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Berlin market gets animated

Event debates coin for co-productions

BERLIN — The Berlinale Co-Production Market’s first animation roundtable Monday attracted 35 or 40 industry reps who discussed everything from international co-operation and financing to computer animation technology and traditional techniques.

The mart has traditionally focused on live-action features, but this year it received a number of animation projects for consideration.

Co-Production Market head Sonja Heinen says the projects were not accepted but the interest was enough to warrant a roundtable and perhaps greater attention in the future.

“Animation is something new for us but we’ll definitely have to consider doing more for animation professionals,” Heinen said.

Discussing “Tekkon Kinkreet,” the hit Japanese manga film and current Generation screener, American director and writer Michael Arias and Anthony Weintraub recounted their experience of making an animated film in Japan and the challenges of working in another country.

“There’s amazing traditional animation in Japan,” said Arias. “It goes way beyond any computer graphics I’ve seen.”

Arias said it was the look of traditional animation he was going for in “Tekkon Kinkreet.”

Michael Coldewey, managing director of Munich animation studio Trixter, noted the difficulty faced by German animated pics in the local market due to the domination by U.S. fare.

Nevertheless, Constantin’s live-action/animated “Hui Buh — The Goofy Ghost,” for which Trixter rendered the animated characters, was a solid hit last summer despite opening against the World Cup, “Over the Hedge” and “Garfield 2.”

Trixter is partnering with France’s McGuff on animated feature “Dragon Hunters,” which failed to impress Teutonic subsidy boards but did pre-sell to local distrib Universum.

“In Germany, no one wants to finance animation if it’s majority French,” Coldewey said.

The Co-Production Market, which runs through Tuesday, is showcasing 37 film projects.

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