From 6-8 March, more than 700 animation professionals from around the globe assembled in Lyon for the 15th edition of Cartoon Movie, Europe’s leading co-production platform. Louise in the Winter, Cafard and Pinocchio, three co-productions with Flanders, each drew full houses.
With 250 to 350 people gathering in the rooms, the pitching sessions at Cartoon Movie drew a full house, with the Vivi Film co-produced Louise in the Winter leading the list of 15 most-attended pitches.
Still in development, Louise in the Winter is an intimate fable, almost autobiographical, gently blending poetry and realism. A sort of Robinson Crusoe of the 21st century, Louise finds herself alone in a small seaside resort, caught between her memories and a stray dog for company. She has to face winter, old age and solitude, and surpass herself to survive. Flemish animation hub Vivi Film, producer of, among others, Bo’s Bazaar, Plankton Invasion and International Hareport, is co-producing the film, together with JPL Films and La Fabrique Production (France).
Jan Bultheel’s Cafard, a co-production between Tondo (Belgium), Topkapi Films (The Netherlands) and Superprod (France), was equally heartily welcomed by audiences and features in the fest's top 15 list. Set during World War I, Cafard is a historical drama about Jean Lemarin. While winning the title of Wrestling Champion of the World, his daughter Mimi is raped by German soldiers back home in Ostend. Jean swears to avenge her and enrolls in the prestigious ACM, the first ever armoured car division. Little does he know he is embarking on a dramatic odyssey which will drag him around the world.
Enzo D’Alò also presented his completed animation feature Pinocchio, based on the design of illustrator Lorenzo Mattotti. Flemish animation studio Walking The Dog (Nuru, A Monster in Paris) co-produced the feature, which was the opening film of the Venice Days this year, together with Iris Productions (Luxembourg), Cometafilm (Italy) and 2d3d Animations (France). Pinocchio was also selected as one of the finalists for Cartoon Movie Tributes, the awards for outstanding contribution to the development of European Animation Film over the last year.
Neither fair nor festival, Cartoon Movie is a co-production platform for European animated feature films. For two intense days, producers have the opportunity to pitch their animation project in order to speed up financing, find cross-border partners and interest international distributors and sales agents. This year, a total of 56 projects were pitched.
Both Pinocchio and Cafard were made possible with the support of the VAF/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege.