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CARTOON 2022 Cartoon Springboard

REPORT: Cartoon Springboard 2022


- Cineuropa takes a closer look at some of the projects pitched at this year’s gathering, which ran in Madrid from 25-27 October

REPORT: Cartoon Springboard 2022
from left to right: Jaroslav Klimeš, Jindřich Trčka, and David Matamoros presenting their project Garbage

Cineuropa attended this year’s Cartoon Springboard, which took place in Madrid from 25-27 October. On this occasion, 23 projects were pitched by emerging European animation talents and assessed by the 26 experts in attendance. Here, we zoom in on four interesting projects – all of them very well received by the industry representatives attending the gathering. 

Garbage – Jaroslav Klimeš (Czech Republic/Lithuania)
Created by Jaroslav Klimeš and produced by Jindřich Trčka for Prague-based Cofilm, this new 13x22 adult animation series is currently in early development. In this post-apocalyptic comedy show, humans are already gone, something unknown has happened and left the planet totally dead, except for huge amounts of trash covering its surface. At some point – and no one knows exactly when – garbage started coming alive, looking for some kind of purpose in their lives, “bringing in new religions and new ideologies.” Described by the pitching team as “Planet of the Apes meets your trash bin,” the story revolves around Cup, a naïve yogurt cup who undertakes a journey to find love, and BULL, a sarcastic half of a beer can who wishes to commit suicide by getting melted in a factory. He needs someone to carry him there and persuades Cup to accompany him throughout his journey.

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The team stated that the closer reference for the show’s tone would be Matt Groening’s Futurama, with “self-contained stories within a bigger narrative,” not aiming “to go overboard with dark elements” but leaving “some room for hope and optimism.” The show is co-produced with Lithuania’s Broom Film, and budgeted at around €3.4 million. It is slated to finalise development by 2024 and to enter production by 2026.

Awa in the Desert – Julia Horrillo Pla, Verónica Adell (Spain)
Pitched on stage by Julia Horrillo Pla, writer of the project along with Verónica Adell, the story of this 90-minute 2D feature is a social drama aimed at young adult and adult audiences. Horrillo Pla explained that she used to live with her parents in the south of Spain, not too far from the Moroccan coast, so it wasn’t rare to see migrants and boats: “Some of these arrivals inspired the making of the film. [In particular,] one day I found the pants of an 8-year-old child.” The story focuses on Awa, aged 12-13, who wishes to flee Ivory Coast with her mother owing to the ongoing civil war, which has already killed her father and her brother. At some stage, it becomes clear that the mother won’t make the trip, so she leaves alone. She ends up reaching Cádiz by sea, dressed as a boy. During her dangerous journey to Europe, she imagines the conquests of an imaginary Ivorian hero, whose adventures will merge with reality, so as to cope with the trauma and her mother’s absence. The writers are now finalising the third draft of what they defined as a “story of survival and strength.” The picture is being produced by Norbert Llaràs Carles for Alhena Production.

Otis – Filip Diviak (Slovakia)
Staged by ARCHA Production, this 2D animated road trip, post-apocalyptic feature aims to intercept a wide +8 audience. The plot centres on two kids, 13-year-old Sofi, and her 10-year-old brother, Hugo, who live away from civilisation in a rusty ship stuck in a cliff. Their lives change when they find the titular robot. They manage to power it on and discover that his destination is the same place: a city called Ekk, where they believe their lost mother is awaiting them. Presented on stage by Diviak and producer Martin Drgoň, the main themes tackled by the English-language picture are “determination, a strong will to carry on, friendship and acceptance of others.” The project’s development, backed by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund, is set to end in 2023, and the overall estimated budget is €2.7 million. Otis is slated for release in 2026.

Ajo West!  – Sara Corbioli (Italy)
Currently in pre-production, the target audience of this 52x11 comedy/spaghetti-western/adventure series are kids aged 9-12. It revolves around a group of friends who go on an adventure around Sardinia, looking for treasures and magical objects to save their villages. They will be helped or hindered by Sardinia’s most famous masks and witches. Speaking about her participation in the event, Corbioli said: “Cartoon Springboard has been an intense experience which allowed me to discover new opportunities and to meet with experts in the field. I hope that the knowledge acquired during this event will take the project to the next step. I would definitely like to come back and recommend it, because it is an excellent place for networking and learning from the workshops.”

You can discover all of the other showcased projects here

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