Flanders is the guest of honour at Cartoon Movie
by Fabien Lemercier
- With eight projects included in the showcase and a focus on its studios, the Belgian region’s animation industry is hitting Bordeaux hard
With its 20 production companies, ten of which have their own studios available, 25 features and 30 series already in the pipeline for 2017-2018, the unwavering support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) and Screen Flanders, plus the highly attractive Belgian Tax Shelter, Flanders is pushing on with its dynamic expansion in the animation sector and is the guest of honour at the 19th edition of Cartoon Movie, which gets going in Bordeaux today.
Standing out among the 55 projects selected this year, which will be pitched in front of the 800 European professionals in attendance, are three films of Flemish initiative. In the wake of the highly original Cafard [+see also:
film profile], Jan Bultheel is back with Canaan, a 3D project squarely aimed at teenagers and adults, being produced once again by Tondo Films. The story unfolds in 1840 and depicts the misadventures of a young novice in Bruges who accompanies a priest on an evangelical mission in the American West, where the young woman is taken in by a tribe of Lakota. Currently in development, the film has already got Belgium’s Tarantula and France’s Superprod on board as co-producers.
Meanwhile, Grid Animation will be pitching Crazy Island by Danish director Jesper Møller, a 3D family film in development that will be co-produced by French outfit Tinkerland, and Germany’s Wunderwerk and Zooper Film. The synopsis is thus: an island is in danger of being swallowed up by the sea, and its inhabitants, consisting of both humans and animals, must work together to find a solution...
As for Potemkino and Sancta, they are at the helm of ZOOks by Kristoff and Dimitri Leu, a 100% Belgian family film that is currently in production, co-produced by The Fridge. Its plot revolves around a rebellious teenager living in a town where all natural things have been banned.
Five projects involving Flemish co-productions are also included in the showcase, including three by Walking The Dog (also nominated for the Cartoon Movie Tribute for Best European Animation Producer of the Year): Fox & Hare Save the Forest by Masha Halberstad (staged by Dutch outfit Submarine), Hump by Rob Gibbs (initiated by Germany’s MovieBrats Pictures and also being co-produced by Canada’s Tangent Animation) and Charlotte by Bibo Bergeron (staged by Paris-based firm Les Productions Balthazar, and also being co-produced by France’s Les Films du Poisson Rouge and Folimage, as well as by Canada’s January Films). For its part, Cyborn, which specialises in 3D animation, is co-producing Ploey – You Never Fly Alone by Arni Olafur Asgeirsson (staged by Icelandic company GunHil). Lastly, Lunanime is co-producing The Siren by Sepideh Farsi (a project being executive-produced by France via Les Films d'Ici).
(Translated from French)