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Cartoon 2024 - Cartoon Movie

Industry Report: Produce - Co-Produce...

REPORT: Cartoon Movie 2024


We present details of five intriguing projects introduced at this year’s Cartoon Movie, which ran in Bordeaux from 5-7 March

REPORT: Cartoon Movie 2024

The 26th edition of Bordeaux’s Cartoon Movie, the pitching and co-production event for European animated features, ran this year from 5-7 March.

Here, we present details of five interesting projects that were introduced at this year’s gathering.

Dickie – Pieter De Poortere (Belgium/Serbia)

Penned by Bill Morrison and produced by Renaat Van Ginderachter and Peter Rogiers for Belgium’s De Hofleveranciers with Predrag Joldić for Serbia’s AIMI Studio, the 2D feature is billed as an animated mockumentary where filmmaker Bill Kroeber investigates the mysterious death of the titular comedy icon, unravelling his journey from fame to fall. Throughout, interviews with key figures reveal Dickie’s tumultuous childhood, his talent for chaos, and his rise as a celebrated comedian. His vicissitudes include “an unintended career destruction, an Emmy disaster, some hostility with the industry” as well as “a charity event incident leading to suspicions of foul play.”

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Moreover, the feature traces Dickie’s escape from media exposure and his faked death. In a surprising twist, Bill Kroeber is revealed as Dickie. It also promises “to make fun of well-known films, historical events, and world-famous figures.”

“Dickie is a cartoon character that has been around for about 20 years with ten books published to date. The comics are always one-page short stories that are completely wordless. In the two previous animation series, we kept things that way. For this film, the side characters do talk but Dickie himself remains wordless,” the creative team further explains.

Dream of Grape Gardens – Sahra Mani (France/Philippines)

This adult/young adult-orientated picture is staged by Maéva Savinien for Urban Factory with Alemberg Ang for Daluyong Studios. Anaïs Caura is attached as the project’s graphic author. Billed as “the story of two women trying to survive in a patriarchal and oppressive context,” the feature is set in 1980, when over two million Afghani fled the war and took refuge in Iran. 

“But my family is different, we cross the country for another reason: to find my big brother, who disappeared when he was a teenager. For the Afghani refugee community in Iran, where I grew up, every family story is filled with loss, secrets, and absences. Dream of Grape Garden is the story of a woman who wants to find her lost son, told by her daughter who wants to emancipate from her community,” the director says.

“We are very happy to present the project in concept at Cartoon Movie. We’re looking forward to meeting potential partners such as animation studios, regional institutions, TV channels and investors,” Savinien adds.

Dark Horses - Salvatore Centoducati, Francesco Forti, Linda Kelvink, Victoria Musci and Massimo Ottoni (Italy)

Produced by Federico Turani for IBRIDO Studio, the project is an anthology feature film in five chapters, revolving around the dark emotions of tormented souls. The episodes (titled “Scarpe”, “Dorian”, “Rosaspina”, “Robins”, and “Amygdala”) span “times and places:” a man loses his mother; two girls find each other during WWII; a thorn grows out of a heart’s hatred; a horse-jumping champion finds herself captive; two primitives re-discover one another, before language. All their experiences converge into a single story, that of human existence, and it’s all about learning to ride these emotions, finally moving on. A horse, symbol of strength and freedom, appears in every chapter, guiding the transformation, carrying a deeper meaning. The young adult/adult-orientated feature is made with 2D, 3D stop motion, and mixed techniques.

Kensuke’s Kingdom - Neil Boyle and Kirk Hendry (Luxembourg/UK/France)

The project, penned by Frank Cottrell-Boyce, is a production between Mélusine Productions, Lupus Films, Kensuke's Kingdom, Jigsaw Films and Le Pacte. The star-studded voice cast includes Sally Hawkins, Ken Watanabe and Cillian Murphy.

Kensuke's Kingdom is a thrilling and heart-warming adventure movie for all the family, based on the best-selling book by Michael Morpurgo. It follows the adventures of Michael and his dog Stella who are washed overboard during a storm and find themselves shipwrecked on a remote island, where they encounter Kensuke, an elderly Japanese man who has lived there alone for many years,” tells us producer Camilla Deakin.

“Kensuke is initially hostile to Michael but the two form a bond to save their fragile island paradise when dangerous invaders appear in the form of poachers. The film explores important themes such as the value of respecting nature, protecting animals, and finding understanding across different cultures. We are showing a sneak preview of the film in Bordeaux with the aim of securing distribution deals in the territories that we haven't yet sold. Our international sales agent is Ed Noeltner at Cinema Management Group (CMG) and he will also be attending Cartoon Movie,” she adds. Territories to which CMG sold the picture include France, Switzerland, China and the Middle East.

Living Large – Kristina Dufková (Czech Republic/Slovakia/France)

12-year-old Ben has just hit puberty and suddenly, his weight is a problem — for him and for everyone else. The other kids bully him, his divorced parents don’t know what to do. Even the school nurse is worried about him. So, despite his love of food and his emerging talent as a chef, Ben decides to take drastic action. He starts to diet. Maybe that can turn things round. And even win the heart of Klara, the girl of his dreams… Finally, Ben will learn that what truly matters isn’t how you look — it’s how you feel. This is the synopsis of this teen-orientated feature, co-produced by Barletta, NOVINSKI and Novanima Productions, and based on Mikaël Ollivier’s novel La vie, en gros. The script was penned by Petr Jarchovský, Anna Vášová and Barbora D Evikovská. Gebeka International, the world sales agent, already sold the project to Japan, Spain, Portugal, the Middle East and the Baltics.

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