The Winner of the VAF 2016, The Piracy of Princess Priceless, Pitched at Cartoon Forum

29718576402_ef19c92920_zFor the 5th consecutive year, the French city of Toulouse hosted the 27th edition of Cartoon Forum, the co-production platform for European animation series that has fast-tracked European animation to the front row. 22 countries presented their projects to participants from 38 countries which included 950 producers, investors, broadcasters, buyers, SVoD platforms. Visegrad Animation Forum offered a direct access to the winner of the TV Series category „THE PIRACY OF PRINCESS PRICELESS“ by Flora Anna Buda and Balazs Turai and Special Mention to „BORKA AND THE MAGIC DRESS“ by Beata Gurmai and Balint Benkovits.

Draško Ivezić, CEO of Adriatic Animation and producer of The Piracy of Princess Priceless, took some time out of his busy schedule to tell us about his first impressions and experiences.

1) Firstly, please tell us some news about your project The Piracy of Princess Priceless.
Actually, there is very little news. Apart from going to Cartoon Forum, we have also been chosen for Cinekid. I am going there with Flora, our art director, to meet possible co-producers but also make our pitch to kids, which is especially exciting! For the forum, we’ve brought in a UK scriptwriter Clare Macdonald. She is the new member of the team, hopefully she will stay. It is exciting working with a scriptwriter coming from UK with such a rich tradition of children programming.

2) There were around 80 pitched projects showing a great diversity of genres and graphics. How did you prepare the pitch to be distinguished?
Our project was already shown to Cartoon Springboard so I felt we were ready, but later I learned we’d have to work a lot to make a worthy package for the broadcasters, and we are still working on it. At Cartoon Forum we had our script and it was very helpful to have a rehearsal in the room, so we fixed any inconsistencies. We had a relatively full room and some big players were there like Disney and Cartoon Network. At the Forum there was about 1000 people, mostly producers, students, then broadcasters and investors.

3) How did you feel at Cartoon Forum? Was it the first time you made a pitch there?
It was great to meet so many professionals. Yes, it was the first time, but it felt like home. I wouldn’t mind having more Forums in the future.

4) What feedback did you receive there and from whom?
There is a whole list and it is a long one, so I’d have to spend a bit more time on it. But mainly standard questions, like – can it work as a standalone, we don’t get the protagonist, when are you going to have some scripts, etc.

5) In the audience there were big players such as Netflix, Hopster TV, Toon Goggles and many other protagonists of the animation industry. Did you have any opportunity to do some networking? If yes with whom and why?
A lot of it – still working on it, some co-pro, some broadcasters, some investors. We will see. Why? To get it done. And earn a lot of money (laughing).

6) How many days did you stay and how did you enjoy the Cartoon Forum programme? Was there anything you would like to see in VAF 2017?
We stayed for 5 days. I would like to see more projects on that same level at VAF 2017. The projects I had a look at were all amazing and I checked out at least ten other pitches. It was great to win direct access there.

Synopsis of the project:
A restless and curious princess joins a pirate crew. Together they adventure from the snobbish Isle of Style through the conservative hypocrisy of the Dinosaur Dynasty, down to the Frog City, ravaged by civil war, up for a relaxing picnic on the Moon, all the way to the final battle with the terrible Kraken. The crew has funny, absurd and dystopian adventures along the way. While witnessing new lifestyles and systems, resolving conflicts, and making friends, the Princess loses her fears and prejudices and grows up to become a Pirate Princess, ready to return home and reform her ancestors´ dysfunctional society.

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