Trends in European animation broken down by cartoon boss Annick Maes

From today, according to Director General Annick Maes, Cartoon Forum, the annual European pitching and co-production event for animated TV projects, is a reflection of the times we live in.

“This year’s Cartoon Forum will feature the transformations we are going through in one form or another,” she said diversity. “There are many projects on ecology, on coexistence – some are aimed at adults and young people.

“They really reflect the times we live in. For example, the influence of women is growing, there are more and more female producers and directors. It’s an industry where we’ve pretty much achieved gender parity among our participants. The same is not true for fiction or documentary.”

Among the growing trends in animation film producers in recent years, Maes noted what she calls “the 360-degree approach.”

“This year, almost 25 book publishers from all over the world come to Cartoon Forum to find new IPs and develop the book before the series or movie comes out: the book becomes a promotional tool for the series or movie.” said them, citing as an example British Nobrow’s recently published graphic novel Sisters of the Mist, based on an original IP by Dutch studio Pupil. It was first featured at the 2017 Cartoon Springboard event for young talent and then progressed to the 2019 edition of Cartoon Movie where it was selected by Nobrow.

Trends like these, combined with the need to increase their online presence during the COVID pandemic, have prompted the forum organizers to step up their e-communications and launch a dedicated app from September 2020, allowing buyers to find all sorts of Missed out on catching up on pitches, gives producers direct feedback on their projects, organizes one-to-one meetings and enables direct exchange between participants from 2023.

However, live events like the Cartoon Forum remain essential, Maes said. “The handshake and the networking are still very important, it’s a big event but a small world: When the event took place digitally, we saw that the buyers – and certainly also the channels – rely on their circle of well-known producers, who have made it difficult for new producers and new talent who have not yet established their network. That’s the spirit of cartoon,” she concluded.

The Cartoon Forum will take place from September 19th to 22nd in the southwestern city of Toulouse, France. Trends in European animation broken down by cartoon boss Annick Maes

Charles Jones

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