon Hunters - Futurikon: 143 participants (60 investors/distributors!); Porcelain Princess - Ellipse Deutschland: 138; Crossroad, the Devil's Music - La Machine: 94. But El Cid, the Legend - Castelao Productions, with 53 spectators, might already have finalised its budget, and maybe with an American partner.
- Among the projects in production, the most successful were:
Corto Maltese - Ellipse/Neuroplanet: 163 participants; The Living Forest - Dygra: 120; Tristan and Isolde - Oniria Pictures: 119.
The presentation, for buyers, of a catalogue
of 21 recent European feature films, available in the screening lounges: there were over 80 private screenings during the two days.
The opening of the Cartoon Movie to extra-European players
The opening of the Cartoon Movie to extra-European players. Besides European representatives of American Majors like Buena Vista and Warner Bros (Germany), Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures Visual Programming (UK), which were attending the event, there came a delegation from the USA: 20th Century Fox Feature Animation, Artisan Entertainment, Dreamworks Feature Animation) have come for the very first time to the Cartoon Movie, with the help of the international on-line magazine "Animation World Network".
Their feedback on the Cartoon Movie was very positive, because, on the other markets, they usually discover films after they are finished. They found it very interesting to have the opportunity to be present at the very beginning of a project. It was the first time they found themselves in a situation that encourages partnerships and relationships between competitors.
If they did regret to see too much video quality, or classic tales that could in no way compete with Disney, they also noticed projects of international quality (Help, I'm a Fish , Dragon Hunters, El Cid, Carnivale). They were surprised to find such talents and creativity here, but found there was a lack of marketing strategies and encouraged producers to target their audience better. They explained that beside super productions (with big budgets both for production and for merchandising), a niche market existed in the USA for projects with lesser budgets (and no merchandising). European producers, in partnerships with independent American producers/distributors, could enter this niche, as production costs are lower in Europe. And this niche market would attract spectators from large American cities, such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles. In other regions, like the Middle West, Disney remains the norm.
The presentation of Tributes for European Strategies
Cartoon, the European Association for Animation Film, supported by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union, wished to pay homage to the professionals who have marked the European feature length animation film industry. The CARTOON MOVIE Tributes are not awards comparable to festival prizes. They are meant to reward the spirit of enterprise, development strategies, distribution policies and collaboration, at a European level, between companies that produce or distribute feature length animation films. They promote exemplary successes in this field and encourage other initiatives.
The Cartoon Movie Tributes 2001 were presented to: Aardman, for the Best International Enterprise Strategy; A.Film, for the Most European Company; Cecchi Gori Group, for the Strongest Involvement in an Animation Film; "Kirikou and the Sorceress", for the Best Director/Producer/Distributor Collaboration and MFA Film Distribution for the Best European Distributor for Animation.
This third edition of the Cartoon Movie was the place and time for the European Animation Training Network's first coordination meeting.
The network is so far composed of the following European training centres:
The goals of this network are to perfect animation training in Europe and to tighten the links between training and industry requirements. And CARTOON will help achieve these goals through its coordination activities by enabling tutor and trainee exchanges, by facilitating the sharing of information and insights concerning training programmes, by organising a yearly "training of trainers" course and by encouraging local networks between schools and animation studios.
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