VAF goes for young talent

The Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) approved funding for 15 projects, of which 12 feature films, two feature-length documentaries and one animated short. The list includes a number of debut features supported by experienced production companies such as a.o. Minds Meet, Savage Films and Caviar.

Four projects received script support in this round: Lampedusa, Senne Dehandschutter’s feature debut, is the gripping story of a journalist travelling from Libya to Europe with a group of African refugees. Dehandschutter already received good press for his graduation short, FertilizeTack is the new feature project by Erik Lamens (S&M Judge) about the life of Sylvain Tack and his 70s pirate radio station Mi Amigo. Peter Krüger, who recently grabbed the Grand Prize at FIFA in Montreal with his doc Antwerp Central, received support forContinental Drift. Finally, Alex Stockman (Pulsar) can start working on his new feature, Electric Blue.

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Published on Thursday 14 April 2011

Rumours wins at Anima Festival

Frits Standaert’s animated short Rumours has won the BeTV Award for best Belgian animated short at the Anima Festival in Brussels (4-13 March)Rumours, which was premiered at the festival, is also released on DVD through distributor Les Film du Nord.

Still from RumoursIn Rumours, the jungle animals are scared by an unusual noise. They start to panic, one after another. As the rumour spreads, their behaviour becomes increasingly irrational.

Thanks to this award, the film is now airing on French-language pay-TV network BeTV. Rumours will also be touring in France, where it is part of a school programme reaching 120,000 children. Les Film du Nord, distributor of the film, has also now released it on DVD, along with director Standaert’s animated short The Writer.

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Published on Thursday 24 March 2011

Flemish animation in Annecy

Three animation films from Flanders have been selected for this year's Annecy International Animation Festival (6-11 June). Toon Loenders' BiodiversityDe volgende (The Next One) by Barbara Raedschelders and Dutch-Belgian The Monster of Nix by Rosto, have each been selected for the Shorts Competition, The Advertising Films programme and the Graduation Films section respectively.

Annecy 2011Biodiversity by Toon Loenders has been selected for the Advertising Films section, where it will be competing against 20 other titles from all over the world. Biodiversityis part of a broader EU campaign – 'We are all in this together' to – which aims to increase awareness of the importance of biodiversity in the natural world.

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Published on Monday 21 March 2011

Santa makes Magic in Lyon

Antti Haikala's 3D animated family adventure Santa's Magic Crystal is to receive a special presentation at this week's Cartoon Movie in Lyon. Set for a December 2011 theatrical roll-out, the feature is a collaboration between studios in Finland and Belgium. TF1 International recently acquired world rights.

Santa's Magic Crystal
In the film, Santa's evil twin brother Basil develops a diabolical plan: to steal the magic crystal that allows Santa to distribute presents to children and bring happiness to families all over the world. Currently in post-production, the €5.7 million project will hit the big screens for Christmas.

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Published on Thursday 3 March 2011

Good news for Good News

Elvis-inspired animated short Good News, directed by Kris Mergan and Geert Vandenbroele, has been selected for the seventh edition of the Animabasque International Animated Film Festival in Spain (1-7 April). The short film will screen in the Karratu Short Film Section. Good News has also been selected for the 18th Internationales Trickfilm Festival in Stuttgart (3-8 May).

Lion Angel in the chapelIn Good News, Elvis impersonator Lion Angel changes his life drastically: he steals a fire engine, sets off to a chapel, and locks himself in with only the Virgin Mary to understand and save him. When the chapel catches fire, he leaves for the centre of the earth.

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Published on Friday 25 February 2011

TF1 takes on Santa’s Magic Crystal

TF1 International has acquired world rights to 3D animated family adventure Santa’s Magic Crystal by Antti Haikala. The feature is a co-production between Epidem ZOT (Finland), and Belgian companies Skyline Entertainment  and Araneo. Currently in post-production, the $9 million project will hit the big screens at Christmas this year. A 4D IMAX version is also in the works.

Still from Santa's Magic CrystalHaikala signed for the production design on Niko and the Way to the Stars, which was nominated for the European Film Award for Best Animated Film. In Santa’s Magic Crystal, Santa Claus is confronted with his evil twin, Basil. Once a year, thanks to the power of his Magic Crystal, Santa multiplies into millions of versions of himself and leaves his hi-tech headquarters in the Arctic Circle to bring presents to all the world’s children. But this year, Basil has a diabolical plan.

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Published on Thursday 10 February 2011

Cartoon Movie presents Cat, Crystal and Majorettes

Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Feliciolli’s A Cat in Paris, which is part of this year’s Generation K+ programme at the Berlinale, will get a special screening at Cartoon Movie, the co-production platform for European animated features that takes place in Lyon (2-4 March). Antti Haikala’s The Magic Crystal, co-produced by Luke and Lucy producers Skyline, will also be presented. A third animation title in which a Flemish producer (Walking the Dog) is involved is Majorettes by Benoît Féroumont, which is in the 'in development' section.

Cartoon MovieA total of 55 selected projects are to be pitched in four categories – concept, development, production and completed films – at Cartoon Movie this year. Among the completed films are both A Cat in Paris, which is co-produced by the Flemish Lunanime, and The Magic Crystal, in which Skyline operates as co-producer. Skyline’s CGI animated Luke and Lucy & The Texas Rangers (directed by Wim Bien and Mark Mertens) screens at the Berlinale’s EFM (10-20 February) where it is being sold by Delphis Films from Montreal. Majorettes by Benoît Féroumont (Dji vou veu volti) is presented in the ‘in development’ programme.

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Published on Tuesday 8 February 2011

A Cat in Berlin

A Cat in Paris, the animated film by Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol, has been selected for this year’s Berlinale’s Generation K+ programme. The film is among the 12 titles competing for the Chrystal Bear for Best Feature.

A Cat in ParisA Cat in Paris presents the story of a cat with a double life. By day, Dino is the beloved pet of a lonely girl, Zoe, whose police officer mother Jeanne works punishing hours and whose father was gunned down by gangsters. By night, Dino takes to the rooftops of Paris with Nico, a professional burglar.

As the title might hint, A Cat In Paris is a French production but it's one with a strong Flemish involvement. Producer Annemie Degryse of Lunamine was aboard from the outset. She recruited Samyn and Vermeersch to join the team of animators at top French animation studio Folimage, in Bourg-lès-Valence.

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Published on Monday 31 January 2011

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