French producers out in force

Producers from France are putting in a strong showing at the upcoming Cartoon Forum pitching and coproduction event , to be held in Rogaland, Norway in September.

This year 90 projects were submitted and whittled down to a final complement of 63. The organisers weight their selection towards projects from the EU-accession states and countries that have less developed animation sectors. A cursory look at the list of projects for this year reveals the involvement of producers from several countries not traditionally associated with animation. There are, for example, three projects (The Arctic Ring, Schh and How to be a Grown-Up) with Estonian involvement, one (Ninon) with a Latvian producer attached and two (Aztronimo and Sbrain) with Luxembourgian producers on board.

But it is producers from France, the European country with the most developed cartoon sector, that are the most represented. In total, 28 French companies are involved with selected projects, underlining the importance of having a French coproduction partner and the strength of France’s kids production sector.

To put the French involvement into context, the next largest representation is from Spain, which has 16 producers involved, ahead of Germany with nine, the UK with eight and Belgium with seven production companies in attendance.

This year’s line-up is full of small production companies although some of Europe¹s bigger companies are pitching, including Spain’s BRB (Little Sapiens), Cromosoma (Aztronimo), Imira (Copy Cut) and Neptuno (Gaga Astronaut Professor), France’s Alphanim (Pigly), Millimages (Mon Robot et Moi), Xilam (Gaga Astronaut Professor again) and Belgium¹s Studio 100 (The Story isn’t Over Yet). There is also evidence of UK producer/distributor Target Entertainment¹s foray into kids TV (Skybabies).

Cartoon Forum started out in 1990 and since that first event in Lanzarote, Spain, over 300 of the projects pitched, with a combined budget of over Euro1 billion (US$1.4b), have been broadcast or are in production.

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