“It’s a professional forum for the co-production of European animated feature films,” smiles Annick Maes, director of the Brussels organizing association Cartoon, suggesting that her interlocutor weigh every word. After Potsdam and Lyon, for five years the forum moved to Bordeaux and after two virtual editions, it returns to face-to-face. “We have about 900 guests, including 294 buyers, and 12% newcomers,” she explains, adding: “Small or big, we make no difference between producers. »
The projects presented are at different stages: concept, production or development. But all come to find ways. Money remains the nerve of the image war and an animated film remains expensive to produce (4 to 5 million euros on average). So, the goal is to immerse this small world (“We stay between us for three days, the setting lends itself to it”) to do business there.
57 feature films are presented. So that everyone can exist, the team invented, after the “Croissant show” at lunch (short screenings giving an overview of what’s next), the formula of the “pitch”. Hear, a short and animated presentation, often by directors, just to discover the subject, the scenario and the graphic universe. A seduction operation that ends with a call to investors, before making an appointment in the meeting space and giving way to the next one.
When you enter the crowded amphitheater transformed into a cinema, the French from Xilam animation “pitch” – in English therefore – “The Migrant”. This project, on a very contemporary drama, confirms a basic trend: the maturation of animated films and spectators. Out of 57 films, about twenty are intended for an “adult or young adult” audience, the majority for a “family” audience, very few are specifically aimed at young children. Annick Maes sees in it “the consequence of the arrival of a new generation educated in comics, which approaches animation as a narrative genre in its own right”.
Another phenomenon, like a curious reversal. “We also have book publishers looking for content to make comic adaptations of animated films. “Rest assured, the reverse remains true: thus the director Claude Barras (“My Life of Courgette”) presented “You are not the one I expected”, sensitive film on the handicap according to the graphic novel by Fabien Toulmé.
“Bambi and Apocalyse Now”
The trend for subjects that are more serious than it seems is confirmed with “Unicorn Wars”, a Franco-Spanish production, in which teddy bears want to gut unicorns. Beneath its childish exterior, it is a cruel, dark and funny anti-militarist fable. “A project between Bambi and Apocalypse Now”, sums up a pitcher. It is also one of the nine films co-produced by the Aquitaine Region and one of the six linked to the Pôle image d’Angoulême (Borderline company).
Because Aquitaine has become a land of animation, it is all the more true that it has integrated Charente. This is confirmed by David Beauvallet, representing Pole image Magelis, a partner who has come to support its “30 animation studios, 16 schools” – many students are among the volunteer staff. Further on, we find Christophe Erbes, ex of Canal, producer in the Dordogne (Godo films), specialized in writing residencies. The two are regulars on the forum and agree on the results: “Cartoon Movie has allowed European production to exist against Hollywood and Japanese studios. Since its creation, the forum has enabled the financing of 426 films.