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Zofia Jaroszuk

Zofia Jaroszuk
Producer & supervisory producer
Pitching: Icky & Poo

What is the biggest issue facing the animation industry?
In Central and Eastern Europe, the biggest challenge is of course financing on a national level. Having the Polish Film Institute and a cash rebate for the past two years is still not enough for us to really be competitive on the international market. To receive financing our formats can only be 26 episodes per season, rather than 52, which would be better to attract potential broadcasters and coproducers. But it is slowly changing.

What is your company doing in response to this?
We are trying to have as many projects as possible in development to find international partners and platforms. Since being locked down during Covid we’ve been developing lots more. And on the national level, we’re actively taking part in all discussions about the legislation to try and improve the situation.

Are physical animation studios essential or is working from home the future of the industry?
The last year has proved that a physical animation studio is not necessary. But there’s nothing that can compare with being at the studio with people and exchanging ideas. Human contact is super important. We won’t ever forget how we used to work pre-Covid and how beneficial that was.

How do you feel about Disney’s decision to close many of its TV channels around the world?
It’s another thing that shows how the market is changing and how big the shift is, if a player as big as Disney is closing some of its channels. Of course, we’re all leaning towards streaming now and, as a producer, it’s our goal. But it’s like with books. The fact you have e-readers doesn’t mean there aren’t any more books are being printed. It’s a big shift but it doesn’t mean things will change completely.

Tell us about the project you are pitching at Cartoon Forum.
Icky & Poo (26×6′) is an educational preschool series that explores the mysterious phenomena of our bodies. It’s one of the craziest shows in our portfolio. It’s about two koalas who are best friends who live in the eucalyptus branches – a perfect observation post with a 24-hour canteen. Icky is a bit nutty and very spontaneous while Poo is a laid-back philosopher constantly chewing a eucalyptus leaf. Koalas get bored quite often and find remedy in fooling around. When spending time together they discover some curiosities of their bodies by scraping off scabs, sneezing loudly or passing gas right in front of each other’s noses. They use their imagination to discover why our bodies sometimes behave so uncontrollably.

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