Another slap on the back for The Guard in Sarajevo

The Guard has received the highest score ever recorded at the Sarajevo Film Festival, which took place 22–30 July. The film, one of the biggest Irish successes of recent years, won the Audience Award at the 17th Sarajevo Film Festival

And in other good news for Irish film, animator David O’Reilly’s short film The External World was also selected for screening at the Sarajevo festival and director Juanita Wilson (The Door, As If I Am Not There) was awarded the prestigious Katrin Cartlidge foundation bursary.


‘The External World’ nominated for Cartoon d'Or


The External World by David O’Reilly is one of six short films, from Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland and United Kingdom, to compete for the Cartoon d’Or 2011 – the award for the best European animation short film.

The jury composed of directors and producers Stéphane Bernasconi, Tony Loeser and Victor Maldonado, have selected the finalists among a shortlist of 30 films award-winners at the major European animation festivals.

The other nominees include:

Mobile by Verena Fels (Germany, 2010)

Paths of Hate by Damian Nenow (Poland, 2010)

Pivot by André Bergs (Netherlands, 2009)

The Gruffalo by Jakob Schuh & Max Lang (UK, 2009)

The Little Boy and the Beast by Johannes Weiland & Uwe Heidschötter (Germany, 2009)


The winner will be announced on Thursday 15th September 2011 in Sopot, Poland during Cartoon Forum Polska, the platform aimed to boost the co-production and distribution of European animation for television. The directors of each nominated short will present his and the winner will receive a trophy together with a financial aid of €10,000, thanks to the support of the MEDIA Programme of the European Union.


The Cartoon d’Or was started in 1991 by CARTOON in order to promote the talents of European animation and to act as a pipeline between short film makers and the industry. Previous winners include Nick Park, Sylvain Chomet, Mark Baker, Michael Dudok de Wit and Jacques-Rémy Girerd.


Created in 1990 to encourage co-production and distribution of European animation for television and new media platforms, Cartoon Forum has helped 450 animation series obtain financing to the tune of over €1.5 billion EUR. For three days each year, European producers have the opportunity to pitch their animation project in front of all decision-makers, buyers and investors in order to speed up financing and find cross-border partners.



Darklight Heroes: DC Edition

There will be a Darklight Film Festival and Still films showcase at the Capital Irish Film Festival, Washington this Friday, 10th December at 7 pm at the Goethe Institut, 812 7th Street NW, Washington DC 20001.

Darklight heroes is when some of the festival alumni and contributors from past editions get together to think of the artists who inspire them most from any field and invite them to curate a session in the festival; with Berlin-based animator David O’Reilly being this session’s hero.

Titled ‘Mixtape of Doom’, David has declared his film line-up as top secret and a collection of logic-bending neuro-masochistic short films from the past, present and future with early animation, modern rarities, lost television shows among those being screened.

Visit for more details.




Photo: Granny O’Grimm (left) and Please Say Something (right)

The 20th anniversary of Cartoon Forum – which drew to a close on September 25 in the Norwegian city of Stavanger, County of Rogaland – showed that animation productions are becoming increasingly attractive and competitive on the international stage.

The ten projects that garnered the most interest among broadcasters, investors, producers and distributors at the meeting were Boo Boo Dolls (Germany); Granny O’Grimm (Ireland); Skybabies (UK); Kinky & Cosy (France); Me and my Robot (France), The Flying Squirrels (Spain); The Secret Life of Suckers (Spain); Copy Cut (France); Pigly (France); and Dustbunnies (UK).

Cartoon Forum has been a driving force behind European animation over the past two decades and can be given credit for this year’s hike in co-productions between two or more European countries (39% vs 20% in 2008) and an increase in projects from countries beyond the traditional ‘big five’, including Ireland, Belgium and the Nordic Countries.

Along with the presentation of these new projects, the event also hosted the Cartoon Tributes and Cartoon d’Or 2009, which have become prestigious awards for European animation. Aimed at recognizing companies or personalities that have had a positive influence on the European animation industry over the last year, this year’s Cartoon Tributes went to NRK (Best Broadcaster), Cake Entertainment (Best Investor/Distributor) and Brown Bag Films (Best Producer).

Meanwhile Irish director David O’Reilly took the Cartoon d’Or 2009 for his innovative short film Please Say Something. Written and directed by O’Reilly, the film won the Golden Bear for Best Short Film earlier this year at the 59th Berlin International Film Festival. This year’s jury was composed by directors Serge Elissalde (France), Kari Juusonen (Finland) and Tomm Moore (Ireland).

Organised every year by the European Association of Animation Films, this new edition of Cartoon Forum was supported by EU MEDIA Programme, the County of Rogaland, the cities of Stavanger and Sandnes, the Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs, the Norwegian Film Institute, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, Innovation Norway, Sparebanken 1 SR-Bank and NRK.


Irish finalist for Cartoon d'Or Best European Animated Short Film 2009

The European Association of Animation Film has announced the five finalists for Cartoon d’Or 2009, an award for the best European animated short film for which Irish filmmaker David O’Reilly has been nominated for his short Please Say Something. Also nominated is Nick Park for Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death. The winner will be announced in the Norwegian city of Stavanger on 24th September.

The finalists will have the opportunity to present the film to over 700 participants at Cartoon Forum, the annual European rendezvous to support the co-production, financing and distribution of animation series for television and new media platforms, which will be held in Rogaland, Norway from 22–25 September.

The winner – who will be decided by a jury made up of the directors Serge Elissalde, Tomm Moore and Kari Juusonen – will receive funding for his or her next animation project.

Created in 1991 to support upcoming talent in European animation, this is the only pan-European prize specifically for animated films. Competition in this event is exclusively reserved for winners of awards from one of eleven partner animation festivals, considered some of the most important in Europe, over the past year. The Cartoon d’Or is supported by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union.

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