On June 17, 2021, at Annecy International Animation Film Festival’s Market (MIFA), Pictanovo, Wallimage and PROA held an interregional stakeholders’ meeting with participants from the Hauts-de-France region, Wallonia, Catalonia and Poland. After nearly 18 months in lockdown, this extraordinary session provided a unique opportunity for industry people to mingle, and for ALICE to get instant reactions on two fundamental proposals designed to improve the future of animation in Europe.

The participants included animation producers from across ALICE’s territories, managers of producers’ associations and representatives of funding bodies. In order to facilitate networking, the hosts let everyone introduce themselves and then led two presentations in a warm and enthusiastic atmosphere. Attending the meeting as the representative of PROA, Iván Agenjo, Chairman at ProAnimats, introduced the result of ALICE’s mapping work in broad strokes: a method allowing for an exhaustive description of the industry players as well as their direct and indirect contributions to the animation production value chain. Evoking the issues at stake, Mr. Agenjo recalled the fundamental usefulness of mapping as a tool allowing for industries in-depth analysis and comparisons and leading to strategic policy improvements and new collaborations.

Mr. Reynaert, former CEO of Wallonia’s film fund Wallimage, then presented ALICE’s new concept of “Wonderland”. A label giving exclusive opportunities for collaborations, the Wonderland aims at fostering cross-border European collaborations by promoting the recognition of animation studios and the co-development of trans-national projects in Europe. The presentation included a detailed description of the Wonderland’s smart directory, a unique database of the key skills and competences of animation studios. The whole concept won general approval and an eagerness to join the future label.

Philippe Reynaert presenting ALICE's Wonderland at MIFA

Judging by the attention paid to the presentations, the applause that they received and the interest expressed by the participants to take part in the future initiatives of ALICE, the meeting was a total success. In the coming weeks, ALICE intends to continue to disseminate its proposals and rally a growing number of industry players capable of influencing policies for a bright and collaborative future for the European animation industry.