Cartoon Movie indicates the great tendencies of European animated cinema in 2021
- Projects aimed at adults, themes touching on the environment, documentary style, and a stream of novel and comic book adaptations: here are the main teachings to be taken from the 23rd Cartoon Movie
An unmissable rendez-vous for the big family of European animated cinema, the 23rd edition of Cartoon Movie (which exceptionally took place online from 9 to 11 March 2021) allowed to take the pulse of the sector with 55 feature projects presented, from 16 European countries (21 of them from France, nine from Spain, and three each from Denmark, Germany, Romania and Italy), and which attracted 307 buyers (13% more than in 2020).
Beyond a great array of genres, from comedy to adventure, drama to horror and science-fiction, documentary to coming-of-age stories, all reflecting a great variety in terms of stakes, historical period and contexts, certain specific tendencies emerged.
Firstly, animation aimed at adult audiences continues to grow, as it represented 27% of the projects presented at the 2021 edition of Cartoon Media, against the 21% of the previous year. Among the titles illustrating this growing part of the market, we can mention Golem from Czech director Jiří Barta (produced by Hausboot), the French project Red Jungle (Jungle rouge) from the duo Juan José Lozano - Zoltan Horvath (produced by Dolce Vita Films), Birds Don't Look Back (Les Oiseaux ne se retournent pas) from French director Nadia Nakhlé (read our interview with Sébastien Onomo, producer from Special Touch Studios), Igi from Georgian filmmaker Natia Nikolashvili (20 Steps Production), Black is Beltza II: Ainhoa from Spanish director Fermin Muguruza (Talka Records and Ambra Projectes Culturals), Your Spotted Skin from the Germans Daniel Nocke, Stefan Krohmer and Thomas Meyer-Hermann (Studio Film Bilder, Raumkapsel, Schmidt & Stein-Schomburg), Winnipeg, Seeds of Hope by Elio Quiroga and Beñat Beitia (Spain/Chile/France - Dibulitoon Studio, La Ballesta, El Otro Film, Midralgar/Marmita Films), Pepino the Accordionist (Spain/Portugal - Meh Producciones, Sparkl Animation) as well as Franco-Polish production A Door to the Woods by Jola Kudela (Nectarious Film, Opus Film).
The environment is also increasingly present at the heart of the projects, such as Starseed from Romanian filmmaker Anca Damian (produced by Aparte with French company Special Touch Studios), White Plastic Sky from Hungarians Tibor Bánóczki and Sarolta Szabó (Salto Film and Media Productions with Slovakian company Artichoke), The Fire Keeper (Le Gardien du feu) from French filmmaker Jeanne Irzenski (Gao Shan Pictures - read our article) and Cut and Run (La Poudre d'escampette) from French director Chloé Cruchaudet (Blue Spirit Productions).
Documentary animation is another section experiencing a noticeable rise as it allows to tackle difficult topics, but to avoid pathos and by bringing back to life historical stories. This tendency is illustrated by Flee [+see also:
film profile] from Jonas Poher (recently awarded at Sundance), by French project Le Parfum d'Irak from Léonard Cohen (Nova Production, Miyu Productions) and Norwegian project Adil from duo Adil Khan - Julian Nazario Vargas (Norsk Fjernsyn/Monday Production).
A much more common phenomenon, book and comic book adaptations remain a safe bet, as they represented 33% of the projects pitched at Cartoon Movie 2021. Currently in development are animated adaptations of works by authors such as Belgian writer Amélie Nothomb (Métaphysique des tubes which will be directed by French filmmaker Liane-Cho Han and produced by Maybe Movies and Ikkli Films), Belgian writers Johan Pilet and Jean-Michel Darlot (Ninn, headed by French company TeamTO), French writer Marie Desplechin (Séraphine, directed by Sarah Van Den Boom, produced by Little Big Story, JPL Films and Tu nous za pas vus), Danish writer Josefine Ottesen (Rosa and the Stone Troll, directed by Karla Holmbäck, produced by Dansk Tegnefilm), Irish-American writer John Chambers (Granny Samurai - the Monkey King and I, directed by Danish filmmaker Jesper Møller, produced by German company Dreamin Dolphin Film), Romanian writer Cezar Petrescu (The Adventure of Fram the Polar Bear, directed by Stefan Buzea and produced by Duo Animation Production) and German writer Stephen Collins (La gigantesque barbe du mal - The Gigantic Beard that was Evil ; a production bringing together Spain and the UK with Able & Baker and Snafu Films).
Finally, the presence of famous filmmakers remains an important asset, as shown by upcoming films from French director Denis Do (Sorya - Special Touch Studios), Spanish director Salvador Simó (Caramel's Words - Koniec Filma), Belgian director Ben Stassen (Chickenhare et le hamster des ténèbres - Chickenhare and the Hamster of Darkness – nWave, Octopolis) or Anca Damian (with her other project, The Island which brings together Romania, Belgium and France with Aparte Film, Take Five and Komadoli).
The top 10 of Cartoon Movie 2021 projects which received the most intention is: (1) Saba (Maybe Movies, France), (2) Séraphine (Little Big Story, France), (3) Cut and Run (La Poudre d'escampette) (Blue Spirit Productions, France), (4) Ninn (TeamTO, France), (4) Copperbeak (Ideacinema, Italia), (5) Les Ombres (Autour de Minuit, France - lire l’interview), (6) Arco (Remembers, France), (7) Marie-Louise, ma petite Princesse (Pictak, France), (8) Tsitili (Les Films du Poisson Rouge, France), (8) Golem (Hausboot, Czech Republic), (9) Red Jungle (Dolce Vita Films, France), (10) Valentina (Abano Producións, España), (10) Granny Samurai - the Monkey King and I (Dreamin Dolphin Film, Germany).
(Translated from French)
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