Monday, 22 April 2013

Cartoon Movie - the place to pitch your animated film ideas

Cartoon Movie, like Cartoon Forum, should be on every animator's radar. It takes place in Lyon every March - in 2014 it will be held from 5-7 March. It is a huge pitch-fest for talent and business to get together and make independent animated feature films, and, like its cousin Cartoon Forum, you don't have to speak French - Cartoon Movie is bilingual and English is the main language spoken.

Cartoon Movie is the place to pitch your animated film idea. If you've got a concept for the next animated smash hit - this is the place to pitch it.

Who goes to Cartoon Movie?
The answer is - anyone in Europe who is serious about making independent animated films. Co-producers go there looking for projects to partner up with; distributors want content for movie theatres, broadcasters want content for their TV schedules, financiers want to make a few Euros, and sales agents want to earn a commission from selling your film. But, in brief, what they are all looking for - is talent.

That is where you come in. Got a great idea for a movie? Here is the place to persuade Business that you have the project that will, with a bit of nurturing, become the Next Big Thing.

Do you need to have a pilot and a finished script?
No. This is the best part of all. At Cartoon Movie, you don't need a completed pilot to sell you project. You can pitch in concept, meaning that you are basically selling an idea. You don't need a script - or even any animation (though it helps). Some slides, some nice visuals, a story outline - this is usually enough. You are throwing out a hook, trying to get people excited and interested.

Why submit? What is it all for?
It all depends on what you need. You might want co-producers, to help you access national development funds, and help to get your film made. You might be looking for financiers, so-called "business angels" who will give you seed capital and take an equity stake in the project. You might want to interest broadcasters (like the BBC) so you have a potential platform to get your series out to an audience. Most of all - you ware trying to learn more about how the process works, about how business gets done and how movies actually get made.

Is it hard to get in?
It isn't easy, but it's not impossible either. There is lots if competition and the requirements are considerable. But, if your project gets selected, you get an unrivalled opportunity to pitch your project to the sort of people who can actually get your project made.

Here's how to submit your film project:
Contact Details:

CARTOON – European Association of Animation Film (AISBL)
Avenue Huart Hamoir 105 - B-1030 Brussels - Belgium
Tel : +32 2 245 12 00 - Fax : +32 2 245 46 89

 Good luck! The deadline for submission is the end of November 2013. So...plenty of time to think up ideas.

Gateway - our modern media hub at Bucks
Here at Bucks we encourage all our students to develop their own ideas and concepts, to be film-makers and story-tellers. Being an animator is not just about studying motion and learning software. It's about creating your own characters and telling stories that audiences want to hear.


For practical advice on forging a career in animation and digital media, read about what our graduates had to say at the recent Graduate Panel. Check out this post on how to set up an small business. Also learn about your first client project, read out our post on Portfolio Careers, and read this piece on Survival as a Freelancer. Study the nuts and bolts of freelance life by reading our guide to invoicing clients, and our guide to freelancers and taxesFor more on careers in general, check out our guide to animation careers here, and also take a look at this map of digital studios - a great place to start your search for work in the business. Finally see our article on the jobs page at

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