The Most Precious of Cargoes The Most Precious of Cargoes

World War II drama The Most Precious of Cargoes (image at top), by Oscar-winning director Michel Hazanavicius, is among the animated features to receive funding in the latest Eurimages round.

The Franco-Belgian film, which tells the story of a boy who narrowly escapes Auschwitz, received €470,000 (USD$560,000) — the most of any project in this round. Hazanavicius won an Academy Award for best director for his 2011 live-action feature The Artist.

Two other animated films have been awarded money. Tales of the Hedgehog (France-Luxembourg), a family-friendly social fable from A Cat in Paris directors Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol, was awarded €430,000. Graphic novel adaptation Robot Tales (Spain-France), the first animated film from Spanish director Pablo Berger, received €410,000.

In total, 24 projects received a total of €5.8M ($6.9M), with the three animated films receiving the three largest sums. The support takes the form of loans, to be paid back in line with the revenue the film generates.

Eurimages is the Council of Europe’s film support fund. Its budget — currently around €27.5M per year — comes from member states’ contributions and loan repayments. The organization is independent of the European Union, and in fact has non-European members: Canada, for example, is an associate member. To qualify for funding, features must be co-productions between multiple member states.

In recent years, Eurimages has funded around 70–100 co-productions a year, with the number of animated works never exceeding ten. It is common for animated projects to receive relatively large sums. Recent animated productions to have benefited from the fund include the Haruki Murakami adaptation Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman and Rémi Chayé’s Calamity.

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