On July 29, 2021, the Federation of Audio-visual Producers PROA organised the last ALICE project meeting with local animation stakeholders. As the two-year exploration phase of the project reaches its end, this closing session was the opportunity to report on the results and the experience dealing with COVID-19- related uncertainties and physical distancing. Participants included representatives from the Catalan Institute of Cultural Industries (ICEC) as well as from the association of animation producers, ProAnimats.
For this new phase which will start in September 2021, ALICE’s six partners* have committed to a number of actions based on the conclusions of Phase 1 that are aimed at fostering European co-productions. The partners will regroup in the summer of 2022 to take stock of the positive impacts of their actions and discuss the best ways to provide continued support for industry development in the future. In a public presentation dated 6 July, PROA successfully presented the action plan developed for the Catalan animation industry. The 29 July session was an occasion to reiterate the essential importance of ICEC’s support to the successful implementation of this plan and to recall the plan’s priorities: producing a complete mapping of the actors that make up the regional animation sector, registering Catalonia’s animation studios in ALICE’s Wonderland smart directory**, and making co-production rules and deadlines for animation projects more flexible.
Recognizing the quality of PROA’s work and the relevance of the proposed actions to actually boost the animation market, the ICEC re-expressed their full support to the ALICE project. The meeting ended in a discussion during which practical questions were raised regarding the good execution of the plan, including timing and resources, but also what would entail in Catalonia joining the Wonderland and detail about the expected co-production regulatory changes.
*The ALICE project’s six partners include PROA, film funds Wallimage (Wallonia, Belgium) and Pictanovo (Hauts-de-France, France), the Puglia Region (Italy), the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic and the Rzeszow Regional Development Agency (RARR).
**The Wonderland is a label created by ALICE’s legal and finance working group which will give access to a smart directory of European animation studios as well as to a new funding program for European animated co-production projects.