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World premiere of The Princess Of The Sun at Babelsberg Cartoon Movie market

This year's Cartoon Movie co-production forum for European animation feature films will be open in Potsdam on March 7 with the world premiere of Philippe Leclerc's The Princess Of The Sun (La Reine Soleil).

Leclerc, who based his story of the Egyptian princess Akhesa on the novel of the same name by the French Egyptologist and author Christian Jacq, is also one of the nominees for this year's Cartoon Movie Tributes which are awarded in recognition of services to the European animation industry and voted on by the 500 delegates at the three-day event in Potsdam/Babelsberg.

The nominees are:

Best European Director of the Year

Luc Besson for Arthur & the Minimoys

Michael Hegner and Karsten Kiilerich for The Ugly Duckling And Me!

Philippe Leclerc for The Princess Of The Sun

Michel Ocelot for Azur & Asmar

Best European Distributor of the Year

France Televisions Distribution (France)

Rezo Films (France)

Scanbox Denmark (Denmark)

Universum Film (Germany)

Best European Producer of the Year

Alphanim, Europool, Nelvana Int. and STUDIOCANAL for Franklin & The Turtle Lake Treasure

Belokan Productions for The Princess Of The Sun

BAF Berlin Animation Film for Happily N'Ever After

Eesti Joonisfilm and Rija Films Lotte from Gadgetville

Last year, the UK's Aardman Animations scored a double triumph by taking home two of the Cartoon Movie Tributes - Best European Director of the Year (Nick Park and Steve Box) and Best European Producer of the Year - for Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit just a week after being awarded an Academy Award for the first feature-length film based on the two plasticine heroes. The Tribute for Best European Distributor of the Year had gone to France's Gebeka Films.

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