Animation in France

France is by some considerable distance Europe’s biggest producer of animation, a position it has gained and retained as a result of hefty and reliable government support that has fuelled a powerful production sector.

Quotas ensure broadcaster support

The number of people employed in animation in France is expected to reach 7,500 in 2020. A key reason France is so firmly established as a European animation powerhouse is because local broadcasters France Télévisions (FTV), TF1 Group, M6 Group, Canal+ Group, Largadère Active and Disney are required by law to invest portions of their revenue into original animated content. France is therefore a hotbed of animation production, particularly of animated series, many of which reach audiences around the world, such as PJ Masks and Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir.

FTV, the public broadcaster, is the country’s – and Europe’s – biggest commissioner of animation, investing €32m in the sector annually. It is estimated that the total investment in animated series from broadcasters annually in France is over €60m.

Local producers are able to supplement the mandatory investment in animation from commercial broadcasters with public funding from bodies such as the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée (CNC). French companies can also access tax credits that allow them to reclaim 25% of what they spend in France.

As a result, producers are able to secure a significant chunk of the budget for original animated series domestically, before partnering with broadcasters and producers in countries such as Italy and Germany to complete the financing. This process ensures a significant crop of French animated series, in a diverse array of styles and targeting a variety of audiences, reach the international market every year. These appear on networks such as Disney Junior as well as platforms like Netflix.

Furthermore, the French government is set to impose similar quotas that require French broadcasters to invest in animation on international streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. These are expected to be introduced in 2021 and would provide the French animation sector with another significant boost.

Series strength not replicated in cinema

France’s animated feature film industry produces around six features per year, which is among the highest in Europe. However, compared with Hollywood’s animated features – some of which are produced in Paris as a result of major studios owning studios there – budgets tend to be low, at around €5m-€10m. France’s commercial broadcasters have no specific obligation to invest in features, meaning the majority of animation investment in France is focused on series.

Work is currently underway to increase the average budget of French animated features to above €10m. This represents the biggest challenge facing French animation producers. Moreover, the box office performances of big budget exceptions such as The Little Prince (2015), Ballerina (2016) and Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion (2018) show that higher production values give French animated features a better chance of competing with Hollywood fare.

Significant regional growth

Reforms introduced in 2016 by the CNC to increase the amount of animation produced domestically have been highly successful, with many producers relocating production work from Asia to France. As well as in Paris, new studios have also been opened in places such as Lille and Angoulême.

More than 500 students graduate from French animation schools every year and there is plenty of work available for them when they do. As a result, there is strong competition among French producers for animation talent for both service work and original production. This also means wage demands among France’s animation community are relatively high compared with elsewhere in Europe.

Numerous industry events centred around animation take place in France every year, including The Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Cartoon Movie and Cartoon Forum, while TV markets such as Mipcom and MipTV take place in Cannes. As a result, French producers have many opportunities to foster links with the international entertainment community.

France is by some considerable distance Europe’s biggest producer of animation, a position it has gained and retained as a result of hefty and reliable government support that has fuelled a powerful production sector.

Quotas ensure broadcaster support

The number of people employed in animation in France is expected to reach 7,500 in 2020. A key reason France is so firmly established as a European animation powerhouse is because local broadcasters France Télévisions (FTV), TF1 Group, M6 Group, Canal+ Group, Largadère Active and Disney are required by law to invest portions of their revenue into original animated content. France is therefore a hotbed of animation production, particularly of animated series, many of which reach audiences around the world, such as PJ Masks and Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir.

FTV, the public broadcaster, is the country’s – and Europe’s – biggest commissioner of animation, investing €32m in the sector annually. It is estimated that the total investment in animated series from broadcasters annually in France is over €60m.

Local producers are able to supplement the mandatory investment in animation from commercial broadcasters with public funding from bodies such as the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée (CNC). French companies can also access tax credits that allow them to reclaim 25% of what they spend in France.

