French push on animated films

Unifrance to help pay for dubbing

Promo org Unifrance is offering aid to dub Gallic toon pics into English. The first film to receive support will be Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli’s “A Cat in Paris,” from Folimage (“Mia and the Migoo”).

Sold by Films Distribution, “Cat” made its international premiere at Berlin’s Generation Kplus in February. It will be distributed Stateside by New-York based GKids.

“A police thriller for children” in the words of Folimage director-producer Jacques-Remy Girerd, “Cat” typifies one strain of French toon pics that could receive dubbing support: Speciality titles pitched at children.

Dubbing will help sales agents seal licensing deals, Unifrance assistant general manager Gilles Renouard said Thursday at the Annecy Animation Festival. He also announced that at least one Gallic toon will, if possible, be included in every French film festival organized around the world by Unifrance.

Unifrance’s animation push comes as a report unveiled Thursday at Annecy suggests that toons have a higher potential for international success than other Gallic productions.Among key findings: Over 1991-2010, 85% of French animation films were exported; two-thirds were international co-productions.

Ten toons sold one million-plus tickets abroad. Aud numbers for Gallic toons abroad — 34.5 million — almost matched the 37.4 million in France.

The U.S. was the best market for Gallic toon exports in 1999-2010, repping $52.5 million in total B.O., followed by the U.K. ($36.7 million), Germany ($17.8 million), Russia ($11.7 million) and Mexico ($7.2 million).

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