French filmmaker Sandra Desmazieres' first animated film Sans Queue Ni Tete won this year's Cartoon D'Or, which includes Euros 15,000 from the European Union's MEDIA Programme in pre-production aid to begin work on a feature film or TV series project.

Desmazieres' six-minute painting on paper film about a woman's nonsensical and absurd day, which had been the winner at the Cinanima Festival in Espinho last year, was chosen from five European animated shorts - Suzie Templeton's Dog, Serge Avedikian's Ligne De Vie, Russell Brooke's NSPCC "Cartoon", and Siri Melchior's The Dog Who Was A Cat Inside - selected from 25 prize-winners from the film festivals partnering the Brussels-based animation initiative Cartoon.

The Cartoon D'Or was presented at the closing ceremony in Italy's Varese at the 14th Cartoon Forum which saw 82 animated series or TV special specials with a total production volume of Euros 285m being pitched to 108 broadcaster representatives and 154 other potential investors.

This year's financing market included projects for the first time from the new European Union member states of Poland and Slovakia, but the overwhelming majority - 67 - came from the five "large animation territories" of the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. According to Cartoon's managing director Marc Vandeweyer, between 35-40% of the projects have a "good chance" of closing their finance and being realised in the short to middle term.

Meanwhile, Filmboard Berlin-Brandenburg (FBB) has struck a deal with Cartoon for the annual Cartoon Movie financing market for animated feature films to continue to be held at the Babelsberg Studios for the next five years .

"We wanted from the outset to advance the animation production location of Berlin-Babelsberg. That is why we have provided continuous and massive support. I am particularly pleased about the close link of this most important forum in Europe to Berlin-Babelsberg," commented FBB's chief executive Klaus Keil.

The next Cartoon Movie will be held at the fx Center on the Babelsberg Studios lot from March 11-13, 2004.