A Quar­ter Cen­tury of Euro Elan

Animation Magazine - - Anniversaries -

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

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