On November 9, ALICE partner Pictanovo held a second meeting with animation stakeholders from the Hauts-de-France region, including production companies and the professional association Noranim. In a first stakeholders’ meeting last year, the film fund asked the participants to share their experience of co-production in order to assess the state of inter-regional collaborations. This time, the session provided a more thorough analysis of the regional and European ecosystem for co-productions and the challenges pertaining to existing rules.

Pictanovo offers two financing programs for animation. The ‘Animation Fund’ supports the production of animated films and is open to international co-productions involving the Hauts-de-France region. The ‘Editorial Program Fund’ supports the co-writing and co-development of international projects with a minimum co-production share of 30%.

The participants acknowledged the central role of these programs for the regional animation industry, but stressed the importance of harmonizing the rules of the different regional film funds across Europe to facilitate cross-border cooperation. They pointed out the need for more clarity of the various sets of regulations, in particular with regard to minority co-production guidelines, production expenses eligibility and threshold, distribution and broadcasting requirements, and the funding available to cover production services costs incurred outside the region of a production.

The lack of harmonization between European countries with regards to the share of public funding authorized in the financing of a project was also identified as a major challenge. While it is possible to fund up to 50% of a project through public money in France, this percentage varies greatly from country to country. The participants deplored the lack of clarity about the nature of the different funding programs available (be it grants, repayable loans or co-production shares…).

This discussion revealed that more upstream collaboration is needed to allow producers from across Europe to work together more easily, within a common frame of reference. Pictanovo will host another meeting in December to brainstorm ways to improve.

Cover picture: Umbrella, Moukda Production (FR), in coproduction with Bigaro Film (ES)