The CEE Animation Forum is an international event aiming to support film professionals while helping them develop the pitch presentation of their animation projects in development, and to provide them with opportunities to grow their visibility and access to international markets. Due to the present Covid-19 situation, the upcoming edition of the CEE Animation Forum will take place online in two parts. The traditional pitching competition, newly expanded to 5 categories, will be held April 26 – 29, and the additional industry programme May 4 – 6.
The line-up of 40 animated projects features Student Academy Award-winning or shortlisted filmmakers but also debut works to be presented in the new category of student short films, Rising Stars. Additionally, the new Out of competition pitching session will showcase five winning animated projects in development from the regional partners’ pitching events.
International juries consist of 15 experienced film professionals. Pre-recorded pitches in the feature films category will be reviewed by award-winning director and producer Anca Damian, sales agent and co-founder of Charades Pierre Mazars and producer of the Oscar-winning studio Mikrofilm Tonje Skar Reiersen; the series category features VOID Festival Manager Claudia Cazzato, screenwriter and director Albert Hanan Kaminski and producer of TrickStudio Richard Lutterbeck; all eleven short films will be judged by Head of Content at Viddsee premium short film platform Nikki Loke, director and producer Richard Valk and Wim Vanacker, script consultant and member of the Official Short Film selection committee of the Cannes Film Festival. The XR category includes artist and designer Mike Jelinek, Emmy-nominated immersive consultant Zillah Watson and Xinran Yuan, Head of Global Partnerships at HTC VIVE Arts. The new Rising Stars category will be assessed by a co-founder of Studio Soi Torben Meier, CEO of Late Love Production Lana Tankosa Nikolič and BAFTA-nominated animation director Joseph Wallace.
The pitching projects compete for various prizes in the total amount of over EUR 15,000 in cash and free scholarships or direct access to prestigious European events such as Cartoon Forum, Cartoon Movie, Cartoon Springboard, Cartoon 360 or Animation Production Days. To give filmmakers an opportunity to move forward with their projects as well as to enhance their artistic skills and approaches, two free scholarships for CEE Animation Workshop or Animation Sans Frontieres training programmes will be given, as well as a direct invitation to the residency at Ciclic Animation – Val de Loire. Animond is awarding EUR 2000 for one selected project and an offer for the project to be added to Animond investment portfolio. Selected projects will also receive full accreditations offered by Animarkt and Kids Kino Industry.
The pitching sessions will be followed by one-to-one meetings. Competition participants can secure a chance to find a co-production partner by presenting their project in front of more than 400 film professionals, including producers, sales agents, distributors, festival programmers, investors, representatives of broadcasters or national film funds. All registered film professionals also have the possibility to arrange a 1:1 meeting with guests.
The industry days starting on May 4 will open with a presentation by Maria Silvia Gatta (European Commission), who will speak about the new programming scheme for the MEDIA sub-programme Creative Europe. The audience will discover more about the Eurimages support fund, followed by presentations (exclusive content) of two animated feature films in production, White Plastic Sky and Of Unwanted Things and People. The subsequent panel discussion with invited guests from Animond, Ciclic Animation, Re-act will focus on regional funding possibilities for animated projects.
On Wednesday, May 5, the presentation of the new Audiovisual Media Services Directive and its implementation will be held. Only registered participants will have access to a keynote of Wendy Bernfeld, introducing VOD/OTT digital players who are buying and sometimes funding animated content production, focusing primarily on niche and mid players rather than the “Big 5“. After her exclusive session, Wendy Bernfeld will host a panel discussion with eminent guest speakers from the world of streaming channels and digital distribution like Erick Opeka from Cinedigm Corp., Daniella Galegos from GLITCH, part of Tribes Media, Bruno Felix from Submarine, Frank Falcone from Guru Studios, Nathalie Bourdon from NFB and Jan Naszewski from New Europe Film Sales.
The last day will begin with a session dedicated to XR content, followed by the Eurimages feature talk on a long-awaited feature film, Even Mice Belong In Heaven. Seven young talented filmmakers from this years’ CEE Animation Talents selection will have an in-depth talk with Igor Prassel, and accredited participants will have the possibility to watch all seven promising short films. A keenly awaited part of the programme is the award ceremony announcing the best animated projects from the ninth edition of the CEE Animation Forum 2021. The B2B programme will be closed by a joint session organized in collaboration with Animation Production Days. The registered industry professionals from both events will have the opportunity to meet and find new collaboration opportunities.
By purchasing the accreditation (film professional EUR 20 and students EUR 10), you get full access to the 1:1 meetings with attending industry professionals and to exclusive content, including the screening of the CEE Animation Talents 2021 selection.
Part of the programme will be streamed live on Facebook.
CEE Animation is supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and co-funded by state funds and foundations and professional organisations from Slovenia (DSAF, Slovene Animated Film Association), Czech Republic (ASAF, Association of Czech Animation), Hungary (HAPA, Hungarian Animation Producers Association), Poland (SPPA, Polish Animation Producers Association) and Slovakia (APAF, Slovak Association of Animated Film Producers).