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Cartoon 2023 – Cartoon Springboard

Industry Report: Produce - Co-Produce...

REPORT: Cartoon Springboard 2023


Cineuropa takes a closer look at six projects pitched at this year’s gathering, which is currently unspooling in Madrid from 24-26 October

REPORT: Cartoon Springboard 2023
Maestitia by Merel Hamers

Cartoon Springboard is unspooling once again in Madrid from 24-26 October. On this occasion, 24 projects are being pitched by emerging European animation talents and are being assessed by the experts in attendance. Cineuropa takes a closer look at six of these new series and features in development.

No Pets!Davide Veca (Italy)
Produced by Nuvole e Strisce, and penned by Alice Gambara and Ivana Murianni, the 26x11-minute series aimed at kids aged between four and eight follows eight-year-old Luc, who feels a desperate desire to have a pet. But there’s one problem: at his place, the family rule is “no pets”! Nevertheless, this ban doesn’t dampen the boy’s spirits, and he develops a real passion and affection for small fauna, be it a caterpillar or a stag beetle. “After our experience at Cartoons on the Bay [where the project won the Pitch Me! contest], we are honoured to be pitching No Pets! at Cartoon Springboard. Getting to know professionals from all over Europe and having the chance to receive feedback on our world is a huge learning opportunity for us,” the team told Cineuropa. The project is now in advanced development and is eyeing a 2025 release.

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Azul’s Journey by Aline Romero

Azul’s JourneyAline Romero (Poland/Spain/France)
The land is drying out, and the life of the seeds, so vital to the islands’ existence, is in danger. Azul, the youngest among the guardian clan, discovers a secret cave full of seeds. However, the guardians’ collective effort is her only hope to liberate the seeds before the drought lays waste to the entire land. This is the premise of the new feature being produced by Animoon (Poland), Mansalva (Spain), Most Wanted Studio (Spain) and Foliascope (France), budgeted at around €5 million. The Barcelona-based Mexican writer-director is planning to finalise her script by 2024 and is currently looking for a lead producer. The project has also received backing from the Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences of Spain, as part of the fifth edition of its residency programme.

Maestitia - Mer­el Hamers (France/Netherlands)
In this Dutch folklore-inspired, historical 2D drama-musical, 15-year-old Stien wants to become a renowned sculptor like her adoptive mother, Truus. But when Truus is accused of witchcraft for the creation of a basilisk that has been turning people to stone with its deadly stare, will Stien be able to fight this injustice by defeating the monster, or will the tragic circumstances drag her into the basilisk’s curse?

Maestitia is currently in the early-development phase. We’re done with the treatment, and as we’re going to work on the script in the next few months, we will also apply for development funding and continue to pitch the project. We are also searching for a music residency,” Hamers told Cineuropa. The attached producers are Valentin Maupin and Aristote Douroudakis from France’s Avec Ou Sans Vous alongside Dutch studio Merula. With the picture budgeted at around €5 million, the team aims to enter production in 2025 and deliver it in 2027.

Chestnut Kid by Mar­ta Pellicer

Chestnut KidMar­ta Pellicer (Spain)
The story of this 25x10-minute series targeting audiences aged from 7-11 unfolds amidst a fantastical, war-torn land between the Forest and the Wildfire. There, the young son of the Guardian Tree is expected to become one himself, and protect it from its enemies. However, the boy is still young and loves adventure too much to settle down.

“The project is still just a pitch bible. I’m the only person involved so far. My goal here at Cartoon Springboard is to find a studio to board it. I’m a fresh graduate from Barcelona. I’ve been studying Animation and Concept Art. I’ve loved animation all my life, and my dream is to have a show of my own. Although I’m still young and just setting foot in the industry, I’m excited about anything I can learn from more experienced people and the opportunities that may arise,” Pellicer told us.

Silence Sometimes - Álvaro Rob­les (USA/Portugal)
Silvia’s birth leaves her doctors baffled. Once they cut the baby’s umbilical cord, she lets out a cry, but it is silent. María, her mother, attempts to ask what is going on, but she is also unable to use her voice. After running several tests, doctors discover that anything that comes into contact with the baby’s skin is no longer able to produce sound. Later, as an adult, Silvia owns a flower shop in Madrid, which she has inherited from her mother. She has decided to lead a quiet, solitary life, well aware of the effect she can have on anyone who dares to touch her. However, the fragile stability she has built for herself begins to crumble the moment she meets Marco, a talented musician. This is the curious premise of this adult- and young adult-orientated feature, produced by Cartuna (USA) and Sardinha Em Lata (Portugal), another project admitted into the residency programme organised by the Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences of Spain. Previously, Robles picked up a nomination for Best Animated Short with Umbrellas at the Goyas last year.

New Wave by Fay-Ori­on Antar

New WaveFay-Ori­on Antar (Ireland)
This 52x11-minute 2D series, aimed at audiences aged from 9-12, centres on 16-year-old Indigo, who has always dreamed of Hollywood and being an award-winning director, despite living in a tiny town without many resources. We will follow her misadventures as she juggles her passion with her responsibilities and social life. She’s joined by her best friend Jasmine, who is an artist, Margot, a punk-rock musician, and Jack, who is an engineer and poet. Currently in early development, the project is budgeted at around €7 million and is being produced by JAM Media. An intern working for the Irish studio, Antar has just graduated with a bachelor's degree in Animation from Dublin’s National Film School of Ireland.

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