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Cartoon 2022 – Cartoon Next

Informe de industria: Animación

En el Cartoon Next, varios expertos hablan sobre diversidad en las coproducciones de animación

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Alexandre Charlet se centró en los desafíos de coproducir con países más pequeños, mientras que Telidja Klaï habló sobre el compromiso de Ketnet con la diversidad

En el Cartoon Next, varios expertos hablan sobre diversidad en las coproducciones de animación
Alexandre Charlet, de Les Films du Cygne, durante la sesión

Este artículo está disponible en inglés.

On day 3 of proceedings, Cartoon Next (12-15 April) hosted a panel entitled “Which Diversity in Our Next National and International Co-production?”, moderated by Christophe Erbes. The discussion saw the participation of Alexandre Charlet, of Annecy- and Paris-based Les Films du Cygne, and Telidja Klaï, of Flemish children’s TV channel Ketnet.

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In his contribution, Charlet talked through his outfit’s activities, which started back in 1995. To date, the firm has produced 45 shorts, documentaries, mini-series and features, earning over 2,000 selections and winning 350 awards in the fields of both live action and animation.

First, Charlet spoke about lesptitsloups.tv, a community effort born of the need to de-dramatise the pandemic and illustrate the rules of hygiene and social distancing to children. The project comprises a 9x30-minute 2D animated series, released in 2020. For this, the firm teamed up with two studios, InTheBox and Le Studio Animation. Initially launched through self-financing, it then received support from the municipalities of Annecy and Saint-Mandé, and the region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Cinéma, and it got many contributions from the crowdfunding campaign set up on KissKissBankBank. The series, made in partnership with UNESCO, is now available in nine languages.

Later, he touched upon the outfit’s recent co-production Even Mice Belong in Heaven. The animated feature, budgeted at €3.6 million, was co-produced with the Czech Republic’s Fresh Films (45%), Slovakia’s CinemArt (10%) and Poland’s Animoon (10%). Shooting took place in Prague, with 80 sets and over 100 puppets, while the 3D animation was handled in France – specifically, in Annecy, Strasbourg and Marseille. Charades sold the flick to over 40 countries, with good box-office results in France (where it was distributed by Gebeka Film, selling 75,000 tickets) and Slovakia (through CinemArt, selling 110,000 tickets).

Charlet stressed the importance of establishing beforehand whether the co-production is set to be an artistic or a financial co-operation. In the specific case of Even Mice Belong in Heaven, the main challenges the team had to face were scheduling, increased difficulties in terms of sealing agreements and controlling expenses, differences in salaries, and language barriers. More generally, Charlet lamented the lack of friendly financing options to support French co-productions with smaller countries and mentioned the need for a potential “mini Eurimages”, which could help France and other big markets to act as a minority co-producer more smoothly. He suggested to strengthen the regional support initiatives (with backing already made available during the development stage) and writing residencies. He also pointed out the importance of “associate signatures” – namely, when established names in the industry are attached to foreign creators and their projects (as in the case of Ernest & Celestine [+lee también:
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These steps, he argued, could favour the emergence of new voices and increase diversity. He concluded by saying that Les Films du Cygne is open to international co-productions and new opportunities, especially from emerging countries, and mentioned the example of their ongoing work on Gints Zibalodis’ new picture Flow. He also called for a process of harmonisation between the different European sources of funding and the creation of more slots for animated co-productions at A-list festivals.

The floor was then given to Klaï. “Diversity is not about adding checks, and not even about the way you work when you do co-productions. It’s about attitude, your mission, something you integrate in how you work,” Klaï said. She explained that Ketnet’s mission includes an annually revised diversity strategy, which focuses on ensuring diversity in terms of content, accessibility, production teams and co-producing.

There are two ways to co-produce with Ketnet. In the first case, the channel approaches a given producer during an industry event and provides a list of Flemish studios that could board the project. In the second case, animation studios attending these gatherings will approach the broadcaster with their proposals.

She stressed that Ketnet is a small channel in comparison with other European players, and thus international co-productions are vital in order to breathe life into many of the projects that they work on. Lastly, she touched upon Ketnet’s most recent co-productions, such as the series Sir Mouse (co-produced with Germany and Ireland), Royals Next Door (co-produced with Ireland, Belgium and Spain) and Mister Paper (co-produced with the Netherlands).

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