Toulouse to host Cartoon Forum 2021 commencing 20 September with spotlight on Portugal

Cartoon Forum, the pitching and co-production forum for animated TV projects, will bring this year’s edition between 20-23 September in Toulouse. The organisers are gearing up with all standard measures to make the in-person event Covid-safe.

Every year since 2016, the conference spotlights one country to celebrate their work and contribution to the world of animation. And as per their official website, this year they celebrate Portugal. Primarily, the animation work conducted in Portugal has been on original short films, rather than service work or original features or series.

Five Portuguese projects that will be pitched during Cartoon Forum 2021 are: 

1) Biriki – Produced by Sparkle Animation (Portugal) and co-produced by Abano Producións (Spain), Biriki is a TV series for four to five years old children. 

2) Pete & Bern’s – Produced by Sardinha em Lata (Portugal), it is a TV series targeting young adults.

3) The Adventures of Princess P – Produced by Ukbar Filmes (Portugal), it is a TV series for six to 11 year olds. 

4) The Saskatoons – Produced by Pikkukala (Spain) and co-produced by Sardinha em Lata (Portugal), The Saskatoons is a TV series for six to 11 years old children. 

5) What’s It All About? – Produced by Take It Easy (Portugal), this TV series is for the six to 11 years old category.

Private investment from producers and authors, animation companies and studios, and the public support from the Portuguese Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual (ICA), has enabled the creation of a sustained and diversified professional and business network, with artistic and production capacity, both in quality and quantity.  

The support from the Portugal Film Commission (PFC) and from the Cinema and Tourism Fund (cash rebate 25 per cent to 30 per cent) that emerged in 2018, has opened up greater scope of greater competitiveness in the international market in the framework of services and co-productions.

During the line-up announcement in June 2021, the forum mentioned that 84 projects have been shortlisted from 141 submissions. 21 European countries are involved in the projects, 13 as main producers and eight as minority co-producers. 

France leads the selection with 33 projects, followed by Ireland with 11, Germany with eight, Spain with six, Belgium with five, and Portugal with four. Czech Republic and Denmark participate with four projects each, and Italy and Poland with three, while Finland, Latvia and Ukraine are present with one project each. With nine projects, Central and Eastern European countries keep the animation production momentum going.

Accounting for almost half of the selection (41 projects), series aimed at children six to 11 years old, continue to gain ground in Cartoon Forum. With 25 projects, preschool series represent almost a third of the selection, while young adults/adults projects have increased from last year’s 14 per cent to 17 per cent.

2D remains the most widely used animation technique employed by European producers (56 per cent), although 3D series grows to 28 per cent versus 20 per cent in 2020.