Gabriel Harel’s “Yùl and the Snake” won Europe’s Cartoon d’Or, for the continent’s best animated short film, awarded at the 27th Cartoon Forum, which unpooled Sept. 14-16 in Toulouse.
Candidates are put forward from prize-winners at 10 Cartoon Forum partners, then whittled down to a five-title short list. In other plaudits, the European Producer of the Year Award went to French arthouse production-sales shingle Autour de Minuit, producer of “Babioles,” the 2014 Cartoon d’Or winner “A Town Called Panic: The Christmas Log”, and the 2010 Oscar-winning toon short “Logorama.”
Ed Galton and Tom Van Waveren’s Cake Entertainment (U.K.) was honoured with the Distributor of the Year kudo; French TV network M6 Kid took the tribute as Broadcaster of the Year.
An alum of Valence’s prestigious La Poudrière animation school in France, Harel’s works there include “Les jambes du serpent” (2008), and “L’eau à la bouche.” In his Cartoon d’Or winner, he returns to the main character in his second short, “Bouche,” recreating an episode from Yùl’s childhood in which, as a 13 year-old, he goes with his big brother to seal a deal with Mike, a thug who turns up with his mastiff. When things go awry, a mysterious snake appears.
A 2D animation film mixing drama and fantastic elements “Snake” explores the relationships between children and elder brothers. The 13-minute piece is produced by Paris-based Jean-Christophe Reymond’s up-and-coming Kazak Productions, which has backed Morgan Simon’s “A Taste of Ink,” and Teddy Lussi-Modeste’s “A Real Bastard.”
“Snake” took the André Martin Award Distinction at Annecy in 2015.
This year, the Cartoon d-Or jury included director Mark Burton (Aardman Animations, U.K.), producer Clément Calvet (Superprod, France) and director Alessandro Rak (MAD Entertainment, Italy).
The other four shorts nominated for this year Cartoon d’Or were “Alike,” from Spaniards Daniel Martínez Lara and Rafa Cano Méndez, Sunit Parekh’s “Machine,” from Denmark; David Coquard-Dassault’s “Peripheria” from France; and Marie-Christine Courtès’ “Under Your Fingers, another French short.
The Cartoon d’Or comes with a cash prize of €10,000 ($11,246) thanks to the support of Creative Europe – MEDIA.
A co-production platform for European animation series, Cartoon Forum hosted this year 80 new projects from 22 countries in Europe.
Countries with the highest number of projects were France (26), the U.K. (9) and Ireland (8), which received a spotlight focus this year. Scandinavia brought five projects; Spain, Germany and Belgium came with four projects each. In terms of target audiences, pre-school skeins represented about a fourth of the 80 projects.
According to the organisation. 950 sector professionals attended the event, 260 of which were investors. Regarding formats, more than 50% of the projects were cross-media, to be enjoyed on cellular phones, video games, tablets or the Internet, in addition to television.