Studios, distributors and individuals from 11 European countries have been nominated for the 2023 Cartoon Tributes, which recognize the most outstanding achievements of European film animation in the previous year.
The winners of these awards in three categories — Director, Distributor/Sales Agent and Producer of the Year — will be voted for by the professionals attending Cartoon Movie, the pitching and co-production event for European animated films that will celebrate its 25th anniversary in the French city of Bordeaux from March 7-9. More info available at cartoon-media.eu/movie.
The major contributions by the nominees in their respective fields have significantly impacted the European animation industry, enhancing the dynamism and creativity it currently enjoys. Winners will be announced in the Bordeaux Congress Centre on March 9 at noon.
Cartoon Tributes 2023 Nominees
European Director of the Year
Amandine Fredon & Benjamin Massoubre for Little Nicholas: Happy as Can Be (France)
Awarded with the Annecy Cristal for a Feature Film in 2022, Little Nicholas: Happy as Can Be is Amandine Fredon & Benjamin Massoubre’s first film as directors. An adaptation from a popular children’s book series created by René Goscinny and illustrated by Jean-Jacques Sempé, the film has been hailed as “an ode to the joys of childhood.” Fredon has previously directed television series, while Massoubre has mainly worked as an editor (Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary; I Lost My Body).
Áron Gauder for Four Souls of Coyote (Hungary)
Graduated from Moholy-Nagy University in Budapest and the Universität der Künste in Berlin, film director and scriptwriter Áron Gauder has won numerous awards, including the Annecy Cristal Award in 2005 with his feature animated film The District!. To be presented at Cartoon Movie 2023 as sneak preview, Four Souls of Coyote is billed as an epic adventure tale of the Native American creation myth.
Mascha Halberstad for OINK (Netherlands)
Dutch filmmaker and illustrator Mascha Halberstad first film OINK is another contender for this category. With a Roald Dahl atmosphere to it, this stop-motion film was selected at the Berlinale in 2022. Halberstad will be presenting her next film at Cartoon Movie: Fox and Hare Save the Forest, based on Sylvia Vanden Heede’s books.
José Miguel Ribeiro for Nayola (Portugal)
José Miguel Ribeiro’s first feature film tells the story of three generations of women during the 25-year Angolan civil war. Graduated from the Lisbon Art School, Ribeiro has previously directed several short films, including Cartoon d’Or winner A Suspeita in 2000. Nayola was first presented at Cartoon Movie as an in-development project in 2016, and six years later had its sneak preview at the event.
European Distributor of the Year
I Wonder Pictures (Italy)
Bologna-based I Wonder Pictures distributes theatrically and digitally “the best biopics, docs and feature films from all over the world.” Flee, Ernest & Celestine, Little Nicholas: Happy as Can Be and Unicorn Wars are some of the company’s most recent films distributed in Italy.
Animation is at the heart of the KMBO, a film distribution company created in 2007. Based in Paris, the company releases around 10 films each year, and works with both auteur and commercial animation films. The Amazing Maurice, Moonbound, Just Super and The Elfkins: Baking a Difference are some of the titles distributed by the company recently.
Pink Parrot Media (Spain)
Pink Parrot Media is an international sales company focused on animation and live-action family entertainment. Based in Madrid, the company’s core business lays in CGI animated features, but it also distributes 2D animation, animated TV series and live-action family features. Pink Parrot’s catalog includes films such as Valentina and Trash, and projects in production such as Butterfly Tale, which will be presented at Cartoon Movie 2023.
Rounding out the nominees in this category is Athens-based Rosebud.21, a boutique distribution company with more than 500 titles distributed in Greece and Cyprus, including major European animated films such as Ooops! Noah Is Gone…, Where Is Anne Frank? and My Life as a Courgette.
European Producer of the Year
No Dogs or Italians Allowed is a co-production between France’s Les Films du Tambour de Soie, Vivement Lundi ! and Foliascope together with Italy’s Graffiti Film, Switzerland’s Nadasdy Film, Portugal’s Ocidental Filmes and Belgium’s Lux Fugit Film. Directed by Alain Ughetto (Jasmine), this stop-motion film won both the Jury Prize at Annecy and the European Film Award for Best European Animated Film in 2022.
A co-production between Germany’s Ulysses Filmproduktion and U.K.’s Cantilever Media, 3D animation film The Amazing Maurice is co-directed by Toby Genkel & Florian Westermann. Selected at Sundance Film Festival 2023, the film is based on a book by British author Terry Pratchett.
Titina by Kajsa Næss is a co-production between Norway’s Mikrofilm and Belgium’s Vivi Film. Oslo’s Mikrofilm won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in 2007 with The Danish Poet. Based in Brussels, Vivi Film has participated as co-producer in highly renowned films such as The Triplets of Belleville and The Secret of Kells, and will be presenting The Legend of Lune at Cartoon Movie 2023.
Unicorn Wars,a fantastic anti-war fable by Alberto Vázquez, rounds up the nominations for this category. The film is a co-production by Spain’s Abano Producións and UniKo, together with Academy-awarded animation studio Autour de Minuit and Schmuby/Borderline Films in France. The film has also earned a double nomination for 2023 Spain’s prestigious Goya Film Awards. Abano Producións and UniKo have recently worked together on Sultana’s Dream. UniKo and Autour de Minuit have already coproduced two of Vázquez’ short films: Decorado (2016) and Homeless Home (2020).