For next year’s edition, that can’t miss European feature animation co-production forum Cartoon Movie is pulling up stakes from Lyon and moving to Bordeaux, the ancient heart of France’s prosperous wine region. Event organizers anticipate 750 participants from 40 countries to converge on the port city to preview the latest projects from March 8-10, 2017.
Bordeaux was chosen for the vitality of its rapidly growing digital economy — a 21st century contrast to its distinction as the city with the most preserved historic buildings in France outside Paris. Another key factor is the bright, modern and easily accessible Bordeaux Congress Centre. Bordeaux is also a mere hour’s train ride from Angoulême where Pôle Image Magelis has gathered a unique cluster of 30 animation studios — internationally acclaimed films Kirikou and Ernest & Celestine were produced in Angoulême.
Tying in to Bordeaux Metropole’s very active digital imaging industry, the city will hold a digital economy gathering, “La Grande Jonction,” as a prelude to Cartoon Movie on March 8. That afternoon, another event will be held with the aim of establishing new partnerships between the European animation film sector and videogame/transmedia companies: “Cartoon Games & Apps.”
Cartoon Movie, begun in 1999, brings together filmmakers, distributors, studios, agents and broadcasters from across Europe to pitch and consider new feature animation projects, and has so far enabled 259 European animated films to be funded and distributed worldwide. Among the most popular Cartoon Movie alumni are The Triplets of Belleville, Minuscule, Shaun the Sheep, Asterix and the Vikings, Sammy’s Adventures, Pirates!, Niko & the Way to the Stars, Maya the Bee, Zarafa and Song of the Sea.
The event has been key in quintupling local animated feature production over 15 years (with cinema attendance for animation increasing from 20 million to 220 million). Animation is also the most widely exported audiovisual category worldwide, with 25% of features distributed in 20 or more countries (French animated films have generated almost 85M theater admissions worldwide, 50% overseas).