Ukrainian Animation in the Spotlight of the Cartoon Movie 2023 Co-Production Forum in Bordeaux

25 February 2023
Ukrainian Animation in the Spotlight of the Cartoon Movie 2023 Co-Production Forum in Bordeaux

This year, Ukraine will be the focus of the Cartoon Movie co-production forum for full-length animated films, which will take place from March 7 to 9 in Bordeaux (France)! The organizers are preparing a stand of Ukrainian animation, an e-catalog of animation projects for the past three years, and thematic videos to present the animation industry of the county at the Forum. The stand will be dedicated to popularizing modern Ukrainian animation, promoting its distribution and international co-production.

The participation of Ukrainian animation studios and young talents within the Cartoon Movie forum will take place due to the support of USAID Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine and is organized by LINOLEUM Contemporary Animation and Media Art Festival and Media Resources Management (MRM) company.

Cartoon Movie is one of the largest platforms for finding partners in the production of full-length animated films in Europe. For two days, producers have the opportunity to pitch their film project in order to speed up financing, find co-producers, and interest international distributors. Since its creation in 1999, 437 films found financing, representing a total budget of 2.86 billion EUR. Every year, Cartoon Movie brings a country or a region into the spotlight celebrating their originality, their special strength or their wonderful contribution to the world of animation. The Cartoon Movie team has already published a detailed review where Forum participants from all over the world can learn about the history and current state of Ukrainian animation.

The delegation representing the Ukrainian animation industry at the Forum consists of seven animation studios and six young talents and has about 20 people.

In particular, the participants of the Young Talents section include:

  1. Polina Piddubna (My Grandmother is a Skydiver, jointly with The Konrad Wolf Film University of Babelsberg);
  2. Iryna Garkavets (Solomia Mia, Promise, The War that is Always Around);
  3. Elina Pupina (Amazing Day at Home, Growths together with the School of Arts LUCA (Brussels), etc.);
  4. Lera Belkevych (character development for animation projects and computer games);
  5. Anastasiia Falileieva (Tiger is Strolling Around jointly with Studio KAPI, Patron the Dog jointly with the company Not Sleeping Patron, I Died in Irpin together with MAUR film, etc.);
  6. Sofiia Rozumenko (The Salt of the Earth together with animation studio Chervoniy Sobaka).

Forum participants from the industry:

  1. Avtoritetstudio studio and its founder Oleh Malamuzh – director, animator representing Maria's City project;
  2. Anatoliy Lavrenishyn – director Victor_Robot, director and producer Darling Zhu, The Last Forest, The Book of Shadows;
  3. Lisenbart Film and its founder Dmytro Lisenbart – producer, director of The Last Kozak;
  4. Sun Stories studio and its co-founder Iryna Malamuzh – director, producer, representating Nana and Gaboo project;
  5. Studio KAPI and its co-founder and producer Michael Margulis – representing features Trouble Nubble Gum and Dahlia and the Red Book;
  6. Chervoniy Sobaka animation studio and its co-founder, producer Olena Golubieva – representing Voice Solo feature animation project;
  7. YARKI studio and its co-founders Yana Palamarenko and Roman Kepkalo – representing series Pin the Penguin та School for Little Monsters.

Another significant event for the Forum and Ukrainian animation is that cartoon Mavka. The Forest Song, which began its international history precisely by pitching at Cartoon Movie in 2017, is currently returning here with a completed film just in time for its theatrical release in France. Six years ago, the project became the first from Ukrainian animation to be selected for prestigious pitching. The organizers are delighted that it was here that Mavka found its first supporters and partners, and now they want to mark the team and the project with special attention. One of the main events of the Forum is the inaugural breakfast (where all Cartoon Movie participants gather for presentations of the participating projects of the current year) will be branded with Mavka visuals. This is an incredible honor for the cartoon and its creators.

But the good news does not stop there. For the second time in the history of Ukrainian animation, the project of the Animagrad studio Roxelana was selected for pitching. To some extent, the creators were inspired by Roxelana's historical prototype, but the plot of the upcoming cartoon is fictional. Roxelana lives in Slavia, and after being captured by Sultanabad soldiers, she meets Sultan Nariman. Hatred immediately flares up between them, but as luck would have it, she is the one who has to save the sultan from the consequences of his enemies' black magic - his soul got into the body of his cat. In addition, Roxelana and the cat Nariman have to stop a new world war. A crazy journey and a happy ending await the heroes. Notably, the script was written before the full-scale invasion of russia, and suddenly it became incredibly relevant.

"The LINOLEUM festival has been observing the achievements of Ukrainian artists for ten years - we have a lot of talents in the field of animation. I am grateful to Cartoon Movie and our artists for their trust. I am honored to represent Ukrainian animation and will share all the insights gotten during the Forum. I hope our presence at a forum of this level will encourage the international community to pay more attention to and partner with Ukrainian studios and artists" Anastasiya Verlinska, director of the LINOLEUM animation festival.

"Cartoon Movie is one of the most effective forums for finding partners for those who create full-length animated films. During the war in Ukraine, international distribution and partnerships are vital for the industry. We will do everything we can to ensure that Ukrainian animation is truly in the Spotlight at Cartoon Movie" – Alla Prelovska, international project manager at Media Resources Management.

"Thanks to the talent pool and development of innovative technologies the creative industry of Ukraine has been actively developing over the last two years joining the global creative industry. The fact that this year Ukraine will be in the Spotlight at the Cartoon Movie forum proves the real interest of the world to the high-quality product and creative ideas generated by Ukrainian animation studios. The USAID Competitive Economy Program supports the presentation of Ukrainian animation at the Cartoon Movie as one of the most influential platforms in search for partners to cooperate and create animation movies” – Olesia Zaluska, Chief of Party in USAID Competitive Economy Program.

Media Resources Management (MRM) is the first media consulting company in Ukraine, which provides comprehensive services in film, TV, and other creative industries since 2005. It is a part of FILM.UA Group. Selected MRM projects: KYIV MEDIA WEEK, MEDIA BUSINESS REPORTS, PITCH UA, #ucancoproduce, Ukrainian Content. Global Cooperation, MEDIABOOK, and others.

The USAID Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine (USAID CEP) supports startups, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) aiming to provide support for competitive industries and firms on Ukrainian and international markets, foster a better business enabling environment, and enabling Ukrainian companies to benefit from international trade.