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Toons seek Teuton kudo

Producers ask cultural minister to consider category

BERLIN — As the local industry gears up for the 53rd German Film Awards in Berlin today, animators are demanding a separate category to recognize their work.

In an open letter to culture minister Christina Weiss, whose office sponsors the kudos, toon producers, including Warner Bros.’ Willi Geike, Cartoon Film’s Thilo Graf Rothkirch and Gerhard Hahn of Hahn Film, made their case for a new prize. “Animation is the mother of all moving, all living, all spirited pictures,” their letter said.

The group pointed to the Academy Awards’ new animation category to show how important the field is in the U.S.

In the next two years the Teutonic toon industry will roll out 18 bigscreen productions, with a production value of 165 million euros ($196 million).

Weiss played down the need for a separate prize, saying animated films would be considered alongside live-action in the awards.

Meanwhile, Wolfgang Becker’s box office hit “Good Bye, Lenin!” remains the odds-on favorite to take home the top hardware.

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