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Networking @ Cartoon Movie 2007

11 juni 2007
On March 7, eight animation production companies from Flanders took the opportunity to meet potential German co-production partners one-to-one at Cartoon Movie 2007 in Potsdam, Germany. The participants were delighted with this initiative from the German MEDIA Antenna Berlin-Brandenburg and the Belgium MEDIA Desk Flanders. In a speed-dating setting, each company was able to make business contacts with other producers from Germany and Flanders.
The positive reactions after this first-time an free-of-charge service proved there was a need for more personal contact at big industry events like Cartoon Movie. 'The organisation of this kind of meetings one day before the event itself is certainly something worth repeating and expanding', says Linda Van Tulden from DeFamilieJanssen, one of the participating production companies from Flanders. 'At Cartoon 2007 for instance, it is hard to have a decent conversation with the interested parties after the screening because they are already rushing to another one.' Despite her initial scepticism, Annemie Degryse of Lumière was also very pleased with the one-to-one meetings: 'They clearly pointed out there was a eagerness from the German side to get to know us better. In the future, I would really like to get acquainted with production companies from other countries in a similar way.' Pilar Torres from Beast Animation agrees: 'It would also be good to have this kind of contacts with companies from France, Switzerland, Italy etc.' For Beast Animation, the formula of 20 minute personal meetings works perfectly as an introduction because it enables to see quite quickly if there is a possible match or not. Cartoon Movies 2007 itself proved to be a very informative event for the participants from Flanders, as explained by Joeri Christiaen, Frank De Wulf and Jan Goossen from Grid: 'It was very interesting to see what goes on in the European animation industry. Companies from Flanders are doing well but are often minority participants. The main conclusion we draw from this forum is that there are numerous opportunities. It would be a big mistake to think that production companies from Flanders are of little importance in this industry. We have plenty of possibilities in this fast growing market'.