×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

L’ECAS Creates Prototype for Affirmative Action Animation School

Launched mid-January at La Cartoucherie, France, the free-of-charge vocational school has proved hugely successful, creating a model which will now be copied in and outside France

ANNECY, France —  After a highly successful first five months, France’s Ecole Cartoucherie Animation Solider (ECAS), an inspiring prototype for an affirmative action CGI animation school, looks set to be copied in at least one other part of France.

Its founders, TeamTO president Guillaume Hellouin, and school day-to-day head Carole Toledo, are also in conversations to export the model for the maverick animation school, the first free vocational school to provide 3D animation training in France.

Launched in mid-January, L’ECAS aims to offer a second career chance to young French people from socially-marginalized and low-income backgrounds who simply have a natural flair for animation.

Sited at Bourg-les.Valance’s La Cartoucherie animation cluster, one hour’s drive south of Lyon, the school is run in partnership with, and on the campus of, world-renowned animation school La Poudrière. La Cartoucherie is also the site of TeamTO’s second state-of-the-art French studio, directed by Toledo.

The free-of-charge school is currently offering an intensive seven-month course to 31 animation students, who passed an online drawing test, accessible with a browser, smart phone or tablet, suggesting strong animation skills potential, regardless of prior academic qualifications. A second, more sophisticated and complex 4-hour computer test, followed by a personal interview, held near to potential students’ homes, helped whittle down candidates to the selected 31. Courses have been run by animation professionals, each teaching for six weeks at L’ECAS. Its students were also able to attend La Poudrière classes. They were also screened some of the greatest animation films ever made and were also supplied with low-cost accommodation.

Five months into the course, all the 31 students are on track to find professional employment at TeamTO’s La Cartoucherie animation studio from August, said a delighted Hellouin, who presented early L’ECAS results with Toledo at France’s Annecy Animation Festival on Wednesday. “The students are animators, and they’re good animators,” he said, beaming.

Until being selected for L’ECAS, most students faced a future of low-income employment at best.

Now, in a first expansive move, L’ECAS has struck an agreement with Studio Redfrog, an animation studio and production house in Lille, north-east France, for Redfrog to launch a same model school from next year, in collaboration with Rhinoceros. Deal was announced at Annecy by Hellouin and Studio Redfrog CEO Lahcen Bahij.

L’ECAS is also raising money to launch a similar school in the Ivory Coast’s Abidjan which has a small animation industry that is looking to grow in scale and quality, again to provide students with advanced culture industry skills which will serve them, and country’s economy, for the rest of their lives.

“A non-profit organization, L’ECAS can be a kind of open-sources program that other entities can access,” said Hellouin, adding that it had created a protocol which, provided other entities agree to – free-of-charge tuition, diversity, for example – allows them to access the software, data base, and courses of L’ECAS for a very small fee.

“We are doing this for political and economic reasons, the latter to help the animation industry grow,” said Hellouin.

The project was developed in collaboration with the French Employment Agency and the local region in an effort to expand the pool of domestic creative talent for the booming French animation industry, which currently has near to zero unemployment, by recruiting from unconventional sources.

“We need more skilled workers to expand the animation industry, and want to provide jobs to people who could benefit from that, making a living, but just don’t have the skills,” added Patricia de Wilde. “Solutions that work are very often grown from the bottom up, grass roots initiatives.

Hellouin said L’ECAS is considering expanding its training from animators to modelers, lighters, compositors, and line producers, becoming “a school which can teach any position in the pipeline.”

He concluded: “I knew L’ECAS would work. But now we can show the world we were right.”

CREDIT: TeamTO

More Film

  • Atlantics

    Netflix Snags Worldwide Rights to Cannes Winners 'Atlantics,' 'I Lost My Body'

    Mati Diop’s feature directorial debut “Atlantics” and Jérémy Clapin’s animated favorite “I Lost My Body” have both been acquired by Netflix following wins at Cannes Film Festival. “Atlantics” was awarded the grand prix while “I Lost My Body” was voted the best film at the independent International Critics Week. The deals are for worldwide rights [...]

  • Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan

    Stan Lee's Former Business Manager Arrested on Elder Abuse Charges

    Stan Lee’s former business manager, Keya Morgan, was arrested in Arizona Saturday morning on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD’s Mike Lopez confirmed that the arrest warrant was for the following charges: one count of false imprisonment – elder adult; three counts of grand theft from elder or dependent adult, [...]

  • Moby attends the LA premiere of

    Moby Apologizes to Natalie Portman Over Book Controversy

    Moby has issued an apology of sorts after writing in his recently published memoir “Then It Fell Apart” that he dated Natalie Portman when she was 20 — a claim the actress refuted. “As some time has passed I’ve realized that many of the criticisms leveled at me regarding my inclusion of Natalie in Then [...]

  • Bong Joon-ho reacts after winning the

    Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' Wins the Palme d'Or at Cannes

    CANNES — The 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival wrapped with jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu announcing the group’s unanimous decision to award the Palme d’Or to South Korean director Bong Joon-ho for his sly, politically charged “Parasite.” Following last year’s win for humanistic Japanese drama “Shoplifters,” the well-reviewed Asian thriller represents the yin [...]

  • Invisible Life Brazilian Cinema

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão'

    A “tropical melodrama” is how the marketing materials bill “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão.” If that sounds about the most high-camp subgenre ever devised, Karim Aïnouz’s ravishing period saga lives up to the description — high emotion articulated with utmost sincerity and heady stylistic excess, all in the perspiring environs of midcentury Rio de [...]

  • Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The 10 Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The Cannes Film Festival is too rich an event to truly have an “off” year, but by the end of the 72nd edition, it was more or less universally acknowledged that the festival had regained a full-on, holy-moutaintop-of-art luster that was a bit lacking the year before. It helps, of course, to have headline-making movies [...]

  • Aladdin

    'Aladdin' Soaring to $100 Million-Plus Memorial Day Weekend Debut

    Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” remake is on its way to a commendable Memorial Day weekend debut with an estimated $109 million over the four-day period. The musical fantasy starring Will Smith and Mena Massoud should uncover about $87 million in its first three days from 4,476 North American theaters after taking in $31 million on Friday. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content