Peter Lord, TF1 Intl., Les Armateurs

European co-production forum honors top toon players

LYON, France – Aardman Studios’ Peter Lord, co-director of “The Pirates! Band of Misfits,” sales house TF1 Intl. and Didier Brunner’s Les Armateurs won top honors at Cartoon Movie, the European co-production forum, which closed Friday in Lyon.

The Cartoon Tributes celebrate leading players in European animation.

Lord, a 30-year veteran, nabbed the director Tribute for “Pirates!,” which he produced and co-directed with Jeff Newitt. “Pirates!” grossed over $90 million in foreign markets and more than $31 million in the U.S.

TF1 Intl., which sells films worldwide and distributes in France via UGC, took the Tribute for best distributor. It’s best known for collaborating with Joann Sfar’s Autochenille on Africa-set “Aya of Yop City,” which played at Cartoon Movie, and “The Rabbi’s Cat,” released Stateside by GKids. Other notable animated hits on TF1 Intl.’s slate include 3D adventure “Santa’s Magic Crystal,” produced by Anima Vitae (“The Flight Before Christmas”).

Les Armateurs nabbed the Tribute for European producer. The shingle is best known for Sylvain Chomet’s “The Triplets of Belleville” and Michel Ocelot’s three “Kirikou” movies.

Les Armateurs latest feature, “Ernest and Celestine,” budgeted under €10 million ($13 million), has grossed $6.4 million in France, where it was distributed by Studiocanal.

Brunner was at Cartoon Movie to present “Swing Popa Swing,” Chomet’s latest project, described as a burlesque prequel to “Triplets.

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