Chico & Rita to open 13th edition of Cartoon Movie, the forum that awards and honours the best in European animation. 

Cartoon Movie (March 2-4) will bring professionals from the European animation industry together to vote on the sector’s personalities of the year and award the top director, producer and distributor of European animated films in 2011.

Over 660 participants from 21 different countries will take part in the event in Lyon, France, which will feature 56 films and projects, including box office hits Animals United and Despicable Me.

Competitors for Best Director of the Year include: Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal and Tono Errando for Chico&Rita [pictured];Jesper Møller and Sinem Sakaoglu for the German-French co-production The Sandman and the Lost Sand of Dreams; and French director Pierre Coffin for DespicableMe.

France 3 Cinéma (France), Constantin Film (Germany) and Copenhagen Bombay (Denmark) will contend for Best Producer of the Year while 6 Sales (Spain), Gutek Films (Poland) and StudioCanal (France) will vie for Best Distributor of the Year.

Winners will be announced on March 4.

Cartoon Movie is organised with support from the MEDIA Programme of the European Union, CNC (Centre national du cinema et de l’image animée), the Rhone-Alpes Region, Greater Lyon and Cluster Imaginove.