And the winner is…
Named after two European pioneers in animated cartoons—Frenchmen Emile Cohl and Emile Reynaud—the Emile Awards celebrate top talent in film animation from across Europe. The inaugural ceremony, held in Lille on Friday, December 8, featured 48 nominees from 40 countries, drawn from a field of 500 submissions. The jury awarded sixteen prizes in four main categories:
- Student films and short films
- Feature films
- Production and commissioned works
Top honors went to My Life as a Zucchini (Ma vie de Courgette), by Frenchman Claude Barras, which took three awards: Best Feature Film, Best Writing in a Feature Film Production and Best Soundtrack in a Feature Film Production.
Hauts-de-France takes the stage
In addition to hosting the event, Hauts-de-France was represented by three films:
- Child Dream (Rêve d’enfant) with concept/design and animation by Lille-based Gilles Cuvelier)
- Louise in Winter (Louise en Hiver) with animation by Studio Train-Train)
- Lastman (background by Lille’s Studio Tchack), a France 4 television series that won the Emile Award for Best Soundtrack in a TV/Broadcast Production.
Animation flourishing in northern France and across Europe
The world’s largest exporter of animated films, Europe is home to around 30,000 professionals, with 6,000 of them in France. Fifteen percent of French animated films are produced in Hauts-de-France, ranking the region third in France. A vibrant ecosystem of training programs (including ESAAT, Pole 3D, Supinfocom Rubika and Waide) and businesses (such as Tchak, Train-Train and Ankama) makes Hauts-de-France an attractive production site—so it comes as no surprise that Belgium’s Grid studios has recently opened a new location in the region. The European Animation Association’s choice of Lille as host city for the first Emile Awards also reflects the quality and energy of the region’s animation industry. The inaugural ceremony was watched closely by major European animation studios, giving Hauts-de-France a prominent place on the red carpet and attracting leading professionals from abroad—and they’ll be back, with Lille now set to host the next two Awards ceremonies. Sources: Voix du Nord, La Libre belgique, Emile Awards