As a result, producers are able to secure a significant chunk of the budget for original animated series domestically, before partnering with broadcasters and producers in countries such as Italy and Germany to complete the financing. This process ensures a significant crop of French animated series, in a diverse array of styles and targeting a variety of audiences, reach the international market every year. These appear on networks such as Disney Junior as well as platforms like Netflix.

Furthermore, the French government is set to impose similar quotas that require French broadcasters to invest in animation on international streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. These are expected to be introduced in 2021 and would provide the French animation sector with another significant boost.

Series strength not replicated in cinema

France’s animated feature film industry produces around six features per year, which is among the highest in Europe. However, compared with Hollywood’s animated features – some of which are produced in Paris as a result of major studios owning studios there – budgets tend to be low, at around €5m-€10m. France’s commercial broadcasters have no specific obligation to invest in features, meaning the majority of animation investment in France is focused on series.

Work is currently underway to increase the average budget of French animated features to above €10m. This represents the biggest challenge facing French animation producers. Moreover, the box office performances of big budget exceptions such as The Little Prince (2015), Ballerina (2016) and Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion (2018) show that higher production values give French animated features a better chance of competing with Hollywood fare.

Significant regional growth

Reforms introduced in 2016 by the CNC to increase the amount of animation produced domestically have been highly successful, with many producers relocating production work from Asia to France. As well as in Paris, new studios have also been opened in places such as Lille and Angoulême.

More than 500 students graduate from French animation schools every year and there is plenty of work available for them when they do. As a result, there is strong competition among French producers for animation talent for both service work and original production. This also means wage demands among France’s animation community are relatively high compared with elsewhere in Europe.

Numerous industry events centred around animation take place in France every year, including The Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Cartoon Movie and Cartoon Forum, while TV markets such as Mipcom and MipTV take place in Cannes. As a result, French producers have many opportunities to foster links with the international entertainment community.

SPFA

Full right member

Syndicat des Producteurs de Films d’Animation (SPFA)

The SPFA (French Union of Animation Producers) was created in 1988 to defend the interests of the French independent animation producers. Over 60 studios, production and distribution companies, active in TV and cinema, are members of the Association. The SPFA represents around 80% of the industry.

General Delegate: Stéphane Lebars
Chairman: Philippe Alessandri

EAA

Associated members

In 2014, honoured as a Winsor McCay Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Didier Brunner was invited to attend ASIFA-Hollywood’s 42nd Annie Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.
Impressed that this annual event unites, celebrates and honors the various talent within the animation community, Didier felt inspired to create something for Europe.

As a result, the European Animation Award Association – along with its newly formed Board – formed and launched The Emile Awards.
Professionals / educators / students within the European Community are invited to join the European Animation Association, vote on the 19 different achievement and production categories, and attend the annual awards ceremony in December. More than 1200 guests are invited every year to the ceremony which has the vocation to happen in every part of Europe.
By recognizing and honoring the diverse talent in Europe, The European Animation Awards is proud to celebrate the entire European animation community and its contributions to the craft.

SPFA

Full right member

Syndicat des Producteurs de Films d’Animation (SPFA)

The SPFA (French Union of Animation Producers) was created in 1988 to defend the interests of the French independent animation producers. Over 60 studios, production and distribution companies, active in TV and cinema, are members of the Association. The SPFA represents around 80% of the industry.

General Delegate: Stéphane Lebars
Chairman: Philippe Alessandri

EAA

Associated members

In 2014, honoured as a Winsor McCay Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Didier Brunner was invited to attend ASIFA-Hollywood’s 42nd Annie Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.
Impressed that this annual event unites, celebrates and honors the various talent within the animation community, Didier felt inspired to create something for Europe.

As a result, the European Animation Award Association – along with its newly formed Board – formed and launched The Emile Awards.
Professionals / educators / students within the European Community are invited to join the European Animation Association, vote on the 19 different achievement and production categories, and attend the annual awards ceremony in December. More than 1200 guests are invited every year to the ceremony which has the vocation to happen in every part of Europe.
By recognizing and honoring the diverse talent in Europe, The European Animation Awards is proud to celebrate the entire European animation community and its contributions to the craft.