BARCELONA — “Dragonkeeper,” “Chandasma,” and “Another Day of Life” are among 60 projects from 22 countries that will be pitched at this year’s Cartoon Movie, Europe’s leading animated movie co-production event.
Event will host a Spotlight on Spain offering eight projects from this country.
A CGI family film based on the first of a six-book series by Carole Wilkinson, “Dragonkeeper” is a pioneering production between Spain (Dragoia Media, Movistar +, Atresmedia Cine), and the China Film Group. Feature is co-directed by Annecy Jury Award winner Ignacio Ferreras (“Wrinkles”) and Jian-Ping Li and follows a slave girl yearning for freedom but fearing the unknown world.
Set up at Colombia’s Timbo Studio and co-produced with France’s Ikki Films, “Chandasma” turns on the adventures of Renata and a stray dog named Chandasma who search for the girl’s father and the dog’s lost memories. David Restrepo is its director-creator.
An animation-documentary hybrid feature sold by Indie Sales, “Another Day of Life” is helmed by Polish animator Damian Nenow and Spanish docu-maker Raúl de la Fuente. “Day” is produced by Poland’s Platige Image, Belgium’s Walking the Dog, Germany’s Wüste Film and Animation Fabrik, Spain’s Kanaki Films and Hungary’s Puppetworks. It follows the misadventures of Polish veteran journalist and scholar Ryszard Kapuściński who traveled to Angola in 1975 to cover its civil war. Producers will sneak preview the film.
Projects shown at Cartoon Movie can be at different stages of production. Of the sixty projects – five more than last year – seven will be sneak previews, six are already in production, 26 in development, and 21 with initial art concept.
Projects take in “In the Dark and Mysterious Forest,” “Allah is Not Obliged,” “Unicorn Wars,” “White Plastic Sky” and “White Fang.”
Produced by France’s Je Suis Bien Content, “In the Dark and Mysterious Forest” is produced by Marc Jousset and “Persepolis”‘ co-director Vincent Paronnaud, also author of the graphic story on which the project is based. “Dark” tells the story of a kid aiming to become a zoologist who is suddenly lost in the titular mysterious world.
“Allah is Not Obliged” is co-produced by France’s Special Touch Studios and Luxembourg’s Paul Thiltges Distributions, directed by Zaven Najjar and based on a tale from Côte d’Ivoire writer Ahmadou Kourouma about a Guinea-born child soldier traveling to Liberia to find his aunt.
“Unicorn Wars” is directed by Alberto Vázquez (“Psiconautas”) and produced by Nicolas Schmerkin’s Autour de Minuit (Academy winning short “Logorama”), France’s Schmuby Productions and Spain’s UniKo and Abano Productions. The feature centers on a protracted war between teddy bears and unicorns.
Produced by France’s Superprod, ”White Fang” turns on a wolf-dog suffering from the cruelty of human beings. Directed by Alexandre Espigares (co-director of Academy winner “Mr. Hublot”), the project won the Annecy Festival’s Gan Foundation Prize. SC Films and UTA Independent Film Group handle international sales.
A co-production between Paprika Films (France), Muanyag egbolt (Hungary) and Artichoke (Slovakia), “White Plastic Sky” is a dystopic ecological drama set in Budapest in 2219. “Sky” will be directed by Tibor Bánóczki, a 2007 Annecy Special Jury Award winner with graduation film “Milk Teeth,” and Sarolta Szabó.
The country with a largest number of projects at this year’s Cartoon Movie is France with 17, followed by Germany (seven), and Spain (five). Denmark is represented by three projects, and the Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland and South Korea by two each.
In total, the projects represent a budget of €310 million ($380 million).
This year’s Cartoon Movie edition is its 20th edition.
“There was no market for European animated feature films in 1998. Cartoon Movie general director Marc Vandeweyer told Variety. Today , in contrast, most European animation films are sold across the world, and their revenues are significant, he added.
Of the selected Cartoon Movie projects, 48 are family and children comedies; 14 target young adults or adults. One patent trend this year is the increase in historical and political issues in projects to be presnt.
The nine Spotlight on Spain projects, five majority Spanish productions, include “Unicorn Wars,” “Another Day of Life,” “Dragonkeeper,” “The Impossible Journey” and “Elcano & Magellan, the First Voyage Around the World” (Dibulitoon Studio).
