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The capital of Animated films

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The capital of Animated films

"I created Gino the Chicken, but he has possessed me, now I behave like a chicken. I think its contagious…. To free me from this I'll make a TV series, I'll lose Gino in the web". The words of Andrea Zingoni, author of Gino the Chicken, the extremely successful cartoon character who came to fame on the website www.my-tv.it and who's also set to feature in a TV series produced by RAI Fiction. Apart from chickens lost in the web, we have also run into a pig given up for dead in Pig Nick, who is transferred through the sewers and transported as far as the ocean; Skunk, a polecat who's adopted by a Chinese panda; K-Bob, Poo & Hank three defective genes who try to get back into the immune system; Podziomek, a polish gnome who tells us European myths; and many other characters from the creative minds working in European animated cartoons. There were also Slovak and Polish projects presented at the festival for the first time. From September 17 to 20, Varese was turned into the cartoon capital, for the 14th edition of the European market of animation films, the Cartoon Forum.

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European producers presented 82 projects, worth a total value of €285 million, to representatives from 108 TV channels and 154 investors. The 5 biggest European countries covered 82% of the projects shown: 22 from Britain, 17 from Italy, 16 French works, 7 from Spain and 6 from Germany. There was a rise in the number of short format entries, lasting between 10 and 13 minutes, which are easier to fund. This year the average cost per minute produced was €9,146 as opposed to €10,555 in 2002. The films were mainly adventure stories and comedies, aimed at a audience aged between 5 and 12.

According to the organisers there are already 19 projects ready to get off the starting blocks and can be made in a short time:
- Holly's Helpline / Siriol Productions (UK) 26 x 11'
- Monster Allergy / Rainbow (It) / 26 x 24¹
- Mark Logan / Pictor Media (Fr) / 1 x 52'
- Germs / Futurikon (Fr) / 26 x 24'
- Tama & Melody / France Animation (Fr) / 26 x 24'
- Trot Trot / Storimages (Fr) / 53 x 13'
- Hairy Scary / Alphanim (Fr) / 52 x 13'
- Louie / Millimages (Fr) / 52 x 7'
- The Children of Okura / Les Films de La Perrine (Fr) / 26 x 26'
- Anna and the Moods / Caoz Ltd (Ice) / 1 x 30'
- Newt & the Fifos / Monster Animation and Design Ltd (Irl) / 39 x 7'
- Angelo / NDF-Neue Deutsche Film (Ger); Magma Films(Ire) ; A.Film (Den) / 26 x 22'
- King Catastrophe / Kayenta Production (Fr) / 78 x 7'
- Chop Socky Chooks / Aardman Animations Ltd (UK) / 26 x 13'
- Village People / The Illuminated Film Company (UK) / 26 x 24'
- Tom / Studio Film Bilder (De) / 26 x 5'
- Charlie and Lola / Tiger Aspect Productions (UK) / 26 x 10'
- Skunk / The Cartoon Saloon Ltd (Ire) / 26 x 13'
- Katie Morag / Fabbydoo Corporation (UK) / 26 x 11'

Added to this list are a further 22 projects that can be made in the medium term:
- Angels and Devils / A; Ellis Productions (Fr) / 52 x 13'
- Animal Pharm / Atomic Arts (UK) / 13 x 24'
- Bob Screen Defective Detective / Digital Salade (Fr) / 52 x 13'
- Camelia / Graphilm (It) / 26 x 6,30'
- Giak & Zak / Matitanimata (It) / 26 x 13'
- Gino the Chicken (lost in the Net) / My-TV (It) / 52 x 13'
- Grubby Girls / Mikrofilm (No) / 26 x 2,30'
- Johnny Smile / Clan Celentano (It) / 7 x 11'
- Little Leonardo / Alcuni (It) / 52 x 13'
- Nat & Pat / Crea Video (Fin) / 26 x 5'
- Oscar the Balloonist / Animation studio Ludewig (De) / 26 x 5'
- Pig Nick / Fanciful Arts Animation (Es) / 13 x 13'
- Rat-Man / StraneMani (It) / 52 x 13'
- Sam Hamwich Superhero Sandwich / TV-Loonland (UK) / 26 x 11'
- Santa Queen / Timoon Animation (Fr) / 52 x 13'
- Sara & the goal girls / Black Maria (Es) / 26 x 26'
- The Frightened Family / Red Kite Productions Ltd (UK) - 52 x 11'
- The incredible adventures of Kika and Bob / Submarine BV (Nl) / 26 x 13'
- The Knight with the Lion / Folimage (Fr) / 1 x 48'
- Trolls of Troy / Dargaud Marina (Fr) / 26 x 26'
- Willo the Wisp / Elephant Productions (UK) / 13 x 5'
- WWW / MBM Associati (It) / 26 x 26'

The culmination of the closing ceremony of the Cartoon Forum, which took place on September 20, was the award of the Golden Cartoon prize for the Best European animated short film, given to Sans Queue ni Tete by Sandra Desmazières.

To find out more about the world of European animation, Cineuropa has interviewed Max Gusberti, the deputy director and head of animation at RAI Fiction; Manuel Cristóbal, the producer of El Bosque Animado the first European 3D animated feature length film; Iain Harvey who presented the "Village People" project to the Cartoon Forum, which garnered a lot of interest at Varese.

The idea behind the Cartoon Forum, which is co-financed by the EU's Media Programme, is to help European producers to enter into agreements with TV channels and financial backers. This year, the Cartoon Forum was sponsored by the Varese Chamber of Commerce, the Varese Province, the municipality of Varese, the Lombardy Region and RAI Fiction.

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