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Italian toon triumphs in contest

MIPJUNIOR: An Italian toon beat projects from India, South Korea, Ireland and one of the first animated coproductions between Chile and Brazil in a pitching session in Cannes yesterday.

Koouka

Koouka

Koouka is produced by Italy’s Vallaround with Aldebaran Distribution and is a slapstick comedy about a chameleon. The toon was pitched in front of broadcasters from Europe, Asia and Latin and North America at the MipJunior International Pitch.

The project was up against others including Goris the Gorilla, created by Chilean animation studio Gong! and produced in Brazil by Split Studio, marking one of the first ever animated coproductions between the two countries. The toon tells the story of a restless child with an enormous imagination whose best friend is a purple gorilla.

“It’s really important to start opening up to coproductions. These alliances are perfect, especially with Brazil, which is such a huge market for us. That’s how we can overcome the small size of our domestic market,” Constanza Arena, exec director at trade body CinemaChile, told C21.

Other Chilean companies currently working with Brazilian producers includes Zumbastico Studios, which is working with Brazilian kids channel Gloob on Paper Port.

Also pitching at yesterday’s event were India’s Source Animation, with Being Zeth; Korean prodco JM Animation with The Little Train Choo Choo; and Irish prodco Geronimo with Nelly & Nora.

Sebastian Debertin, head of fiction, acquisitions and coproduction at ARD/ZDF Kinderkanal (KiKa), described the latter as a “must-have” at Cartoon Forum last month.

The winning pitchers will receive a one-on-one meeting with a buyer during MipJunior and free access to MipTV 2014. The jury consists of Alison Stewart (CBeebies), Laurence Blaevoet (Canal+), Anand Roy (Disney Southeast Asia), Paula Taborda dos Guaranys (Gloob) and Kenn Viselman, CEO of Kenn Viselman Presents.

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