×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Eric Beckman, Marc Bonny to Receive Variety & MIFA Animation Personality of the Year Award

Gkids, Gebeka Films’ founders key distributor-producers of sophisticated animated features

CANNES — Eric Beckman and Marc Bonny, the founders of New York’s Gkids and Lyon’s Gebeka Films in France, will be the joint recipients of the 2017 Variety & MIFA’s Animation Personality of the Year Award.

The prize will be presented in Annecy next month at the 32nd International Animation Film Market (MIFA), the industry forum of France’s Annecy Intl. Animation Film Festival which for a decade has been one of the fastest-growing film events in Europe.

Past recipients of the award, now in its third edition, are Chris Meledandri, founder/CEO of Illumination Ent., in 2015 and Peter Lord and Dave Sproxton. co-founders of Aardman Animations.

In 2017, the Award celebrate Beckman and Bonny’s mutual commitment to independent animation cinema. Both distributors, Gkids was founded in 2008, Gebeka Films way before in 1997. Both Gkids and Gebeka distributed the Academy Award-nominated “My Life as a Courgette,” Gebeka also co-producing the Swiss-French animated feature.

In a larger way of things, both Beckman and Bonny have been decisive in North America and France, two of the world’s key animation markets, in popularizing a sophisticated, upscale animation for family audiences and adults that has won Academy favor and U.S. niche audiences and created a new upscale 2D production phenomenon in France.

It is no coincidence that Gkids’ second release, “Azur & Asmar,” was by the same French director, Michel Ocelot, whose debut, “Kirikou and the Sorceress,” was Gebeka Films’ second release and first big hit in France. Or that one of Gebeka Films’ early successes – Hayao Miyazaki’s “My Neighbor Totoro,” is a highlight of the Studio Ghibli collection, acquired by Gkids for North American theatrical distribution in 2011.

In France, where it has co-produced Arthur de Pins’ awaited “Zombillenium,” which opens this year’s Annecy Festival, Gebeka Films’ sold 2.0 million tickets, earning around $15 million in box office gross, for “Kirikou and the Wild Beasts.” “My Life as a Courgette” notched up 810,000 admissions in France for Gebeka. Embraced by much of Hollywood’s animation community, Gkids has scored nine best animated feature Oscar nominations since 2009 – second only to Disney/Pixar. Since the two companies’ launch, public perception of animation, especially its artistic ambitions, will never quite be the same.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Soho House

    Soho House Lands In Downtown Los Angeles

    Warner Music, Spotify and Lyft are poised to welcome a new neighbor to downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District with Soho Warehouse, the third California outpost of the Hollywood-loved members-only club — and the largest North American opening to date. Hot on the heels of the Soho House Hong Kong debut earlier this summer, the private [...]

  • Born to Be Live: 'Easy Rider'

    Born to Be Live: 'Easy Rider' Gets a Concert/Screening Premiere at Radio City

    In a year full of major 50th anniversary commemorations — from Woodstock to the moon landing — why not one for “Easy Rider,” Dennis Hopper’s hippie-biker flick that was released on July 14, 1969? That was the idea when a rep for Peter Fonda, who starred in the film as the laid-back Captain America, reached out [...]

  • Costa Gavras

    Costa-Gavras and Cast on Nationality, Identity, and Cinema

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Though he’s been based in Paris since 1955 and came up through the French film industry, director Costa-Gavras has never forgotten his roots. “Those who are born Greek,” said the Peloponnese-born filmmaker at a Saturday press conference,  “stay Greek all their lives.” The once-and-always Greek was not just in San Sebastian to [...]

  • Lorene Scafaria, Jennifer Lopez. Lorene Scafaria,

    'Hustlers' Director Lorene Scafaria: 'We Wanted to Treat It Like a Sports Movie'

    The star-studded cast of “Hustlers” didn’t just become strippers in the empowering female-helmed blockbuster — they also became athletes. When speaking to “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast, at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month, “Hustlers” director Lorene Scafaria explained the extreme athleticism required of the movie’s leading actresses, who all had [...]

  • Jonathan Van NessLos Angeles Beautycon, Portrait

    Jonathan Van Ness Reveals HIV Diagnosis, Former Drug Addiction

    “Queer Eye’s” Jonathan Van Ness is getting vulnerable in his new memoir “Over the Top.” In a preview of his book with the New York Times, Van Ness opened up about his early struggles with sex and drug addiction as well as his experience with sexual assault, revealing that he was abused by an older [...]

  • 4127_D022_00003_RC(l-r.) Elizabeth McGovern stars as Lady

    Box Office: 'Downton Abbey' Dominating 'Ad Astra,' 'Rambo' With $31 Million Opening

    “Downton Abbey” is heading for a positively brilliant opening weekend after scoring $13.8 million in domestic ticket sales on Friday. If estimates hold, the feature film version of the popular British television show should take home approximately $31 million come Sunday, marking the biggest opening ever for distributor Focus Features and beating previous record holder [...]

  • Gully Boy to represent India in

    'Gully Boy' to Represent India In Oscars Race

    The Film Federation of India has chosen Zoya Akhtar’s “Gully Boy” as its entry in the Academy Awards’ international feature film category. The picture, a coming of age tale about an aspiring rapper in Mumbai’s Dharavi slum premiered at the Berlin film festival in February before opening to a wave of acclaim at home in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content