In today’s International Newswire, Peru wins at Ventana Sur, and organizes an industry front; Europe’s answer to the Annies lifts off in Lille; Germany’s ProSieben creates a new content hub; Brazil falters and Denmark has a new agency head and growing problems.
Watch Perú. Set in Peru’s grey-skied El Callao port, “We Are All Sailors,” Miguel Angel’s Moulet’s first feature, proved one of the most singular participants at Ventana Sur Primer Corte, winning two post-production prizes for the movie infused by the soulfulness of its protagonist, a Russian sailor, his dreams of a happy domesticity. Two more titles – castle battle videogame “Stage 3: Azaria” from Unforgiven, and “The Adventures of Ugo and Serena the Whale,” a dinky 2D pre-school series, co-produced by Red Animation Peru, also scored plaudits at the market.
Perú, of course, already has relatively recently emerging auteurs: Javier Fuentes Leon (“Undertow,” “The White Elephant”), lionized at Sundance, and Cannes winners Daniel and Diego Vega, (“October, El Mudo”) are just two instances. But bigger forces are at work. “Ugo” forms part of a building Andean animation scene whose “Condorito,” a recent B.O. chart topper in Peru, Colombia and Chile, was animated out of Lima’s Aronnax Animation Studios. Grouped under promo org Promperú, a unified country delegation from Perú was out in force for the first time at Mipcom and Ventana Sur. Peru’s Ministry of Culture is at least considering quadrupling public state film aid to $8 million a year and updating arcane 1994 film legislation that currently heavily limits co-production opportunities. Already, in 2016, Peruvian local film market share was, at 11.2%, the third best in South America, and box office, at $161.4 million, coming up on Colombia. Peru’s soccer team ranks No. 10 in the world. In film terms, it is nowhere near that, but as film opportunities around the world become ever more a case of working local and regional markets, Peru, like regional markets in Argentina and Brazil, is a place to track.
EUROPEAN ANIMATION AWARDS LAUNCH IN LILLE
Another key event for an already dizzying film-TV calendar. But this one could become highly significant, and not just for Europe. Moved by luminaries of Europe’s animation industry – Aardman’s Peter Lord, Folivari’s Didier Brunner, Jean Paul-Commin, Europe’s first ever European Animation Awards take place in Lille northern France on Friday. They are based on the Annie Awards. But while the Annies are running up to their 45th edition, European animation has traditionally hidden its merits under a proverbial bushel. So the Emiles, as the EAA Awards are known, are part of catch-up. European animation also has something to boast about. As a European Audiovisual Observatory study suggests, when it comes to movies, Euro toon features export better than other film fare. It is a still pretty young growth industry. 76 animated features were produced in Europe over 1984-1998, 361 over 1999-2013. European toon movies sold 20 million admissions during the first period, 220 million during the second. Hitting $36 million after 24 days in the U.K., “Paddington 2” is on track for a final trawl of $70 million, just in the one country. All this is something to sing about. “The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales,” “The Red Turtle” and “My Life as a Zucchini” compete for best feature animation production.
CLAUS LADEGAARD NAMED DANISH FILM INSTITUTE CEO
Claus Ladegaard has landed the top job at the Danish Film Institute as its new CEO, succeeding Henrik Bo Nielsen, who held the job for a decade. Ladegaard has learnt the ropes, having joined the DFI as head of production & development in 2006 and served as its head of film funding from 2015. An old hand, he faces new problems. Danish public sector film support has been pointed to as a model for Europe, helping its industry to score in the last decade domestic market shares of 25% or above. But key talent is now answering the sirens’ call of directorial gigs in the U.S. Less and less local mainstream offerings are hitting big numbers at home. Suddenly, or at least from last year, Denmark has a problem.