Come può l'animazione francese superare i confini nazionali?
di Claire La Combe
- CANNES 2017 (in inglese): Il CNC ha organizzato sulla Croisette una tavola rotonda per parlare dell'animazione francese
Questo articolo è disponibile in inglese.
As part of the 70th Cannes Film Festival, the CNC called a round table on the wide reach of French animation. Gathering together the director and producer of Zombillénium [+leggi anche:
scheda film] – the only animated film to be included in the Official Selection this year – and a member of the international sales team for My Life as a Courgette [+leggi anche:
intervista: Claude Barras
scheda film] – the success story of which kicked off at Directors’ Fortnight in 2016, the initiative of the panel was nice to see. There’s still a lot to say and do before animation becomes a permanent international fixture.
Kicking off the discussion, Christine Mazereau, the general delegate of the RECA (the French Animation Schools Network), recalled some key figures: more than 25% of the people who study animation in France pursue their careers abroad once they have their degree. "The high level of know-how of French students is recognised abroad. They’re also reputed for being creative!" Alexis Ducord, who co-directed Zombillénium, could only agree: we have wonderfully talented individuals in France and training is good as the teachers are animation professionals themselves who still work in the industry. As a result, with lots of TV series being made, it’s very easy for a student to get experience. "I’ve always seen my work as a storyboarder and director of TV series as a direct continuation of my training, and by the time Zombillénium came along I was ready!"
On the production side of things, you have to know what you want to do. Henri Magalon (Maybe Movies) touched on the importance of development and writing. "We didn’t have strategic meetings on the international aspects, but on the screenplay and our shared values. If we are true to ourselves and we know what we want to portray, then our film can just as easily speak to people all over the world". The entire issue of international success rests on production marketing techniques and the little "strokes of genius" that can be used to attract foreign distributors.
"What’s tricky with international sales, is that audiences need points of reference, whilst we’re in the business to always try and brings them things that are new" stated Martin Gondre (Indie Sales). The examples of My Life as a Courgette and Zombillénium, two independent productions, are pretty similar. When it came to casting the voices for international audiences for example, neither production decided on anything beforehand. It was a question of (a small) budget. For Henri Magalon, you have to invest more as a producer in marketing, so that you can remain competitive with the Americans, who invest considerable amounts, even before the film is made. "It’s not a bad idea to put the word about that a film exists!"
The conclusion at the end of the day is the same as it is for all independent films: the film economy is fragile and this lack of resources is stopping these films from developing a reputation on an international level. "And if the subject matter of the films were simpler?" asked a seller present in the room. Then that would call the diversity of French animation, which lies at the heart of its attractiveness, into question.
(Tradotto dal francese)
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