French-Belgian co-production Jack & The Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu and Stéphane Berla is one of the finalists for Cartoon Tributes, the awards for outstanding contribution to the development of European animation of the last year. Brussels-based animation hub Walking The Dog, which co-produced the feature for Flanders, is also among the nominees, vying for the award as producer of the year. The Cartoon Tributes will be announced on 7 March during Cartoon Movie in Lyon.

Jack & The Cuckoo-Clock HeartDivided into three categories – director, distributor and producer of the year – the Cartoon Tributes bring together the best European animated features as well as some of the continent’s most active companies within the industry. Over 730 professionals attending Cartoon Movie will eventually select the winners.

Jack & The Cuckoo-Clock Heart is one of four nominees in the director of the year category. Based on Mathias Malzieu’s bestselling novella, the film tells the story of Jack, born on a day so cold that his heart remains frozen. The midwife replaces the defective organ with a cuckoo clock. When Jack falls in love with a fiery-eyed little girl, the resistance of his makeshift heart is put to the test.

Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart is a co-production of Luc Besson’s powerhouse EuropaCorp, Duran and France 3 Cinema. Belgian co-producers are the tax shelter intermediary Umedia and Walking The Dog. The latter, an independent animation and production studio founded in 2000 by Eric Goossens and Anton Roebben, is also competing at Cartoon Tributes, featuring on this year’s shortlist as producer of the year.

Walking The Dog has previously boarded high-level international animation projects such as The Triplets of Belleville, Brendan and the Secret of Kells, A Monster in Paris and more recently Enzo d’Alò’s Pinocchio and Ari Folman’s The Congress.

Winners of the Cartoon Tributes are to be announced on 7 March in Lyon, where Cartoon Movie takes place. The 16th edition of the European pitching- and co-production platform will showcase 60 animated film projects from 23 European countries.

Jack & the Cuckoo-Clock Heart received support from the Screen Flanders economic fund and the Belgian tax shelter system.

Published on Sunday 23 February 2014