Rémi Chayé’s “Fleur,” Claude Barras’ “You’re Not the One I Expected” and Alberto Vázquez’s “Unicorn Wars” are some of the multiple potential standouts at the 24th Cartoon Movie, Europe’s leading animated movie co-production event.
Scheduled to take place in Bordeaux, France, over March 8-10, the 2022 Cartoon Movie lineup features 57 projects, 15 from France, seven less than last year as animation grows in the rest of Europe but still a mark of its predominance in Europe as a producer of arthouse or crossover animated movies.
For the third year running, Spain has the second largest presence at Cartoon Movie with eight titles, a sign of its build as a significant animation producer and host of animation events, such as Cartoon’s own and and the Ibero-American Quirino Awards, which take place on the Canary Island of Tenerife.
“You’re Not the One I Expected” marks the new project from Switzerland’s Claude Barras, the director of the 2017 Academy Award nominated “My Life as a Zucchini.”
Produced by Sombrero Films in co-production with Switzerland’s Helium Films, it is based on Fabien Toulmé’s graphic novel, narrating how the entire world of a father collapses when he discovers his newborn daughter Rose has undiagnosed Down syndrome.
A winner of the Annecy Festival’s top Cristal Award for “Calamity Jane,” Rémi Chayé will pitch “Fleur,” a 2D animated feature for kids produced by Maybe Movies, the company behind “Calamity Jane” and Arthur de Pins’ “Zombillenium.”
To be presented like Barras’ project in Cartoon Movie’s In Concept, a section reserved for titles in early development, “Fleur” tells the story of a young teenager in the very early 20th century. Singing her way out of Paris slums called La Zone, she battles “to escape from poverty and crime and reach the glittering lights of Paris nightlife without betraying herself or her family,” Chayé told Variety.
The director is close to completing a first draft screenplay with Sandra Tosello and Fabrice de Costil, “Calamity Jane’s” scribes.
Produced by Sombrero Films in co-production with Switzerland’s Helium Films, Chayé’s project is based on Fabien Toulmé’s graphic novel narrating how a father’s world collapses when he discovers his newborn daughter Rose carries an undiagnosed down syndrome.
Spain’s Alberto Vázquez, director of “Birdboy: the Forgotten Children” and Annecy Cristal-winning short “Homeless Home,” will offer a sneak preview of the much-awaited and Charades-sold “Unicorn Wars,” a large canvas animated art film set against the backdrop of a long-lasting apocalyptic war between religious bigot teddy bears and ecologist unicorns. Spain’s Ábano and Uniko produce with France’s Autour de Minuit.
With two projects last year, Belgium and Norway are each represented by five projects at next year’s Cartoon Movie. The Czech Republic offers three projects, up from one last year. Portugal, Germany, Latvia, Denmark, Poland, Finland and Italy will bring two. Other countries participating in the event are Netherlands, Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Croatia and Hungary.
The lineup of French titles also includes potential large draws such as Phuong Mai Nguyen’s “In Waves,” produced by go-ahead French outfit Silex Films (“Stalk”) and Charades, consolidating as one of the world’s premiere sales agents for animated features of large artistic ambition.
Anaïs Caura will present “Eugene,” a noirish thriller pushing gender issues set in 1920 Australia, produced by My Fantasy and 2P2L Group. Also eye-catching among French projects are Ru Kawahata and Max Porter’s “Porcelain Birds,” from Miyu, and Kan Muftic’s “The Migrant” a new YA/adult targeting animated feature project from “I Lost My Body” producer Xilam Animation.
Spain’s line-up takes in Carlos Fernández and Lorena Ares’s “DinoGames,” a production of Dr. Platypus & Ms. Wombat, and awaited feature debuts such as La Fiesta-produced “A World of Their Own,” directed by Carmen Córdoba, helmer of acclaimed short “Roberto”; and Isabel Herguera’s “Sultana’s Dream,” from El Gatoverde, Ábano, Uniko and Germany’s Fabian & Fred, among others.
Other potential highlights of Cartoon Movie edition include Toby Genkel’s “The Amazing Maurice,” from Germany’s Ulysses Filmproduktion; Piotr Dumała ‘s “America,” produced by Poland’s Fumi Studio; Tom Van Gestel’s Belgian title “Juul”; Rasmus A. Sivertsen’s “Just Super,” from Norway’s Qvisten Animation); José Miguel Ribeiro’s “Nayola,” set up at Portugal’s Praça Filmes; Nuno Beato’s “My Grandfather’s Demons,” from Portugal’s Sardinha em Lata; and Veljko and Milivoj Popovic’s “Dreamworld,” from Croatia’s Bonobostudio.
The average estimated cost per animated minute of projects to be presented at Cartoon Movie is $64,929, down from $82,886 in 2020, a most probable sign of cost contention in a still pandemic-hit world, as well as a reduction in higher-budget titles. 44 projects have budgets ranging from €2 million to €8 million, just one is budgeted over €10 million.
Of selected projects, 21 titles target adult audiences. That contrasts with 15 last year, confirming a building trend over the last few years. Family audience projects still represent 48% of all projects presented, however.
Beyond the rise in adult-audience titles, Cartoon general director Annick Maes noted increase in co-productions among Nordic countries, especially Norway and “another nice surprise,” a production uptick in tales from the Baltic states and countries such as Romania, Croatia and Hungary.
CARTOON MOVIE 2022: THE LINEUP
“Black is Beltza II: Ainhoa,” (Spain)
“Diplodocus,” (Poland, Czech Republic)
“Just Super,” (Norway)
“Mars Express,” (France)
“Sultana’s Dream,” (Spain, Germany)
“The Amazing Maurice,” (Germany, U.K.)
“Tony, Shelly and the Spirit,” Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary)
“Little Allan – The Human Antenna,” (Denmark)
“Little Caribou,” (Ireland)
“My Father’s Secrets,” (France, Belgium)
“My Grandfathers Demons,” (Portugal, France, Spain)
“Nayola,” (Portugal, Netherlands, Belgium, France)
“Unicorn Wars,” (Spain, France)
“Yuku and the Flower of the Himalayas,” (Belgium, France, Switzerland)
“A World of Their Own,” (Spain)
“At the Ark at 8,” (Germany)
“Born Happy,” (Latvia, Poland, Finland)
“Ellie and the Christmas Creep,” (Luxembourg)
“Flow,” (Latvia, France, Germany)
“In Waves,” (France)
“Juul,” (Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Spain)
“Living Large,” (Czech Republic Slovakia, France)
“Mary Anning,” (Belgium, Switzerland, France)
“Melvile,” (Belgium, France)
“Niko – Beyond the Northern Lights,” (Finland, Germany, Denmark)
“Ploey 2,” (Iceland)
“Porcelain Birds,” (France)
“Rock Bottom,” (Spain)
“Sidi Kaba, and the Gateway,” (France)
“The Migrant,” (France)
“Trip to Teulada,” (France, Italy)
“Valemon: The Polar Bear King,” (Norway)
“Young Vincent,” (Netherlands)
“Darling,” (Belgium, Canada)
“Liva and the Imperfects,” (Denmark)
“Magical Friends,” (Norway)
“My True Imaginary Friend – Mr.Clutterbuck,” (Finland)
“Odd is an Egg,” (Norway)
“Princesse Reinette,” (France)
“Rosentaal,” (Czech Republic)
“Vast Blue Antarctica,” (Greece)
“Where Did It Go Wrong?” (Hungary)
“You’re Not the One I Expected,” (France)