Report on Cartoon Movie 2019


Cartoon Movie has entered its third decade supporting European animation. For a third consecutive year, the French city of Bordeaux hosted this co-pro and pitching forum for European animation features in athrilling edition in which new co-productions and distribution agreements were signed. With a line-up of 66 projects, it has been one of the most vibrant editions of Cartoon Movie with the attendance of 900 professionals - 265 of them buyers - who had the opportunity to get in touch with the present and future of European animation. The pitchings - ranging from in concept projects to sneak previews -showed the whole scopeof a broad industry in which films conceived for the general public co-exist with auteur animation.

After the welcome dinner at the Château Giscours winery, the President of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Regional Council, Alain Rousset, opened the 21st Cartoon Movie on 6 March, highlighting the importance of animation in the creative eco-system of a region that aims to become the "Cartoon Valley" of Europe.

With an impressive screen of 20 meters, the restaurant of the Palais des Congrès de Bordeaux provided an ideal meeting and networking point for the 900 delegates, who had a first approach to the projects during the traditional Croissant and Coffee Shows.

Of the 66 submitted projects, 28 were at an early stage of development. Divided into four sessions, these in-concept projects managed to arouse the interest of the public in presentations that in some cases exceeded 400 participants. The selection also included 24 projects in development, 7 in production, and 7 completed films that will be released soon.

The selected titles represent 92 new hours with films that deal with themes as unusual as they are sensitive. While humour, imaginary worlds, unique characters, and exciting adventures dominated Cartoon Movie's line-up, the selection also included several titles dealing with social and political issues, migration, and war. Besides family stories, the selection also featured other genres such as documentary, science fiction and even musical films such as “Benjamin Bat" (The Netherlands), "The Island" (Romania), "Valemon - The Polar Bear King" (Norway) or "Yuku and the Flower of Himalayas" (Belgium).

Films for family audiences continue to dominate animation film production in Europe. In Cartoon Movie, these films made up 67% of the selection and were the ten films that aroused the most interest among investors.

The ranking was headed by “The Ballad of Yaya”, an adaptation of the homonymous graphic novel set in Shanghai during the WWII, produced by Blue Spirit Productions (France); “Where is Anne Frank?”, director Ari Folman’s (“Valse with Bashir”, “The Congress”) eagerly-awaited new project co-produced by Belgium, Luxembourg, Israel, The Netherlands, and France; and “Musketeers of the Tsar”, a stereoscopic 3D story set in times of Peter the Great and Louis XIV, co-produced by Est-Ouest Films (France), Walking The Dog (Belgium), and Kinoatis (Russia).

The top 10 was rounded off with the cut out paper film “The Secret of Birds” presented by Folimage (France), the Dutch production “Benjamin Bat”, Iceland’s “The 14th Santa”, two Germany book adaptations (“Dino Mite – The Movie”, and “Henrietta – The MOOvie”), Portugal’s “My Grandfather Used to Say He Saw Demons”; and “Terra Willy”, the long-awaited return to the big screen of the Toulouse-based studio TAT productions (“The Jungle Bunch”).

The animation for young-adults/adults occupied a prominent place in the selection (20%) with three titles among the 15 most popular projects, all from France: "No Dogs or Italians Allowed", "I Lost My Body", and "Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman", a film based on stories of Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. "Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles" by Salvador Simó (Spain), "Kiki" by Peter Dodd (UK), "Mars Express" by Jérémie Périn (France), and "The Walking Liberty" by Alessandro Rak (Italy) were other films aimed at this audience that also aroused the interest of investors.

The wide scope of European animation was also reflected in a project conceived for young audiences: "In the Forest", a film by the Dutch company Submarine aimed at pre-schoolers, a rare target within the film industry.

The 20% increase in the average cost per film and the growing presence of fiction production companies that made the leap to animation have been some of the trends detected this year.


Dutch animation played a special role in Cartoon Movie’s last edition as the chief guest of the Spotlight organised yearly to promote the animation of a country or region. The Netherlands currently have 20 animation projects in the pipeline, six of which were presented in Bordeaux: in development "Miss Moxy" (BosBros), "Benjamin Bat" (The Storytellers Film & il Luster) and "Pat & Mat" (Lemming Film); and in concept "The King and the Thief" (il Luster), "Sisterhood of the Meadow" (Studio Pupil) and "In the Forest" (Submarine.) Besides, Dutch studios participate as minority co-producers in three other productions.

