The French Animation Boom: French talent is drawing big Hollywood studios to France
France is famous for its cinema industry - but you might not realize that the majority of profits from films made in France actually come from ANIMATION. A 30 percent TAX REBATE for foreign studios making movies in France has given the local industry a big boost, since it was introduced in 2016. Elena Casas reports from Paris.
Paris is packed with iconic locations that have attracted film directors for decades, but now, it's the country's talented animators that are drawing foreign studios here.
These clips are from the graduation films of students at Paris' ISART digital animation school - one of a handful of world class training courses that have attracted studios like Universal to move the production of upcoming films like Minions 2 to France.
THIERRY BRIONNET ANIMATION COURSE DIRECTOR, ISART DIGITAL "Historically, some of the earliest 3D animation studios developed in France, and then the students are also influenced by the scope of French culture - by painting, sculpture, literature - so we're training students technically, but also their artistic eye."
This year's graduating class are hard at work on their final films, with just a few days to go before they present them to a jury of industry professionals - but they're already in high demand.
Some French production studios complain they can't find any graduates to hire, as so many go to work for studios abroad - but a 30% tax rebate is also encouraging big studios to move their production to France.
ELENA CASAS PARIS "Last year, France made 320 million dollars from foreign films being produced here - and 85% of those were animation."
That's good news for ISART graduates like Giovanni, now working for Universal's animation subsidiary MacGuff.
GIOVANNI GASPERATTO 3D ANIMATOR "Mac Guff called me and said, do you want to animate some Minions? And of course, I said sure! So now I'm working there."
Minions 2, due out for Christmas 2020, will be entirely drawn in France. Not all the local talent here has been wooed by foreign studios though - Nicolas is working on that most French of franchises, Asterix.
NICOLAS BENOIT 3D ANIMATOR "It's got Latin jokes in it, so it's not something you'd see in an American feature film - but in a way Asterix is the Disney of France, so I'm really proud to be working on it."
Asterix and the Magic Potion is out in December, and is expected to draw in cartoon fans around the world - cementing France's position as the world's second biggest film exporter. Elena Casas, CGTN, Paris.