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Annick Maes, General Director of Cartoon

© Annick Maes, General Director of Cartoon

Frankfurter Buchmesse and Cartoon Movie(opens in a new window) are launching a cooperation in 2024 to support networking between the publishing industry and the film/TV/animation industry. Annick Maes, General Director of CARTOON, explains what exactly Cartoon Movie is and how publishers can benefit from the cooperation.

For what reason and with what goal was CARTOON created?

CARTOON (European Association of Animation Film) is a non-profit association based in Brussels, Belgium that was created in 1988 with the support of Creative Europe MEDIA.

Its main focus is to support the development of the European animation Industry, to create business opportunities and to gather forces and talents to make more ambitious European animation projects that can be internationally distributed. The goal is to help strenghtening and structuring the European animation Industry in all its richness and diversity.  Our motto is "You create, we connect".

Can you tell us about the various events that CARTOON organises?

There are 5 events organised per year: 2 pitching and co-pro events and 3 training events. We want to accompany the professionals in the development of their projects and also during their journey in the animation Industry. 

Human touch is very specific to all CARTOON events with a strong focus on networking and enjoying times to greet and mingle during lunches or social events.

Book to screen is one of the important themes of Frankfurter Buchmesse, but we realise that for many publishers it is not clear how to get into this business.

How and with which contacts can CARTOON be a bridge for the book industry into the film business at this point?

There are many animation projects, whether films or TV series that are adaptation from book IPs (comics, graphic novels…). But not only for kids, there is a growing number of film projects that are targeted to adult audiences. 

What is interesting is that the other way around, book publishers are looking to source IPs from animation projects. There is a real talent pool of authors, graphic authors, scriptwriters in the animation sector and more and more publishers look to adapt film or TV projects into books. 

Also, there is a real benefit from both sides - the producer and the publisher - to join forces at an early stage of the project so to develop jointly the film and the book and even to build up a brand strategy with a strong commercial impact for the launch. 

For many years now, CARTOON welcomes book publishers at Cartoon Forum and Cartoon Movie. And to highlight and sustain the business opportunities between both sectors, a « Spotlight on Book Publishers » will be organised during next Cartoon Movie with a delegation of international publishers, a dedicated corner to organise meetings. Book publishers looking to buy or to sell titles are welcome to join!

Also, as part of the « Animation & Transmedia » initiative, a specific round table will be held on 5 March: "How to sell a book for screen production? How to approach a publisher as producer looking for rights?” by Sam Arthur (Flying Eye Books - UK), Laurent Duvault (Mediatoon Audiovisual Rights - FR) and Richard Klíčník (Argo Publishing - CZ). The moderation will be done by Ivanka Hahnenberger. 

CARTOON’s pitching events gather all the players of the European animation industry so the book publishers can discover the projects and network with production and creative teams as well. 

After Cartoon Movie at the beginning of March, when will the next event take place in which publishers can participate?

 Book publishers are welcome to participate to any CARTOON events, to discover titles and do business or to gain more knowledge on the animation sector. 

Thank you for the interview!


Annick Maes (General Director)