The first-ever European Animation Awards (EAA), set to take place on December 8 in Lille, France, have opened their call for entries.

The awards, which are called the Emiles, launched their call with this animated version of Song of the Sea and The Secret of Kells director Tomm Moore explaining the concept:

Moore animated the piece himself along with Fabian Erlinghauser, Giovanna Ferrari, Ross Stewart, Camille Chao, Ariel Ries, Guillaume Lorin, Louise Bagnall, Liselott Olofsson, Geoff King, and Emmanuel Asquier-Brassart.

Sixteen Emile Awards will be handed out in the following categories, in addition to the Lotte Reiniger Award for lifetime achievement.

  • Best Student Film
  • Best Commissioned Film
  • Best Animated Short Film
  • Best Background and Character design in a short film production
  • Best TV/Broadcast Production (Director)
  • Best Background and character design in a TV/Broadcast Production
  • Best Character Animation in a TV/Broadcast Production
  • Best Writing in a TV/Broadcast Production
  • Best Storyboard in a TV/Broadcast Production
  • Best Soundtrack in a TV/Broadcast Production
  • Best Feature Film (Director)
  • Best Background and Character design in a Feature Production
  • Best Character Animation in a Feature Production
  • Best Writing in a Feature Production
  • Best Storyboard in a Feature Production
  • Best Soundtrack in a Feature Production

Complete rules and regulations are available on the European Animation Awards website, but here are some of the basics:

Who may submit: European production or distribution companies, European individuals or any European school/college of animation or cinema. All the films must be European productions or co-productions. List of European countries eligible: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom

Eligibility date: To qualify for entry, productions must have had their first release between January 1, 2016 and July 31, 2017.

Deadline to enter: September 15, 2017

Nomination and voting process: For each category, a jury of three animation professionals will choose three nominees from the pool of eligible entries, in each category. Results of pre-selection will be announced by the end of October. In November, all members of EAA association will be invited to vote online for their favorite nominee in each of the 16 categories. To join the EAA and vote, see here.

Europe has countless film awards and animation festivals, but this is its first animation-specific award (outside of local festivals) that recognizes the breadth of animation currently being produced across the continent. As we’ve noted previously, the Emiles are a big leap forward in the development of a pan-European animation culture and will help direct attention toward worthwhile projects that are often overlooked by the Annie Awards and Oscars.

Backed by broad support from the European animation community, the Emiles will be an award to keep an eye on this season.

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