Forty-two animated projects have been selected for the the ninth edition of CEE Animation Forum. The event aims to highlight animation talent from Central and Eastern Europe, serving as a networking opportunity for artists and studios via pitching competitions. Included in the selections are Student Academy Award-winning or -shortlisted filmmakers, as well as newcomers.
Like last year, the event, which normally takes place in the Czech Republic, will be held entirely online due to the pandemic. The traditional pitching competition will be held April 26-29, and additional industry programming will run May 4-9 in collaboration with the Czech Republic’s Anifilm International Festival of Animated Films.
While networking is certainly trickier to do online, the CEE organizers have continued prioritizing creating opportunities for everyone registered to meet with international co-producers, world sales agents, broadcasters, streaming platforms, distributors, representatives of public funds, and financiers.
A new category, Rising Stars, has been introduced this year to highlight student-made shorts, bringing the total number of competitive categories to five. The others are Feature Films, Series and TV Specials, Short Films, and XR Immersive Media. CEE’s goal in creating the new category is to help foster dialogue between schools in the region, and help increase the quality of student work by giving them real industry experience, feedback, and support.
The organizers this year received a record 116 submissions — nearly double from just four years ago. The submissions come from 27 countries across Europe, with the majority of the selections coming from Central and Eastern Europe; Hungary had the most selections this year with six. Across the 42 projects, 47% of directors are women, as are 46% of producers. Notably too, all five categories are headed by a woman.
All of the selections are receiving coaching sessions starting this month, and will receive three sessions total. This is to help prepare teams for both the pre-recorded video pitches and one-on-one meetings with juries and industry representatives.
Here is the full list of project selections:
Birds Don’t Look Back
Director: Nadia Nackle
Producer: Sebastien Onomo, Special Touch Studios
Director: Dimitri Planchon
Producer: Alexandre Gavras, KG Productions