Event draws int'l animation crowd to dynamic local biz

Buenos Aires’ Expotoons, a Ventana Sur sister event, holds its fourth edition this year with a beefed-up market geared at bringing more foreign co-production and sales deals to Latin America’s young but growing animation industry.

Organizers have slotted new sections — work-in-progress pitching and “30 Minutes With …” workshops — alongside the traditional business meetings and a market.

“We want Expotoons to be a bridge to connect Latin America to the world,” says Rosanna Manfredi, a toon producer and managing director of the event.

Running Nov. 30-Dec. 2, the event will have screenings of Japanese helmer Shinsuke Sato’s computer-animated adventure tale “Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror” and “Metropia,” Swedish sci-fi about a world running out of oil, from Tarik Saleh. “Alice’s Birthday,” a futuristic tale by Russian Sergei Seryogin, will screen along with 480-plus works from 40 countries, with dozens in competition for feature, short and TV series.

Execs from Disney, Nickelodeon, Televisa and elsewhere will attend, with Simon Otto speaking on DreamWorks Animations’ “How to Train Your Dragon” and Joel Kuwahara from his experience as a producer of “The Simpsons.”

Expotoons comes as two big projects unfold in Argentina: Juan Jose Campanella of Oscar-winning “The Secret in Their Eyes” is in production on his first, a $9.75 million feature, “Metegol”; the other brings together vet animators for the tango- and globalization-tinged feature “Anima Buenos Aires.”

The two projects are “a sign of animated film’s growth in Argentina” despite the financial risk, says “Anima” production director Carolina Cordero.

Producers in Brazil, Mexico and Peru, too, are partnering with Asian, European and U.S. studios and distributors on projects for Discovery Kids, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Televisa, says Manfredi.

The attractions are ample production and FX capacity and well-trained artists.

“We have ideas, proposals and creativity,” Manfredi says. “The challenge is finding financing and outlets on local TV.”

ALSO IN THIS FEATURE:
Window on growth | Doc event draws Euros, Latin Americans together | Growth market | Up next | Screening guide

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