A Quarter Century of Euro Elan
If you have noticed the increasing number of inventive, original and artistic European animation productions gracing the silver and small screens around the world the last couple decades, there is one event to which much of the credit is owed. This year, the influential content market Cartoon Forum, which takes place on the continent each fall, celebrates 25 years since its inception—and plenty of milestones along the way.
As the event organizers tell us, it was in Barcelona in March of 1989 when the first meeting between European studios came up with the concept of creating studio groupings and forming a working party to look at how relationships between producers and broadcasters could be improved. Several weeks later, the group met again and, inspired by one member’s exhausting experience at another major market, thought the best solution would be to bring all the region’s broadcasters together in one place, rather than forcing producers to chase after them in endless hurried meetings.
A quarter century later, the numbers are the proof of that concept. Cartoon Media reports that the Forum event, featuring pitch sessions and trailer screenings, attracts 850 participants from over 30 countries and 250 broadcasters and investors wanting a first look at one of the 60-plus TV and new media projects being presented by local producers. And it’s not just looky-loos: since its first annual event, Cartoon Forum has launched over 500 productions and generated over 2 billion euros in deals. During this long journey, the Cartoon Forum organizers have seen the European toon industry grow in expertise, tech know-how and international recognition. This extraordinary, efficient event has helped the business mature from a cottage industry to a state-of-theart, creative and successful global animation powerhouse. In a statement prepared in honor of this milestone anniversary, the Forum heads offer thanks: “We would like to particularly acknowledge the role played by the Media Programme of the European Union in helping us to make the Cartoon Forum such a success. Without their support, nothing would have been achieved. On behalf of all European animation professionals, we express our deepest thanks.” www.cartoon-media.eu