The European Association of Animation Film has announced the nominees selected for the Cartoon Movie Tributes 2009. Created in 2001, the awards for best director, distributor and producer of the year seek to reward companies and personalities who have contributed to the development of European animation over the last year.

The winners will be selected by the participants attending Cartoon Movie 2009, the annual European animation industry conference, which will be held this year in Lyon, France, from March 4-6. Directors and companies from eight different countries are among the nominees. The winners will be announced at the Centre de Congrès in Lyon on 7 March.

Journey to Saturn

The nominees are for Best European Director of the Year are Thorbjørn Christoffersen, Craig Frank and Kresten Vestbjerg Andersen from Denmark for Journey to Saturn; Jacques-Rémy Girerd from France for Mia and the Migoo, and Tomm Moore from Ireland for The Secret of Kells.

Mia and the Migoo

Those up for Best European Distributor of the Year include BAC Films from France, Intersonic from the Slovak Republic, and Lusomundo from Portugal. The nominess for Best European Producer of the Year include Anima Vitae, Cinemaker (Finland), Ulysses (Germany), A. Film (Denmark), and Magma Films (Ireland) for Niko & the Way to the Stars; Crone Film (Denmark) and Sola Media (Germany) for Sunshine Barry and the Disco Worms; Kandor Graphics, Perro Verde Films and Green Moon (Spain) for The Missing Lynx; and Cartoon Saloon (Ireland), Les Armateurs (France), and Vivi Film (Belgium) for The Secret of Kells

The Secret of Kells

The organizers of Cartoon Movie also announced that the Danish film Journey to Saturn has been chosen to open the event on Wednesday March 4. Produced by A. Film and directed by Thorbjørn Christoffersen, Craig Frank and Kresten Vestbjerg Andersen, this unconventional CGI animation tells with adult humour the space journey of an incompetent crew of Danish astronauts. Based on the classic Danish graphic novel by Claus Deleuran the film was released last September in Denmark.