Madrid Welcomes Cartoon Springboard

As part of its objective of building into a key industry hub in the European animation and VFX landscape, Spain’s Madrid will host for the first time an edition of renowned training event Cartoon Springboard, which will run Oct. 25-27.

24 animated series and feature film projects by young European talents will be presented at the meeting, where a panel of experts will mentor the selected writers, directors, and producers with the aim of strengthening their projects both creatively and financially.

More from Variety

Organised by Cartoon, the training event reaches Madrid, after having been previously held in the cities of Valencia, Valenciennes and Halle.

“Madrid has inked an agreement for Springboard to be held in Madrid for the next three editions,” says Ignacio Carballo, head of audiovisual industries in the Madrid region. The deal marks a further step in the Spanish region’s goal of becoming a European epicenter of animation and VFX.

“The landing of Cartoon Springboard will help to put Madrid on the map. It is a launching pad for many projects that will add more weight over time,” argues Nico Matji, president of Pixel Cluster Madrid.

Shortlisted from 49 submissions, the 24 selected projects hail from 12 European countries. With seven projects, Spanish animation leads the selection followed by France (4), Czech Republic (3), and Denmark (2).

Some potential highlights at the shortlist could take in:

”Apocalypse Mojito,” a YA comedy TV series project by Julien Séze and Cédric Stéphan produced by France’s Passion Paris Production. Designed as 10 7-minute episodes, it turns on two friends who go from village to city bringing fun and good humor. Unfortunately, however, in the year 2100, civilization has collapsed and major technological upheavals have been added to the catastrophe of climate change.

”Awan in the Desert,” a social feature film project written by Julia Horrillo and Verónica Adell, from Barcelona’s Universidad Pompeu Fabra, produced by Norbert Llarás at Alhena Productions. It focuses on a 13-year-old adolescent girl dressed as a boy who arrives from Ivory Coast to Southern Spain. During her journey through North Africa she will take shelter in the story of a legendary Ivorian warrior.

Awan in the Desert
Awan in the Desert

”Beanboy,” directed by Emily Hanning, from Denmark’s The Animation Workshop – Viborg, is a TV comedy series aimed at children 9-11. It follows a bean with an eternally childlike soul and heart of gold that can’t help but inspire those around him to see problems from new perspectives. In every episode the bean dies, ready to be reborn anew for the next one.

The Cherry Brothers,” directed by Miriam Obin at Gobelins École de l’image in France, following two cherry brothers linked by a magic stem that stretches or retracts according to their moods. A 12 episode, 3-minute project aimed at children 5-7.

The Cherry Brothers
The Cherry Brothers

”Dark, Dark Woods…,” a 13 chapter, 11-minute TV series created by Emile Gignoux, an assistant animator on the Oscar-nominated feature “The Breadwinner.” The adventure, a female character fantasy project and non-dialogue story, turns on Princess Ann and Maria who have to work together to face their mutual struggles, including a never-ending list of rules on what princesses should and should not do.

”Frank,” a comedy adventure TV series for tweens from director Javier Pinto. Set in the 19th century, it enters on Frank, a young inventor repudiated by the people of Gintown. He will lend his services to the locals to redeem the family honor alongside his assistant Mery, creating amazing gadgets to face the monsters and mysteries caused by pollution.


”Fridge and TV,” a 13 episode web series project, targeting YA audiences, with two main characters: Fridge, a refrigerator that has no food, and TV, the only “person” he can turn to. Directed by Javier de la Chica at Madrid’s U-Tad academy.

”The Last Drop,” a series that, seen from the point of view of animals, aims to highlight the current situation of the environment. A project set up at Spain’s Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, created by Cristina Enrich with production by Rocío Benavent at Saltarinas.

The Last Drop
The Last Drop

”Lázaro,” a nine-episode YA adventure series project, created by Beatriz García de Leaniz at France’s La Poudrière, about a kid’s soul that gets accidentally trapped in a computer for a thousand years.

”Lil’ Wonders,” directed by Siobhan Catinot form Dublin’s Pulse College, a 2D animated  upper pre-school series whose themes involve friendship, nature and adventure as it follows three best friends and their pet snail on magical journeys.

”Phantasma,” a YA TV series by Paula Ruiz from Madrid’s Light Box Academy narrating the apparition of some careless ghosts that cause Lewis, an elderly Scotsman, to pass away.


In addition to the pitching sessions, the Spanish event will include keynotes by international professionals who will discuss the latest trends and challenges facing European animation.

Guest speakers take in Madrid-based animator, screenwriter, and director Sergio Pablos (SPA Studios), who will deliver a master class on story development, and Telidja Klaï, from the public children’s TV channel Ketnet-VRT in Belgium, who will talk about the definition of target audiences.

Also, Daniella Gallegos at Dutch company Tribes Media – Glitch will reflect on the role of VOD services, while Louis Jacobée, of France’s Gallimard Group, will delve into the relationship between the publishing industry and animation.

A number of networking activities will allow participants to deepen their knowledge of the animation market and personally meet decision makers in the sector. Experts will take in CAKE Productions’, Sardinha em Lata’s Diogo Carvalho, Mano Animation Studios’ Manuel Cristobal, France Télévisions’ David Tarik Jabrane, Filmin’s Elodie Mellado and BBC Children’s Sarah Muller, among others.

The event’s activities will be open to students and alumni from animation schools throughout Europe who have completed their studies within the last five years. Also for professionals from companies interested in discovering new talent.

Cartoon Springboard is supported by Creative Europe-Media and the Community of Madrid, the City Council of Madrid, Madrid Film Office, and ICEX, the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade.

Lil’ Wonders
Lil’ Wonders

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.