France was the big winner of this year's Cartoon Movie Tributes awarded to 'companies or personalities that have had a positive or dynamic influence on the European animation feature film industry' which were presented at the Cartoon Movie market in Babelsberg this afternoon.
The Best European Director of the Year award went to Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud for their film Persepolis which has received more than 18 award nominations, including the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film, as well as winning five Cesars and a Golden Globe.
The honours for Best European Distributor of the Year went to Paris-based Europa Distribution, a European network of 60 independent distributors from 18 countries, including A-Film Distribution, Diaphana, Mikado, Gebeka Films, Frenetic and Kino Swiat. while Valerie Schermann and Christophe Jankovic's Prima Linea Productions was named Best European Producer of the Year for its unique project Peur(s) du Noir, which brought together ten visual and comic book artists exploring the multiple facets of fear.
Meanwhile, the last day of the Cartoon Movie co-production market saw German actor Boris Aljinovic presenting his directorial debut 7 Dwarves which will be an animated feature film inspired by the two 7 Dwarves live-action films from 2004 and 2006 where he appeared alongside such German comedians as Otto Waalkes, Ralf Schmitz and Mirco Nontschew.
The producers of the two live-action films - Zipfelmuetzen Film, Film & Entertainment VIP Medienfonds, MMC Independent, Rialto Film, and Universal Pictures Productions - have been joined so far on the planned 3D English language project by the Telepool subsidiary Europool.
Described by producer Douglas Welbat of Zipfelmuetzen Film as 'the Smurfs of the 21st century' and 'Walt Disney meets Harpo Marx', 7 Dwarves will draw on the services of the Munich-based animation studio Trixter Productions for the concrete animation work. Financing is expected to be closed by the end of 2008, with production beginning in 2009 and a theatrical release at the end of 2010.