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Cartoon Digital 2021

Informe de industria: Animación

Los expertos de Cartoon Digital sacan sus conclusiones y evalúan el futuro de la animación europea

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La clausura de esta edición de Cartoon Digital ha corrido a cargo de tres mesas redondas exprés moderadas por el fundador de Kickback Media, John Lomas-Bullivant

Los expertos de Cartoon Digital sacan sus conclusiones y evalúan el futuro de la animación europea
Una imagen del debate

Este artículo está disponible en inglés.

Three short round-tables brought this year's edition of Cartoon Digital (26-28 May) to a close. In detail, the final part of the industry event, entitled “Platforms, Progress & Partners 2021 and Beyond”, saw the participation of Cristiana Buzzelli, SVP Contents and Acquisitions at Italy's Rainbow; Gaumont's SVP Creative Executive for Animation and Family, Karen Vermeulen; Entertainment One president Olivier Dumont; Mattel's SVP and executive producer Christopher Keenan; Splash Entertainment's co-CEO, Mike Young; Rai Ragazzi director Luca Milano; The Walt Disney Company EMEA's creative director of Original Animated Series, Shamik Majumdar; and Kickback Media founder John Lomas-Bullivant, who served as the moderator of the round-tables.

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Lomas-Bullivant asked the speakers to offer their five-year prospects for the European animation scene. Vermeulen predicted that the current trends would be even stronger, specifically in terms of increased series and family-feature production for both OTT platforms and theatrical release, and these will promote even more “co-viewing experiences” involving entire families. Besides mentioning other obvious trends, such as the decline of linear services and the increase in on-demand consumption, Buazzelli predicted that there would be fewer traditional series formats and that the industry would stray further and further from the 52x11 and 26x30 standards. Another challenge will be the growing trend of the “adultisation of taste”, seen in viewers aged 8+, when they start watching more and more live action, gradually abandoning animated content. The outcome of this fight will be different from country to country because in some cultures, animation is still considered “just children's stuff”. Dumont agreed with Buazzelli and added that accessibility would be the most positive aspect in terms of both consumption and production, which may benefit smaller companies with low budgets but ambitious goals. The main downside remains the growing number of competitors, however.

From a US perspective, Keenan said that the increasing number of productions that are similar to each other would reinforce the search for more unique voices, and this may provide a crucial opportunity for smaller European studios. According to Young, one of the big lifelines for European broadcasters is the fact that local governments are requiring a certain percentage of content to be produced locally, thus resulting in these players gaining precious, well-deserved “pieces of ownership”.

Speaking about other possible future scenarios, Milano said that the future of animation funding was going to change and that the main risk was that “centralisation” would be of benefit to big producers only and “other entities will struggle to grow”. However, if the OTT platforms are subject to the same rules that other players must adhere to, this will be beneficial for the whole sector, and more importantly, it will help to guarantee pluralism. Pubcasters will continue to maintain and increase investments – he mentioned that in 2019, the European Broadcasting Union spent €18 billion on producing new content, split among its member countries. Moreover, he argued that independent producers should revisit their views on a pubcaster's role, as they're not the “almighty broadcasters of the 1980s and 1990s” any more, but rather players with whom to co-operate. Lomas-Bullivant added that the creation of a dedicated confederation of European animation broadcasters may be helpful to make the industry's voices heard. Majumdar hopes that all of the players will contribute to making content “from elsewhere” more visible in order to enhance diversity.

During the farewell words, Sardegna Film Commission's CEO, Nevina Maria Satta, along with Cartoon's Julie Liamin and Christophe Erbes, announced a series of new events: the Italian Days will take place in person from 26-28 September at La Maddalena, and also fast approaching are the next Cartoon gatherings (namely, Cartoon Forum, running from 20-23 September in Toulouse, and Cartoon Springboard, unspooling from 26-28 October in Valencia).

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