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Animation: A Growing Territory for Independents

While the pandemic has limited live-action film production, animation projects have successfully forged ahead. Industry experts discuss the creative process, production, and sales opportunities for independent animated product now and what the future holds.

Ben Dalton, International Reporter, Screen International

Daniel Bort, Head of International, Fantawild Animation
Edward Noeltner, President, Cinema Management Group
Tania Pinto Da Cunha, Partner/Vice President, Head of International Sales & Acquisitions, Pink Parrot Media
Michael Ryan, Partner, GFM Animation


Nov 05 2021


9:00 am - 10:30 am




  • Ben Dalton
    Ben Dalton
    International Reporter, Screen International

    Ben Dalton is international reporter at Screen International, the world’s leading independent English-language trade publication for film and high-end television. He reports on all stages of the film process, from development, production and post-production, through festivals, sales and distribution, to releases and box office. Ben is based in London, UK, but regularly travels to international film and TV festivals and events including Cannes, Berlin, CineEurope and more.

  • Daniel Bort
    Daniel Bort
    Head of International, Fantawild Animation

    J. Daniel Bort has over 30 years of experience as an entertainment professional in the fields of International film and TV distribution, production, development, sales and acquisitions, operations, writing, casting, management and media. North America Executive for Filmax, President Expression Entertainment, Vice President of Cinema Management Group and Head of International for Animation Studio Fantawild. Originally from Venezuela, Daniel has spent the last 26 years in the American business landscape.

  • Edward Noeltner
    Edward Noeltner
    President, Cinema Management Group

    Edward Noeltner is a seasoned and well-respected executive in the field of international motion picture licensing and distribution. Over the past 30 years, he has licensed worldwide major Academy Award winning features and a number of prestigious film libraries.

    He founded Cinema Management Group (CMG), an International Sales Agency, in 2003 with the worldwide Box Office hit HOODWINKED which went on to gross over US$110million worldwide.

    CMG licensed titles include Oscar® and Golden Globe® Nominee LOVING VINCENT (worldwide box-office over US$ 43million); Cannes Official Selection SEARCHING FOR INGMAR BERGMAN, TIFF Official Selection BORN TO DANCE and STILL MINE; SXSW Audience, Jury and Emerging Women Award winner EDEN; Academy Award® Nominee GASLAND, and Annecy Official Selections ADVENTURES IN ZAMBEZIA, KHUMBA, SALMA’S BIG WISH, and Annecy Contrechamp Winner AWAY.

    In addition to licensing new titles around the world, CMG is also currently executive producing a number of feature films both animated and live action.

  • Michael Ryan
    Michael Ryan
    Partner, GFM Animation

    Michael Ryan started his career working in the TV industry for Sir Lew Grade’s UK company, ITC. In 1978 he formed J&M Entertainment with a colleague, a distribution sales agent for independent films. As J&M grew, it developed its business model to also take responsibility for financing new films & providing production finance.

    In 1980 Ryan and J&M were founder members of the American Film Marketing Association (AFMA) – later to be renamed Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) – which was formed to provide an annual film market based in Los Angeles. Michael served two terms as Chairman of IFTA (2004-2008) and another three terms from 2015-2021.

    In 2000, Ryan partnered with Guy Collins. Between them they have financed, sold and produced over 200 films, including The Wild Geese, The English Patient, The General, Whats Eating Gilbert Grape, The Osterman Weekend, the Highlander series, Planet 51 and more recently, at GFM Films with Fred Hedman, Toei Animations Harlock, Absolutely Anything starring Simon Pegg and Simon West-directed action thriller Stratton starring Dominic Cooper.

  • Tania Pinto Da Cunha
    Tania Pinto Da Cunha
    Partner/Vice President, Head of International Sales & Acquisitions, Pink Parrot Media

    Tania started in the business in 1997 working for prestigious companies such as Pathé International, Hanway Films and Lola Films as Director of Sales and Acquisitions. Then she fell deeply in love with the world of animated children films and tv series while working for Dygra Films in 2005 as Managing Director and Executive Producer. She has since then acquired several credits as Executive Producer. Until recently, she was the Sales Associate at Sola Media, well known for its expertise in the international family entertainment business. At present she runs Pink Parrot Media with her partner since they launched it at the Berlinale in 2018.