On January 22, ALICE partners had a pivotal steering committee meeting as the project enters the last part of its exchange of good practices phase. Essential questions pertaining to reallocating budget and sharing the project’s initial results were addressed.

Discussions focused first on how to strategically reallocate the Covid-19 related underspend, in a way that would effectively serve the objectives of the program. ALICE partners brainstormed additional activities that could be carried out to further advance and promote the exchange of good practices. Action could be undertaken to test and evaluate the methodological and financing tools designed within the framework of ALICE, including the industry mapping and the ‘Wonderland’ funding scheme. The partners also discussed new initiatives involving identified experts, to improve the project’s final deliverables and better prepare for the next chapter of results dissemination. Planning in-person bilateral meetings and requesting for an extension of the current phase of the project were other options seriously considered. Based on a revised budget, the partnership will make a collegial decision in the best interest of the project, whether it leans towards refining the final outputs or buying some time to better navigate uncertainty.

The second part of the meeting was dedicated to communicating the project’s initial achievements. It was an opportunity to update everyone about the work of the different working groups. The first version of the ‘Wonderland’ funding tool vetted by the partners has been circulated to all of ALICE’s stakeholders across its six territories (Wallonia, Hauts-de-France, Catalonia, Slovakia, the Apulia and the Rzeszow regions). The next step will be to adapt the initial version to fit with industry feedback.

After the successful panel about "The theatrical distribution of European animation films" held in December, the distribution working group led by ALICE’s Catalonian and Slovakian partners, will direct its research toward the production and distribution of new animated formats. A detailed methodology for industry mapping has now been shared by PROA (Catalonia) and could be the subject of a public presentation to a wide audience of stakeholders.

The education and training working group led by the Apulian region have finalized a document compiling the results of the survey of animation companies, schools and public bodies carried out during the last quarter of 2020. Fed by the industry profiles mapped out by PROA, the conclusions of the study will help create optimal training programs for animation students and professionals.

It is now clear that ALICE will be able to provide an array of instruments capable of both strengthening the European industry and inspiring new policies. The strategic choices the partnership will make within the next few weeks will determine how to finalize usable market outputs and when to release them.

© Cover picture: Dalia y el libro rojo, co-produced by Doce Entertainment (Mr Miyagi Films group), Golem Studio & Vista Sur Films.