Which European animation movie will get into cinemas tomorrow? 2012’s Cartoon Movie, gathering over 700 participants from 35 countries in the French city of Lyon, presented 55 European animation film projects in a bid to raise finance for films either in concept, development, production or already completed.
How does Cartoon Movie work? In the morning participants get to see trailers of the movie projects presented here.
Film producers, buyers, distributors and sales agents then go to one of the presentation studios for more information about the project that interests them.
The key questions are: What’s the story? How much money do you need? Is it a family movie or for teenagers? Are the DVD rights for sale?
After the business cards are exchanged everyone hopes for the beginning of a fruitful co-production.
One of the projects, “The Boy with the Clock” is the story of Little Jack who was born on the coldest day on earth with a frozen heart. A doctor performs a Cuckoo Clock transplant to save his life
The film project in production is based on a book by French musician and writer Mathieu Malzieu.
“I wrote the music as if the book needed a film soundtrack. I was already dreaming about it being made into a movie, even thought I was far from sure one would ever be made. But luckily I bumped into Luc besson and his wife Virginie who wanted to produce it,” he says.
What has the audience feedback been like for the movie presentation?
“We’ve had a lot of very positive feedback. What’s great is that a lot of interest has come from abroad, from Tunisia, Lebanon, or Britain.
It’s certainly widened our horizons,” says producer Virginie Besson-Silla.
Film project “Animal’Z” is based on a comic book by French comics artist and film director Enki Bilal. Mankind has destroyed planet Earth. Drinking water has become extremely rare, and only the fittest will survive in the battle for water. It is Bilal’s third animated feature.
“The challenge was to forget the book, although it was obviously the reference, a finished product, but I had to avoid making a mere copy. I had to reinvent it using the language of cinema,” he says.
“It’s a Zucchini’s life” tells the story of a 10 year- old boy who ends up in a special care orphanage after his alcoholic mother dies.
“We come from Switzerland, Geneva, so we are looking to integrate ourselves a little more in the European animation landscape. We’re already been talking with a couple of TV companies and distributors. For us this is really very productive, as it will also help us to get finance back in Switzerland, and bring the film intro cinemas soon, I think,” says producer Claude Barras.
But bearing in mind the high cost of animated movies, between 5 and 15,000 euros per minute, are they still attractive for investors?
“I think its the best investment because animation movies can be very easily synchronised for the different markets with national, local stars and marketed much easier then live-action movies. In Europe animated movies are very succesful,” says Sales Agent for Sola Media Solveig Langeland.
“The Suicide Shop” has already been presented three times at Cartoon Movie. Now the film is almost finished and will be released in September. For this production 4 studios joined forces to support French film director Patrice Leconte.
“Although there’s a whole host of co-producers, partners, moneymen and investors, that never affected me. I just got on with making the movie with my animation team, and at no time did we have to justify ourselves to anyone,” he says.
Cartoon Movie also saw the wraps taken off the latest movie from Bristol’s Oscar-winning Aardman studios. “The Pirates” will be released at the end of this month.