On January 20 2021, PROA, the Federation of audiovisual producers, and ProAnimats, the association of animation producers, co-hosted the third meeting with industry stakeholders within the framework of the ALICE project. In addition to animation producers, participants included a representative from FILMIN, the VOD platform of reference for European independent audiovisual content, based in Barcelona. The meeting was an opportunity to learn from them on how to better promote animated content to various audiences, and to raise awareness about ALICE’s action.

FILMIN’s impressive catalogue consists of more than 1000 animated audiovisual works of which over 300 are productions from Europe and over 100 from Spain. It includes prestigious titles such as the French "La prophétie des grenouilles" (2003) and "Strings" (2012) and the Spanish "Wrinkles" (2011). The platform has gained and maintained its prime position on the market through its ability to comprehend and adapt to a fast-changing and competitive market. Its growth strategy is obviously working.

FILMIN sees film festivals as a valuable source of content which inspire and feed its programming. Their own festival, Atlàntida Film Fest, launched in 2011, surpassed 150,000 spectators and was selected ‘Best Festival in Spain’ by the Ministry of Culture (ICAA) in 2015. The 2020 online edition was an unprecedented success. This year’s lineup will include French and Slovakian animated films "A Wave" and "L'Extraordinaire Voyage de Marona". 2021 will also see the platform’s first foray into original production with a new series that is expected to air by the end of the year.

As a firm believer that animation should also be seen in cinemas, FILMIN has been supporting theatrical distribution of animated films of choice. In 2020, they promoted the theatre release of Imagic TV’s multi-awarded film ‘JOSEP’, which drew 10,000 viewers to Spanish theatres despite the restrictions resulting from the Covid19 outbreak.

Offering high-quality animated audiovisual works, suitable for children and adults, the platform considers itself as a distributor of local content and a curator of international content. Their channel FILMIN KIDS has many animation successes stories, among which are the short film rosters "El grúfalo" or "Topitos y Manchitas" and a number of productions from the previous generation, labelled ‘nostalgic content’, that parents are keen on sharing with their kids. The recent addition to their catalogue of creative animated films for adults, such as ‘Loving Vincent’, "Another Day of Life’ and ‘30 Years of Darkness’ as well as classic hits including ’Waltz with Bashir’ attracted adult fans of the genre, and helped the platform distinguish itself among the competition.

Echoing PROA’s discussions on the importance of dubbing, FILMIN points out their limitations in terms of the distribution of European content, which need to be available in different languages to appeal to children. They also noted a market opportunity to cater to teens and young adults, for whom they are currently developing a new channel.

At the meeting FILMIN provided PROA and ProAnimat with excellent tips to enhance ongoing discussions about the development of an action plan for distributing animated content. Options for collaboration with FILMIN could include special streaming events, a ProAnimats ‘pop up channel’ on special occasions as well as off- and on-line cross media events intended to promote Catalonian animation.

As background, ALICE’s objective is to unlock growth in European animation SMEs through the development of co-productions. The program is structured around four working groups tackling challenges pertaining to funding and legal issues, talent attraction and training, clusters, as well as distribution.

Focusing on audiovisual new trends, PROA is actively studying the role of the different players in the promotion of European animation. This research has been supported by consultation with animation producers, meetings with lineal broadcasters and VOD platforms as Netflix, Youtube, WarnerMedia or Disney+. In ALICE context, PROA has organized a ‘distribution panel’ in December 2020, where European distribution players could reflect on the theatrical release of European animated content, and is moving things forward in 2021 with this January meeting with FILMIN, the reference VOD platform for European content.


© Cover picture: La Gallina Turuleca, co-produced by Producions A Fonsagrada (Filmax), Gloriamundi Producciones, Pampa Films, Tandem Films & Mogambo (Nominated for Best Animated Film at the Premios Goya 2021)