They will also feature the anticipated ”Buñuel in the Labyrinth of Turtles” (The Glow Animation Studio, Netherlands’ Submarine), as well as “Gabo – Memoirs of a Magic Life,” (The Glow Animation Studio, Colombia’s Rey Naranjo), ”Trip to Teulada” (12 Pinguinos, France’s Mareterraniu, Italy’s Mommotty), and “My Grandfather Used to Say He Saw Demons” (Medio Limón, Portugal’s Sardinha em Lata).
Cartoon Movie runs March 7-9 in the port city of Bordeaux, part of the French region of Nouvelle Aquitaine. Its emerging animation industry has four projects at the event: The Bears Famous Invasion of Sicily” (Prima Linea Productions), “Unicorn Wars,” “White Fang,”and “The Extraordinary Voyage of Marona,” produced by Romania’s Aparte Films, France’s Sacrebleu Productions and Belgium’s Minds Meet.
The number of European animation features is “5 times that 20 years ago. And more and more people are watching an animated film in the cinema, 11 times more. Animation is international and the quality is increasing,” Vandeweyer said
Taking into account the results of the films presented at Cartoon Movie over the past 20 years, 300 were financed for a global budget of €2 billion ($2.45 billion), changed the market in Europe.
Vandeweyer added: ”Apart from a majority of commercial films that reach their public, European creators are daring. They represent a new trend, and are highly creative with new character and graphic design, frae distant from U.S. standards. Creativity is in Europe.”
CARTOON MOVIE 2018
“All Blood Runs Red,” (France)
“Blue Elf Kingdom,” (Norway)
“Chandasma,” (France, Colombia)
“Fleak,” (Finland, Malaysia)
“Gabo – Memoirs of a Magic Life,” (Spain, Colombia)
“Human Nature,” (France)
“In the Dark and Mysterious Forest,” (France)
“Jason and the Nucleonauts,” (Germany)
“Miss Moksy,” (Netherlands)
“My Friend Finnick,” (Germany, Russia)
“My Grandfather Used to Say He Saw Demons,” (Portugal)
“Pearl Among the Worlds,” (Czech Republic)
“Raven Girl and the Mother of the Sea,” (Denmark)
“The Impossible Journey,” (Spain, U.K.)
“The Last Whale Singer,” (Germany)
“The Precious Gift,” (Czech Republic)
“The Surf,” (Denmark)
“Trip to Teulada,” (France, Spain, Italy)
“Yuku and the Flower of the Himalayas,” (Belgium, France, Switzerland)
“A Greyhound of a Girl,” (Luxembourg, U.K., Italy)
“Allah Is Not Obliged,” (France, Luxembourg)
“As Long as the Grass Grows,” (France, Hungary)
“Bartali’s Bicycle. Hopes for Tomorrow,” (Italy)
“Brad, the Powerleaus’ Genie,” (Canada)
“Coppelia,” (Netherlands, Belgium, Germany)
“Dragonkeeper,” (Spain, China)
“Elli and the Ghostly Ghost Train,” (Germany, Belgium)
“Folio D’Alba,” (Belgium, Switzerland)
“Hoodoo,” (France, Poland, India)
“Kara,” (Germany, Belgium)
“Lulu & Nelson,” (France)
“Mavka, the Forest Song,” (Ukraine)
“Millionaire Woody,” (South Korea)
“Terra Willy,” (France)
“The Animal’s Christmas,” (France)
“The Boy Who Switched Off the Sun,” (U.K.)
“The Neighbours of my Neighbours Are Neighbours of Me,” (France)
“The Sea Wolf,” (France, Luxembourg)
“Unicorn Wars,” (Spain, France)
“Upside Down,” (Sweden, Denmark)
“What a Circus!,” (France)
“White Plastic Sea,” (France, Hungary, Slovakia)
“Buñuel in the Labyrinth of Turtles,” (Spain, Netherlands)
“Elcano & Magellan, the First Voyage Around the World,” (Spain)
“Jacob, Mimi and The Talking Dogs,” (Latvia, Poland)
“Make the Princess Laugh,” (South Korea)
“The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily,” (France, Italy)
“The Extraordinary Voyage of Marona,” (Romania, France, Belgium)
“Another Day of Life,” (Poland, Spain, Belgium, Germany)
“Captain Morten and the Spider Queen,” (Estonia, Ireland, Belgium, U.K.)
“Chris the Swiss,” (Germany, Switzerland, Croatia)
“Hodja and the Magic Carpet,” (Denmark)
“Luis and the Aliens,” (Germany, Luxembourg, Denmark)
“The Breadwinner,” (Luxembourg)
“White Fang,” (France)