Cartoon Movie Names Tribute Nominees

Three pairs of leading animated filmmakers are in the running for Best European Director at the 8th edition of Cartoon Movie. Set to take place march 9-11 at the Babelsberg Studio in Potsdam, Germany, the fest will open with a preview screening of Asterix and the Vikings from M6 Studio, 2d/3D Animations and A.Film A/S.

Every year, animation professionals present at Cartoon Movie offer their tribute to three personalities or companies who have worked for the development and increased prestige of European animated film. The twelve nominees for 2006 include producers, directors or distributors who will be voted on by their peers at Cartoon Movie on Saturday, March 11.

This year’s nominees in the directing category are Michel Ocelot and B’n'dicte Galup for Kirikou and the Wild Beasts, Nick Park and Steve Box for Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and J’rgen Lerdam and Anders S’rensen for Pettson and Findus: The Tomte Machine.

Ocelot, who spent his childhood in Guinea and retains a love for African culture, directed the first Kirikou adventure. To bring this follow-up to the screen, he enlisted the help of Galup, an animator who served as studio manager on the original Kirikou and Sylvain Chomet’s The Triplets of Belleville.

It’s been a good year for Park and Box, whose Wallace & Gromit feature has picked up bevy of awards on its way to the upcoming Academy Awards showdown. Park, who has won Oscars for Creature Comforts and two of his Wallace & Gromit shorts, is no stranger to awards season. Box, however, is a bit new to the spotlight having spent years working as an Aardman animator. He started his career at CMBT Studio, where he made the cult hit TV series Trap Door.

Animation veterans Lerdam and S’rensen bucked the current CG trend by sticking to 2D animation for the third Pettson and Findus feature. Lerdam has worked as an animator or director on such features The Princess and the Goblin, Ferngully, Asterix in America and Help! I’m a Fish! S’rensen’s credits include The World History, Jungo and The Invisible Baby.

Cartoon Movie is made possible with support from the Media Programme of the European Union, the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the Ministry of Economy of the Land Brandenburg, the Mitteldeutsche Medienf’rderung, the German Federal Film Board and the ILB, among others.