Revenge of the Euro Features

Don’t miss the 2010 edition of Cartoon Movie if you’re jonesing for a close look at what’s brewing in the hot, European animated melting pot!

While acclaimed European features such as Tomm Moore’s The Secret of Kells, St’phane Aubier and Vincent Patar’s A Town Called Panic and Jacques-R’my Girerd’s Mia and the Migoo are finally arriving in American theaters, the stage is now set for a new batch of excellent features at Cartoon Movie. The 2010 edition of this smoothly-run event, which takes play in Lyon, France (March 3-5) will showcase six finished movies and over 45 projects in various stages of development.

According to Cartoon Movie’s managing director Marc Vandeweyer, the move from Potsdam to Lyon has given the event a new lease on life. ‘The move actually increased the number of participants and the quality of projects,’ he notes. ‘In one edition and in a time of economic crisis, we had 20 percent more professionals.’

Vandeweyer points out that out of the top 10 blockbusters of the year, four were animated movies. ‘However, one cannot but notice that they are mainly family or children’s films that are successful,’ he adds. ‘Also, European films have not seen the same interest these last 12 months that they had in previous years, except perhaps for Luc Besson’s Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard, Ilion Animation’ s Planet 51 and to a lesser extent the Finnish film, Niko and the Way to the Stars ‘ The tremendous success of Luc Besson and the incredible international breakthrough of Ben Stassen and his high-quality 3-D technique must encourage us to say that it is possible.’

Among the other positive reactions to Cartoon Movie projects, Vandeweyer singles out the response to Mia and the Migoo, which was produced in Valence in the Rhone-Alpes region, was presented at the 2005 edition of the event and received the first European Film Award for animation. ‘This wonderful tribute rewards a studio of quality that has worked with patience, passion and belief in the same direction for numerous years, that of artistic quality, and at the same time it rewards a region that unanimously supports animation and that unquestionably deserves this recognition.’

This year’s top-marquee projects run the gamut in terms of subject matter, animation style and target audience. The six movies that are presented in their entirety are Dominique Monfery’s Eleanor’s Secret (Gaumont-Alphanim, La Fabrique, Lanterna Magica), Albert Pereira-Lazaro and Emmanuel Klotz’s Lascars (Millimages), Tarik Saleh’s Metropia (Atmo Metro), Sergio Manfio’s Pet Pals: Marco Polo’s Code (Gruppo Alcuni, Edebe Audiovisual), Josko Marusic’s The Rainbow (Riblje Oko, FishEye) and Rintaro’s Yona Yona Penguin (Madhouse, Denis Friedman Productions).

The show organizers have announced that 450 participants, including 130 buyers and 75 distributors (DreamWorks, Gaumont, MK@, La Pacte, Fox Searchlight, Gebeka and Celluloid Dreams to name a few) have registered for this year’s co-production forum.

In addition to the six completed projects, Cartoon Movie will showcase 45 features in various stages of development and production. Attendees can look forward to new work from acclaimed international helmers such as Patrice Leconte (Les Bronz’s), Ari Folman (Waltz with Bashir), Kari Juusonen (Niko), Raoul Servais (Papillon de Nuit) and B’n'dicte Galup (Kirikou and the Wild Beasts). Guests are also invited to tour the new animation center La Cartoucherie near Valence, home of Folimage, La Poudri’re school, Les Films du Nord, Toondra, Les Tanukis and TeamTO. In short, one can get a first-class education in the fine art and business of producing full-length movies for global audiences in three short days. Quelle belle occasion, indeed!

For more info about this year’s gathering, visit www.cartoon-media.eu/MOVIE/index.php.