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Last week I headed to Sopron, Hungary for Cartoon Forum, the biggest annual gathering of the European animation community. Each year the Forum is held in a different European town, and about 1,000 animation industry people descended on Sopron to pitch 60 new projects to broadcasters, distributors and co-producers.

  Cartoon Forum 2

Sopron, Hungary

The Forum kicked off with a huge barbeque by a lake with a gypsy band playing. One of the nicest things about the Forum is that meals are all taken together, buffet style, which means that everyone gets to mingle instead of staying with their usual gang. It definitely makes for a very friendly atmosphere.Cartoon Forum 4

Three days of pitch sessions kicked off on Wednesday with producers from all over Europe pitching shows in a huge variety of animation styles. As usual, pre-school projects were in the majority, but there were quite a few projects aimed at the 6-11 age group.

Jam Media’s presentation of Tilly & Friends was a big hit, with author & illustrator Polly Dunbar drawing her way through a sample story for the audience. Autour de Minuit‘s Babioles  got the biggest laughs of the Forum for its hilarious non-dialogue pilot featuring squeaky toys looking for friendship in a harsh real life environment. Joyets from Iain Harvey’s Illuminated Film Company and Karrot Animation’s Sarah & Duck also went down particularly well.


  Cartoon Forum 5 Tilly & Friends

Tilly & Friends


  Cartoon Forum 10 Sarah and Duck

Sarah & Duck

Cartoon Forum 9 Sarah & Duck

After the pitch sessions each day we were all bussed off to do some sight-seeing in the region. We crossed the Austrian/Hungarian border so many times we weren’t quite sure what country we were in half the time. We visited Esterhazy Castle, where Josef Haydn lived & worked for 40 years (a full orchestra was rehearsing for the Haydn Festival in the palace’s concert hall which apparently has the best accoustics in the world). There was wine-tasting at a local vineyard and a boat trip around Lake Fertő, and lots of bad dancing at the parties organised by CARTOON!


  Cartoon Forum 6 Esterhazy

Esterhazy Palance

Each year the attendees at the Forum vote for the Broadcaster, Distributor and Producer of the Year. In Sopron the awards went to YLE (Broadcaster), Moonscoop (Distributor) and TeamTo (Production company).


  Calon's Robin Lyons, nominee for Production Co of the year

Calon's Robin Lyons, nominee for Production Co of the year





  Cartoon Forum 11 winners

Winners TeamTo, YLE & Moonscoop

The final night’s party was hosted in the huge, cavernous (& very cold!) Fertörákos caves. The Cartoon D’Or awards for Best Film of the Year kicked off with an amazing live sand animation performance from Hungarian artist Ferenc Cako . The Cartoon D’or was won by Estonian Kaspar Jancis  for his film Crocodile.

Cartoon Forum 15 cave


  Cartoon Forum 13 Sand Animation

Ferenc Cato's live sand animation


  Cartoon Forum 14 Kasper Francis Crokodil

Kaspar Jancis

After the awards there was a stampede for the dinner tables and the dancefloor for some dance lessons with a Hungarian folk band. The party continued well into the night so there were a lot of tired & emotional animation producers on the planes home the next morning. Next year the Forum will be held by the sea at Sopot, Poland…and it all starts all over again!

All photographs ©Cartoon Media
Tags: Cartoon Forum,


Nice blog Jennie! I like the look of Crocodile, did they screen the whole film?

23 September 2010 by Doc

Yes, they screened the whole film, and the four other nominated films:

A Family Portrait by Joseph Pierce (UK)
Angry Man by Anita Killi (Norway)
Logorama by H5 (France)
The Tale of Little Puppetboy by Johannes Nyholm (Sweden)

More info on them all here: http://www.cartoon-media.be/OR/index.php .

Check out ‘...Puppetboy’ here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1qS3judOhw - absolutely hilarious!

27 September 2010 by Jennie

Massive Australian fans here, my daughter asks every day if octonauts are on and just cried when they finished! Looking forward to DVD! Oh and she sings and plays octonauts all day! Thanks for a great show

31 January 2011 by Linley flugge

yeah,I like cartoon.It’s my life!I think when I watch cartoon,my heart is pure and I never thought of anything else.

14 March 2011 by eva

Dear Sarah & Duck team,

I would dearly love to be able to buy a Sarah and Duck toy, like in the pic above, for my little boy, who absolutely LOVES the new show (as do I - and his older brother, but doesn’t like to admit it!).
Is there anything available as yet, or are they just marketing toys at this stage??

Many thanks,

Caroline Stanley.

26 March 2013 by Mrs S

Hi Caroline,

Sarah & Duck is made by our friends at Karrot Animation. You can check in with them on Facebook and I’m sure they’ll be able to give you an update on toys:

The toys in the photo above were handmade by the crew in the early days when they were developing the show…they’re collector’s items now! :)

26 March 2013 by Jennie Stacey

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