Poor Devil Poor Devil

Animation in Europe, a federation of European animation producers established in 2016, held a general meeting in Annecy this week, where members elected a new board of directors, welcomed three new countries to their ranks, and discussed the current state of European film and tv animation production.

Here are four big takeaways from this year’s general meeting and the corresponding report put out by the federation after its conclusion.

  • European Animation Exports are Punching Above Their Weight

According to the federation, animated features and series are doing extremely well on the international market, especially compared to their live-action counterparts.

The group used Germany as an example, where a small batch of family animated films which represent just 5% of the country’s overall production, made up half of the country’s feature film exports. Meanwhile, animation exports from France account for nearly half of all audiovisual revenues abroad, despite only accounting for 10% of the total volume of national production across all mediums.

  • Streamers Are Neglecting European Studios

Animation in Europe expressed disappointment that U.S. streamers aren’t commissioning more work from European studios. Referring to the global success of European animation, the federation’s report says:

This undeniable international potential contrasts sharply with the very small number of European animated series and films commissioned by platforms, even though these platforms are investing heavily in the production of local dramas. This observation is shared by all member countries of Animation in Europe.

France was used as an example to emphasize the group’s argument. The country imposes some of the world’s strictest local production quotas on global platforms, but the impact of that legislation is felt far more keenly in live-action production than in animation.

Making matters worse, the group says that when streamers do recruit European studios, it’s typically for service work and rarely for original animation. According to the report, studios in countries with booming animation industries such as France, Ireland, and Spain still mostly do service work for U.S. productions like Arcane and The Cuphead Show.

  • A Call to Action

While the group was quick to call out some of the troubles the European industry is experiencing, it didn’t do so without offering a solution. In its report, Animation in Europe issued a call to action to the European Union which reads:

Animation in Europe calls on the European Union and EU member states to leverage the planned review of the AVMS Directive, set for no later than the end of 2025, to defend the position of European animation and promote a European editorial offering targeted at a young audience.

The AVMS Directive is an EU law that dictates the level of investment that broadcasters and platforms must make in any country where they do business. So, Animation in Europe is asking the EU to update the conditions of that directive to help bolster original animation production in its member countries.

  • New Members

There was some good news in this year’s report as well. The Federation revealed that it has added new members Estonia, Greece, and Portugal, bringing the number of European member countries to 20, including associate member U.K. According to the group, the additions are representative of an “interest among European producers in inter-country exchange of industry information and collective action at the community level.”

The organization also elected its new board of directors for the next two years, which will be led by Philippe Alessandri (Watch Next Media, France) who will continue as president. Four vice-presidents were also elected, including Moe Honan (Moetion Films, Ireland), Pablo Jordi (Pikkukala, Finlande), Ivan Agenjo (Peekaboo Animation, Spain), and Dirk Beinhold (Akkord Film Produktion, Germany).

Pictured at top: HBO Max’s Spanish original series Poor Devil

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