From March 2-4, Lyon (France) will become the European capital of animation cinema as more than 700 animated feature film producers, investors, distributors, sales agents, video game companies and new media players from all over Europe and beyond will attend the 18th Cartoon Movie Forum to create partnerships and co-productions that will allow for the funding of around 20 animated feature films this year.
55 projects from 19 European countries have been selected to be pitched at Cartoon Movie: 23 of them are in concept, 21 in development, 8 in production and 2 are completed films. France will be represented by 18 projects, followed by Denmark and Germany with 5 each, Italy, Netherlands & Poland with 3 each. The variety of countries producing animated films is still growing, thanks to the vitality of the Nordic countries with 8 projects, and countries of Eastern Europe such as Poland and the Czech Republic.
Since 1999, over 254 films pitched at Cartoon Movie, with a total budget of 1.7 billion Euros ($1.8 billion), have secured their financing and have been released thanks to this annual forum aimed at strengthening the production and distribution of animated feature films in Europe.
Below you’ll find 5 projects that will be of specific interest to readers of this blog, along with descriptions, countries of origin, posters/artwork, and status, all provided by the forum.
1. “Another Day of Life” (France, poster above) – is a story of a reporter searching for truth during the Angolan Civil War in 1975. During his suicidal journey across the country, he is faced with situations and events that force him to reevaluate his approach to his work and life, in general. It is the dramatic account of the three months the reporter spent in civil war. (In development)
2. “The Prince of the City of Sand” (Luxemborg) – Songs are the oil that makes dreams flow, the water that makes them germinate. Because of this, Rokìa loves more than anything to listen to her grandfather Matuké and sing along with him. And it is for this that the Prince of the City of Sand, who blots out the dreams of men with sand and collects their souls, hates the storytellers. This is the song of Rokìa, the girl with the enchanting voice. The girl who will cross the desert to recover the soul that the Prince of the City of Sand has stolen from Matuké, the great storyteller. (In development)
3. “Nayola” (Portugal, Belgium, Angola) – Three generations of women are deeply plagued by Angolan Civil War: Lelena (the grandmother), Nayola (the daughter) and Luana (the granddaughter). The imagination of Luana, a 16-year-old orphan girl, reinvents her mother, Nayola, as an anti-heroine on the sheets of a journal, where memories and masks, utopias and cruelties, reality and magic emerge, mesh together and fall apart. A suspended love, a fearless quest on a military landscape, a lacerating regret, an initiatory journey under the vigilant eye of a mysterious Jackal. (In development)
4. “Mutafukaz” (France) – Angelino is just one of the thousands of deadbeats living in Dark Meat City, a ruthless megalopolis in sunny California. At day, he runs the streets of the city delivering pizzas; at night, he squats a seedy hotel room with his pal Vinz and an army of cockroaches that are now part of the family. Following a scooter accident caused by the heavenly vision of Luna, a girl with jet-black hair, the young man starts experiencing violent headaches doubled with strange hallucinations (or maybe they are not) of being chased by men in black suits. Angelino has no doubts: he is a target. Why him? Following a terrifying manhunt, he is finally captured and learns the truth about his origins… (In production)
5. “Heart of Darkness” (France) – A Brazil-set version of Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness.” Rio de Janeiro, in the near-future, riot and corruption-laden – we follow Police officer Marlow, who is asked to find a certain Captain Kurtz (a famous policeman who has gone missing in mysterious circumstances). The mission has to be carried out in a boat, undertaking a dangerous journey through the favelas of Rio de Janeiro (the same favelas that were the setting for cross-over films like “City of God”). (In development)