Icon talking toons

52 parts are planned

BARCELONA — Spain’s Icon Animation and Canada’s CarpeDiem Film & TV are in advanced negotiations to ink a joint development deal for “Lucky Fred,” a 12-minute series budgeted at e5 million ($6.7 million).

In all 52 parts are planned. An HD sitcom targeted at 8- to 12-year-olds, “Fred” is the flagship TV toon series from Icon Animation, one of Barcelona’s top animation production and international distribution houses.

It will be presented at September’s Cartoon Forum in Gerona, northern Catalonia.

“The idea is: What would happen to a kid if one day, a robot drops out of the sky, which can satisfy his each and every desire?” said managing director Sergi Reitg.

Reitg confirmed the soon-to-close CarpeDiem alliance after the first Catalan and Canadian Animation Co-Production Forum, which took place June 7-8, and was attended by 32 Catalan companies and seven shingles from Canada. The event follows the introduction of more flexible co-production regs between Spain and Canada.

In October, Canada and Spain broadened a 1985 co-production agreement for feature films to include animation and TV. The accord reduced minority co-production equity requirements to 20% of budget.

“After the 2006 amendments, co-productions can be in any medium and length, including animation, features and documentaries, to be exploited in theaters, on broadcasters, DVD or any new platforms,” said Eduard Molins, the Canadian Consulate trade commissioner in Barcelona.

Other Barcelona toon shingles are closing agreements. Bee Mind has signed with Canada’s Comet Ent. for Comet to co-produce and jointly handle worldwide distribution on “The Shouters,” a musical-comedy feature.

The $9.3 million pic turns on Debby, a wannabe rock star, who crosses swords with a dastardly record producer who schemes to destroy all live music venues.

BRB will shortly announce two co-productions — both toon series — with Canada.

As a market, Canada isn’t an easy sell, BRB’s director of co-productions and new development Carlos Biern said, but BRB has sold rights on “Bernard” and “The Imp” to YTV and recently licensed “Angus & Cheryl” to Radio Canada.

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