On 21 December 2020, a first version of the new ‘Wonderland mechanism’ was presented to ALICE’s partners by the legal and finance working group. The ambition of Wonderland is to support the co-development of animated projects in order to boost co-productions between European regions.

This innovative mechanism is the result of close collaboration and intense discussions between the Hauts-de-France’s audiovisual fund Pictanovo and the Walloon’s Wallimage, in consultation with international law firm Taylor & Wessing.

For a project like ALICE, intended to provide economic growth and strengthen competitiveness within the animation industry, facilitating project collaboration in the creative phase is seen as the most effective way to activate the development of co-productions. Consistent with this market-oriented approach, the newly designed Wonderland tool will give producers the support they need to build marketing presentation packages, including a project Bible and a pilot for their project. In other words, with this initiative, ALICE outlines the first instrument supporting the creation of the pitch materials necessary to attach funding partners to films and series.

Since the philosophy behind Wonderland is to promote the animation studios from across the industry, the program will only be open to trans-national projects involving identified studios from the co-producing territories.

Collaborating under bi- or multilateral frame agreements, the European film funds engaged in the initiative will together launch regular calls for projects. The co-producers greenlit will receive 50% of the costs of their marketing presentation packages, and - the most significant added-value of the program- become eligible for accelerated funding for the co-production phase of their project. 

Moving forward, ALICE’s partnership will refine and then test the proposal across its six territories, which are Wallonia, the Hauts-de-France region, Catalonia, the Apulia region, the Republic of Slovakia and the Rzeszow region. The refining and testing process will involve consulting further with animation stakeholders, conducting two more case studies touching upon co-production issues, and using ALICE’s on-going industry mapping work to identify the existing animation studios that will make up the European Wonderland.