Capping a milestone Cartoon Movie showcase that saw Europe’s animation sector in rude and robust form, the sprawling team behind continental co-production “No Dogs or Italians Allowed” shared the Producer of the Year prize, “Oink” auteur Mascha Halberstad claimed the Director trophy and Paris-based KMBO took top honors in Distribution at this year’s 25th edition of Cartoon Movie, which ran over March 7 – 9 in Bordeaux.
An audience and jury favorite at last year’s Annecy Animation Film Festival, and winner of the most recent European Film Award, the stop-motion feature “No Dogs or Italians Allowed” comes courtesy of director Alain Ughetto and a whopping five production countries. France’s Les Films du Tambour de Soie, Vivement Lundi, and Foliascope joined Italy’s Graffiti Film, Switzerland’s Nadasdy Film, Belgium’s Lux Fugit Film, and Portugal’s Ocidental Filmes to bring this claymation immigration saga to life. Most parties were on deck to collect a Producer of the Year prize split seven ways.
Dutch animator Mascha Halberstad took a hands-on approach when preparing her feature debut, “Oink,” serving as director, production designer and editor on the barnyard family comedy. The Netherlands’ first-ever stop-motion feature, “Oink” launched out of the 2022 Berlinale – where it opened the Generation Kplus section – before playing more than 50 subsequent festivals. At this year’s Cartoon Movie, the well-traveled auteur won the Director of the Year prize and presented footage from her follow-up project, the stop-motion family feature “Fox and Hare Save the Forest.”
Founded in 2007, French distributor KMBO has built complementary library of auteurist live-action fare and crowd-pleasing animated comedies. Of that latter category, the CG fantasy “Moonbound” proved a recent smash for the Gallic distributor, pulling in more than $4 million at the local box office. Other recent animated titles include “The Amazing Maurice” and “Little Allan — The Human Antenna,” two projects that arrived on French screens with pedigree from prior editions of Cartoon Movie. Next for KMBO is the Ukrainian adventure tale “Mavka: The Forest Song,” which the distributor will release later this month.
Last but not least, Roberto Saviano’s autobiographical pitch project “I’m Still Alive” won the Eurimages Co-production Development Award, collecting a cool €20,000 ($21,140 USD) development grant from a jury made up of Simon Crowe of SC Films International, Elena Kotova of Eurimages, and Pierre Mazars of Charades. The prize singles out a project of marked artistic promise.