Cartoon Forum Launches First International Cooperation with Visegrad Animation Forum


    TREBON, Czech Republic: Central Europe’s animation pitching forum, the Visegrad Animation Forum (VAF), will send the winners of its TV series pitches to Cartoon Forum in September.

    Teams from two animated TV series from the CEE region are the first beneficiaries of a ground-breaking cooperation between the young Visegrad Animation Forum (VAF) taking place 5-8 May 2015 as the major industry event of Anifilm running through 10 May, and the venerable 25-year-old Cartoon Forum.

    The winning TV series project, the Czech/German coproduction Kitchen Tales from director Vojtech Domlatil and producer Heiko Schulze, and the special mention winner, the Hungarian/German coproduction How the World Began by director Ivan Tamas and producers Orsolya Sipos and Stefan Michel, will receive automatic acceptance to the Cartoon Forum pitching forum for animation projects as well as 10 hours of free tutoring and consulting from public broadcaster Czech TV..

    The partnership is the first and only one launched by Cartoon Forum, and reflects the rapid growth of what began as a small step toward introducing TV and short film animation projects to professionals in the four Visegrad neighbor countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary). Since its inception, VAF has expanded to include participation from Slovenia, Croatia and Romania, with Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia becoming more active as well. The jury of experts included TV buyers and programmers from seven stations in six countries across the region.

    The winning films elicited strong support from buyers. Czech TV and Polish TV were particularly keen on Kitchen Tales, and both Czech TV and Slovak TV expressed an interest in the Hungary’s How the World Began. But a promising international project from Croatia with UK, Danish and Estonian partners, Bul and Bal (described as a sci-fi adventure/space opera with cross-generational appeal) displayed the limits of TV animation programming in the CEE region, with stations targeting the 4-12 age group. While the individual experts praised the project, each noted that there was not a current slot on their stations that would accommodate it, with Slovenian TV and Czech TV reps later adding that they would try to find a place for it. In the meantime, producer Drasko Ivazic of Adriatic Animation told FNE he would plan on making the series in the U.S.