Insights > From Persepolis To The Toondra
31 Dec 2008

From Persepolis To The Toondra

A French cartoon film has been nominated early December to receive the most important American animation prize bestowed by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards during its ceremony on January the 12th 2008. PERSEPOLIS is a feature animation based on Marjane Satrapi bestselling comic book adapted for the big screen in collaboration with Vincent Paronnaud – the underground comic artist who co-direct this film. The French production was already awarded at the latest Cannes International Film Festival and will now receive the American award ex aequo with the blockbuster Pixar production RATATOUILLE directed by Brad Bird.

The animation cartoon by Marjane has little to share with its American co-awarded movie. The adventures of RATATOUILLE – a lovely mouse which lives in a Parisian restaurant – are at the antipodes of the adventures set in the sweet-and-sour PERSEPOLIS. The French film depicts the author’s childhood in Iran before and during the war with Irak.  It is a cartoon autobiography presented with simple lines. Marjane comic black and white environment contrasts with the profusion of techniques used at Pixar, but what makes the uniqueness of this feature animation is its enormous success - for a genre that is seldom explore – a comic underground novel with political content. We may have to go back to the 80th-90th success of MAUS another underground comic novel by Art Spiegelman to find and equivalent to PERSEPOLIS.

A very important meeting will follow from short, the Ceremonial Day when Marjane and Vincent will receive the Golden Globe award for their film ( In the Best Foreign Language Film section together with the Romanian Palme d¨Or 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS). Three days precisely after the award ceremony, on January the 15th, 2008 animation filmmakers from around the world will have to submit their works for the next edition of the Annecy International Film Festival – the animation equivalent to Cannes.

This year's event is much anticipated for a couple of reasons; first of all, the French animation festival marks the 100 years of animation. For the occasion, the organizers announced that the programme should take us on a discovery trip to India.  The festival will continue to last 6 days of animated festivities, and its competetion part remains open to feature films, short films, commissioned and TV films, TV films and graduation using all kind of animation techniques. As for the last edition; the event is closed by, the Mifa  - a unique professional trade fair where all the players from the animation industry come together for three days of networking and advancing numerous projects.

What many animation filmmakers will observe with a particular attention is the development of TOONDRA – a Video On Demand (VOD) web site that is specifically dedicated to animated short films. The website already presents some 1,000 extracts of films from the Annecy Festival official selection. TOONDRA was made up of independent authors and producers of animated films (short films and series) who have decided to offer direct access to their work via the web site. Movies at TOONDRA are made available on a pay for view basis. The challenge for this site launched at the time of the last edition of the festival, it is of course that it will be regularly updated with new animation productions, and that it will include Asian films as well as productions from the new ASEM countries.

The films that can be downloaded on the TOONDRA web site are being sold within a legal framework. TOONDRA has concluded agreements with the beneficiaries of the copyright for their use on the Internet.. When one buys a short film from TOONDRA, the sales price, after the payment intermediary's commission has been deducted, is distributed as follows: 50 % go to the beneficiaries of the film (producers, directors, authors, etc.). The remaining 50% go to TOONDRA who runs the site, and updates the catalogue. Films in TOONDRA are available once the download has been completed. The visitor can then read it on his computer, burn it on a CD or DVD, or transfer it to a portable media player (depending on the selected format).

For those of you who prefer to surf for films samples right from their sources – at the European animation studios, we have compiled a short link list for your bookmars that you will find here under. Looking at these sites will  not only give you an image of the trends in the animation industry and a chance to download some trailers, these links can also be an inspiring source of models for your own web-promotion.

We would like to conclude this article with two recommendations:
- 1. continue to surf for models of ASEM film websites in the SEA-Images Resources Directory
- 2. Don¨t forget the next deadline for Annecy




AUSTRIA - Bonsai Cuts

BULGARIA - Venelin Animation

DENMARK - Fabulab

ESTONIA - Multi Film

FINLAND - Lonely Sardine

FRANCE - Bechamel
GERMANY - TRIKK17 - Animationsraum

GREECE - FullScope Studios


IRELAND - A man and link

ITALY - La Fantomatica

LITHUANIA - Dami Digital


POLAND - GS Animation

SPAIN - Bee Mind

- Mad Crew

by Gyora Gal Glupczynski