Bigwigs from throughout the European animation community have banded together together to form the European Animation Pride Awards (EAPA), a much-needed new annual awards ceremony that will be recognize excellence in European animation. The awards will be voted on by European animation professionals.

While various European countries have their own film awards — the BAFTA in the U.K., the César Award in France, the Goya in Spain — none of those are animation-specific, and further, they are limited in their geographical reach. The Cartoon d’Or does recognize animated shorts from across Europe, but it is a single award for short film, and not a full slate of awards. The EAPAs are intended to fill the gap — a pan-European award that will recognize a broad range of animated projects and filmmakers.

Founded by Didier Brunner, Olivier Catherin, Jean-Paul Commin, and Denis Walgenwitz, the EAPA organization announced yesterday in Paris that Aardman co-founder Peter Lord has been appointed the association’s president.

“As professionals working in Europe in the great, inclusive and multi-faceted world of animation, we can and should feel pride every day to be involved in such a dynamic industry,” Lord said. “What a wonderful idea it is, then, to make that pride in our profession as public as possible through this new initiative – the European Animation Pride Awards. In all its forms, in all its marketplaces and across all media, European animation leads both technically and artistically and I welcome this opportunity to celebrate its scope and diversity.”

The board of directors elected at the meeting consists of:

President: Peter Lord (director/producer, Aardman, United Kingdom)
General Secretary: Jean-Paul Commin (consultant and former producer/distributor, France)
Marie Bro (producer, Dansk Tegnefilm, Denmark)
Didier Brunner (producer, Folivari, v-p of the film association SPFA, France)
Paul Young (producer, Cartoon Saloon, Ireland)
Treasurer: Ton Crone (director of the VNAP, Association of Dutch Animation Producers, the Netherlands)
Board members:
Olivier Catherin (director of Noranim, France)
Doris Cloven (director of Anima Festival, Belgium)
Juan Carlos Concha (director/producer, Apeman Studio, Spain)
Fabrice Fouquet (director/storyboarder, President of Agraf, France)
Odile Perrin (coordinator, Gobelins School of the Image, France)
Stephan Roelants (producer, Melusine productions, Luxembourg)
Michael Rose (producer, Magic Light Pictures, United Kingdom)
Luc Toutounghi (producer, Se-Ma-For, Poland)
Denis Walgenwitz (director and President of the AFCA, France)

The awards will essentially serve as a European alternative to ASIFA-Hollywood’s Annie Awards, which does an inadequate job of recognizing the accomplishments of European animation producers. French animation producer Olivier Catherin told Zippy Frames last summer that their awards will be modeled on the Annies, which has numerous categories recognizing various types of animation. Unlike the Annies, however, which primarily recognize the accomplishments of a single country — the United States — the EAPAs will make an effort to recognize the animation output of over thirty different European countries.

The EAPAs plan to hand out awards in 15-20 categories in their first ceremony, which is currently scheduled to take place in December 2017. The organization is still in its early planning stages and its next steps will be to figure out its nominee selection process and membership/voting procedures, as well as where the awards will be hosted.

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