Samuel Samuel

The first project to be acquired out of last week’s Cartoon Forum is Samuel, a series from young writer-director Émilie Tronche. Culture channel Arte France has boarded the project.

"Samuel" creator Émilie Tronche
“Samuel” creator Émilie Tronche

Samuel follows the ten-year-old character of the title and his friends, depicting their emotions as they experience the start of adolescence. The age of the characters notwithstanding, the series is described in the Cartoon Forum program as being aimed at young adults and adults.

“Children are usually portrayed as cute and endearing, even kind,” Tronche told Variety, which first reported the news of the acquisition. She added, “children aren’t cute, or they don’t intend to be. That was the challenge for me — I wanted things to be natural, not forced, and to convey emotions imperceptibly through gazes, movements, pauses, dialogues, and music.”

Much has been said about how the rise of streaming platforms has upended traditional series formats. Samuel is a good example: it consists of 21 four-minute episodes. Arte is planning a release on its website arte.tv, Youtube, and Instagram, and is also preparing a version for Tiktok.

Tronche has been developing the show on her Instagram, where she uploads sketches and pilot episodes. The visual style is pared-back and monochrome.

“We’re always looking for new and innovative formats,” Lili Blumers, commissioning editor at Arte France’s digital department, told Variety. “It is also our mission to detect new creative talents that are able to connect with audiences on digital platforms.”

Samuel is produced by French producer-distributor Les Valseurs. Its animation catalogue includes the César-winning Wicked Girl and SXSW-winning Guaxuma.

Animation news you can use
Support independent publishing

Your membership will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you. Support Cartoon Brew for as little as $1 a week — the process is fast and easy.

Become A Member   

Latest News from Cartoon Brew