"Arco" "Arco"

As we approach the first anniversary of lockdowns in Europe, some animation events are preparing for a second unusual edition. Unlike last spring, though, the infrastructure for virtual talks and screenings is now well established, and festivals are confidently preparing big online programs.

Vaccines are being rolled out quickly across the continent, but major in-person get-togethers aren’t on the cards anytime soon. Here, then, is a list of upcoming animation events that have confirmed a virtual set-up. We previously covered U.S. events that have done the same.

The Brussels, Belgium-based Anima Festival, one of Europe’s largest animation festivals, is going virtual for its 40th birthday. “You probably already guessed it,” said the organizers, “but we wanted to believe it to the end. It’s with a heavy heart that the festival has had to give up the idea of an onsite 40th edition, due to the developments in the health crisis.”

The event will take place on February 12–21. The film program will be restricted to audiences in Belgium; international viewers will have access to talks with Belgian directors and studios, masterclasses, and other professional events. More info here.

Cartoon Movie, Europe’s premier pitching event for animated features, will take place online on March 9–11. It is normally held in the French city Bordeaux. Its sister event Cartoon Forum was also held virtually in September. As with that event, the pitches this time will be pre-recorded. Participating filmmakers will have opportunities to network with the usual array of buyers, investors, and potential partners. More info here.

Last year’s edition of Tricky Women was cut short as Covid restrictions came in. This year, the organizers are preparing a full online program to mark the 20th anniversary of the festival, which celebrates the work of women animators. The event, which normally happens in Vienna, Austria, will take place on March 10–14. More info here.

Animation Dingle, an important festival in Ireland, will hold its next edition online on March 24–25. “Due to the current rise in cases in Ireland and the current recommendations,” the organizers said, “we feel obliged to play our part in our country’s recovery.”

Last year, the event became one of the first to cancel due to the pandemic; there was no time for it to pivot to virtual. This year’s edition comes with a packed program of events. There will be masterclasses and workshops, screenings of shorts and features, portfolio reviews, a fundraising auction of Irish artists’ work, and more — all of it accessible globally. More info here.

Image at top: Ugo Bienvenu’s “Arco,” which will be presented at Cartoon Movie.

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Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Associate Editor of Cartoon Brew.

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