Aardman’s Pearce Sisters Wins at Cartoon Forum

The Pearce Sisters, a 2D dark comedy short from director Luis Cook and Aardman Animations, claimed the Cartoon d’Or over the weekend during the closing ceremonies for the 18th edition of Cartoon Forum. Held Sept. 19-22 in Girona, Spain, the annual three-day event saw more than 800 animation professionals from all over Europe converge in the Catalonian city to catch the latest developments in European animated television.

Having won Jury’s Special Prize at Annecy earlier this year, The Pearce Sisters qualified as a finalist for the Cartoon d’Or. It’s the first animated short from Cook, who graduated from the Royal College of Art and has worked at Aardman since 1994. Most recently, the film screened at Canada’s Ottawa Int’l Animation Festival.

The Cartoon Tributes saw Catalonian companies Televisi’ de Catalunya (TVC) and Luk Internacional awarded Best Broadcaster and Investor-Distributor of the Year, respectively. Meanwhile, participants voted TV Cartoons Best Producer of the Year. The oldest European animation studio was co-founded in 1957 by George Dunning and John Coates. Participants also paid homage to Spanish producer Claudio Biern Boyd with a Cartoon Tribute of Honor.

Cartoon Forum Catalunya featured roughly 400 hours of content. Of the 60 animated TV series presented, more than 20 of them secured short term financing through the event. Series produced with 2D techniques for children 6-13 were particularly popular, and organizers saw a significant spike in projects developed for multi-platform distribution.

The five projects that aroused the most interest at the event were Oops’Noah is Gone! from Magma Films of Ireland, Sally Bollywood from T’le Images Kids in France, How to Drive Everybody Crazy from TeamTo S.A.S. of France, Little J from Aardman Animations in the U.K. and The Bunjies from Studio Film Bilder of Germany.

Looking ahead to next year, the European Association of Animation Film announced that Ludwigsburg will host the Cartoon Forum 2008. This famous baroque city in the Land Baden-W’rttemberg is one of the most prosperous economic centers in southwest Germany.