Event runs Sept. 19-22

MADRID — Millimages’ “Diego Oasis,” “Lucky Fred” from Spain’s Icon Animation and Ireland’s “Rescue Wrestlers” will top the bill at this year’s 18th Cartoon Forum, which runs Sept. 19-22 in the historic Catalan city of Gerona, Spain.

The 60 projects touted at the meet, a key TV co-production forum for Euro toon-makers, also underscores trends in Europe’s TV animation industry: growing budgets, building interactivity and multi-platform distribution, and a reaching out to niche markets.

“Diego” and “Fred” are two higher-end projects at the Forum.

Made up of 52 12-minute episodes, “Fred,” for example, cost around Euros 7 million ($9.5 million).

“Rescue Wrestlers,” from JamMedia, plays with simple interactivity: viewers are invited to e-mail their photos to the producers, for them to be stuck on wrestlers’ heads.

“Jonas,” from Spain’s Machango Studio, features two friendly monsters who teach tykes foreign languages. “The Fantastic Timemachine,” from Denmark’s Davefilm Video, teaches children rudimentary sign language.

Produced by France’s Tele Images Kids, “Sally Bollywood” is a colorful Bollywood skit.

There’s also a good buzz on Swedish-Danish laffer “Miss Remarkable and Her Career,” an adult-skewed toon turning on daily office existence.

Top Euro pubcaster and niche toon channel execs attend the event.

“Cartoon Forum is a very powerful resource, especially for smaller, lesser-known producers who want to get their projects in front of the right people,” said Ed Galton, exec VP, business development, at London’s Xilam.

France presents 15 projects, the U.K. 12, Spain 11. That reflects general production levels, but in TV animation output, France doubles Britain in TV toon hours produced and annual investment.

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