Cartoon Movie Names 2005 Tributes

With this year’s Cartoon Movie market set to kick off in Germany next month, organizers have released their list of nominees for the 2005 Tributes. Taking place March 10-12 in Potsdam, Cartoon Movie will ask professionals in attendance to vote for three winners from the following six individuals or companies in the animation industry who have significantly contributed to the development and recognition of European animation cinema.

France 3 Cinéma received a nod for its co-production of an average of three feature-length films a year. A subsidiary of public service channel France Télévision, France 3 Cinéma has been involved as a co-producer on such films as A Monkey’s Tale, Babar: King of the Elephants, Belleville Rendezvous (The Triplets of Belleville) The Boy Who Wanted to Be a Bear, Piccolo and Saxo, Five Tales of Kirikou, The Sun Queen, U and Azur and Asmar. In development are Why I Did (Not) Eat My Father, The Lion Child and Mia and the Migou.

Indie Circle is nominated for its contribution to the development of a crossborder European strategy for distributing animated films. Set up in September of 2003, Indie Circle is a first initiative which brings together European film distributors. The entity aims to acquire films as a team and collaborate in distributing them in its members’ respective countries. Indie Circle is currently made up of A-Film Distribution in the Netherlands, Cinéart in Belgium, Frenetic Films in Switzerland, Haut et Court in France and Lucky Red in Italy.

Portuguese distributor Lusomundo has been singled out for its strong European distribution strategy in Portugal. Active in the home video and theatrical distribution of animated films, Lusomundo has handled the video distribution of such films as The Boy Who Wanted to Be a Bear, Corto Maltese, The King and the Bird, Millionaire Dogs, Little Hippo and Kirikou and the Sorcerer. Theatrical efforts include The Living Forest, El Cid and the upcoming features Back to Gaya, Pinocchio 3000, Sprung! The Magic Roundabout and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Furthermore, Lusomundo has negotiated distribution agreements for such films as Donkey Xote, Nocturna, Asterix and the Vikings, The Ugly Duckling and Me and Happily N’ Ever After.

The directing team of Piet De Rycker and Thilo Rothkirch are nominated for their exemplary role in the pursuit of quality and success, since each is of a different nationality. The first film they made together was the European hit Tobias Totz and his Lion. They followed up with The Little Polar Bear, which sold 2,700,000 tickets in Germany alone, and Laura’s Star which has so far sold 1,300,000 tickets in Germany. They are currently in production on Little Polar Bear II.

Also nominated is M6 for "the prominence it gives to animation and for its commitment to feature films." M6 is a major partner for producers of animation, with $5 million Euro invested annually in series and films. The channel has decided to diversify its animation co-production activity by investing in features as well as series. It also pre-purchases or co-produces French films in development or in production via its subsidiary, M6 Films. In 2004, M6 decided to co-produce two CG films–The Ugly Duckling and Me (with co-production partners A. Films of Denmark, Magma Films of Ireland and Futurikon of France) and Asterix and the Vikings (with A.Film and TPS of France).

Finally, Ralph Christians, a German writer living in Ireland, is recognized for his dedication to the cause of European storytelling in animation. For more than 10 years, Christians has been based at the Magma Films studio in Galway as chairman and exec producer. With the Magma writing team, he has scripted more than 200 hours of scripts for animated series and features. Among the feature films with which Christians has been involved are The Ugly Duckling and Me, Derrick, Bug Muldoon and Hugo. TV series he is est known for include Loggerheads, Norman Normal, Lilly the Witch, The World of Tosh, The Fairytales of Hans Christian Andersen, Pigs next Door and Funky Cops.

The three winners will be announced during the closing ceremonies at Cartoon Movie on Saturday, March 12.