With a growing animation industry, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region had four projects backed by the region: “Comrades” (Blick Productions), “Chicken for Linda!” (Dolce Vita Films) by Chiara Malta & Sébastien Laudenbach, “Bonobo Joe” (Irish Project co-produced by Angoulême-based Malil’Art Productions), and “Marona’s Fantastic Tale” by Anca Damian (partially produced in the Marmitafilms - Bordeaux/Angoulême studio).

While animation is the film and audiovisual sector flagship in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the region is the second in importance in France when it comes to video games, with 112 companies. This has led Cartoon Forum to organise the Cartoon Games, an activity held as a preliminary to Cartoon Movie with the goal ofcreating synergies between animation, video games and transmedia industries.

As in previous editions, Cartoon Movie paid special attention to the future generation of European animation professionals and organised two Coaching programmes aimed at students from France and the country honoured in this edition, The Netherlands. Thanks to this activity, animation students from different schools had the opportunity to reflect on their professional future in different master classes, as well as to learn about the functioning and value of a forum such as Cartoon Movie.

But European animation was not limited to the Palais des Congrès - the agenda included screenings of animated films for the general public in the city of Bordeaux. Besides, the Cartoon Cinemas by CINA Festival was celebrated in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, with the presentation of six films and the presence of directors, producers and animators who presented their works to the audience.


European animation professionals paid tribute to the leading figures of the year with the Cartoon Tributes, the awards for outstanding contribution to the development of European Animation. Announced on Thursday 7 March, the winners in the three categories were voted online during the Croissant and Coffee Shows by the more than 900 participants at Cartoon Movie, the pitching and co-pro forum for animated feature films held in Bordeaux between 5-7 March.

This year’s winners are:

•    Producer of the Year: Submarine (The Netherlands)
•    Director of the Year: Salvador Simó ("Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles")
•    Distributor of the Year: Sola Media (Germany)

The rest of the nominees in each category were: Anca Damian for “Marona’s Fantastic Tale” (Romania), Denis Do for “Funan” (France), and Anders Matthesen & Thorbjørn Christoffersen for “Chequered Ninja” (Denmark); Cinema Public Films (France) and SC Films International (United Kingdom); and Folivari / O2B Films / Doghouse Films / Kaïbou Production for “Pachamama” (France / Luxembourg / Canada), Les Films d’Ici / BAC Cinéma / Lunanime / ithinkasia for “Funan” (France / Luxembourg / Belgium / Cambodja), and Ulysses Filmproduktion / A. Film Production / Fabrique d’Images for “Luis and the Aliens” (Germany / Denmark / Luxembourg).

Once again, Cartoon Movie was the chosen setting for the Eurimages Co-production Development Award, a 20,000 Euros cash-prize awarded by The Council of Europe’s Eurimages Fund to one of the selected projects in line with their aim of encouraging international animated co-production from the initial stages.This year’s winner was “Of Unwanted Things and People” by David Súkup, Ivana Laučíková, Leon Vidmar &Agata Gorządek, and co-produced by Maur Film (Czech Republic), Artichoke (Slovakia), ZVVIKS (Slovenia) & WJTeam/Likaon (Poland).The Jury consisted of Dorien Van de Pas (Netherlands Film Fund – The Netherlands), Tom Carpelan (Filmkompaniet - Finland), and François Mergier (STUDIOCANAL - France).

The 21st Cartoon Movie was organised by CARTOON with the support of Creative Europe - MEDIA, CNC (Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée), Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, Bordeaux Metropole, INVEST Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the City of Bordeaux and le Pôle Image Magelis. The next edition of the event will take place in Bordeaux from 3-5 March, 2020.


•    900 participants from 40 countries
•    265 buyers (incl. 125 distributors and sales agents)
•    66 projects from 22 European countries
•    Total Duration of the Projects: 92 hours
•    Total budget: 444.5 MIO EUR
•    Average cost per film: 6.7 MIO EUR (increase 20% aprox. vs 2018)
•    30 co-productions (France, Belgium and Germany are the most active co-producers in Europe)
•    France (22), Germany (8) and The Netherlands (6), the countries with more projects