ANNECY -- Coming off a year marked by budget cuts, France Televisions, Europe's number one animation backer, highlighted its commitment to commissioning and financing toons during its annual presser at the Annecy Intl. Animation Film Festival.
Last year, France Televisions injected Euros 29.5 million ($39.3 million) into animation, and co-produced 155 hours with indie players. It aired 4,200 hours of youth programming across its four channels and dedicated 67% of its airtime to in-house production.
"Among our many creative activities acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, animation ranks among the most rewarding to us," said Remy Pflimlin, France Televisions CEO. "Fulfilling its missions and its ambitions, public services accounts for half of annual orders for animated films in France."
The pubcaster has also stacked up on U.S. toon skeins for its 2013-2014 slate. New pickups include "Dragon Riders of Berk" from DreamWorks Animation; "The Tom & Jerry Show" from Warner Bros./Renegade Animation; "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle" from Nickelodeon Animation Studio; and "Ultimate Spider-Man" from Marvel Animation.
France Televisions has also bagged "Mofy," from Sony Creative Products; and "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood," from 9 Story Entertainment INC.
Its features roster comprises Pascal Morelli's "The Prince and the Demon-Kings," a French-Chinese co-pro; Eric Omond's "Loulou's Secret"; Remi Chaye's "Longway North"; Olivier Jean-Marie's "Oggy and the Cockroaches: The Movie"; Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli's "Phantom Boy," the helmers' follow up to "A Cat in Paris"; and the Luc Besson-produced "The Boy With a Cuckoo-Clock Heart" from Mathias Malzieu and Stephane Berla.
At Annecy, the pubcaster is behind six out of the 25 TV series in competition. These include Youri Tcherenkov's "Father Frost" and Jan Lachauer and Max Lang's "Room on the Broom." It's also backed three of the 10 TV specials vying for a nod.