Autour de Minuit, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary, is a production company that was founded by Nicolas Schmerkin with the aim of producing projects that are innovative in their form and impertinent in their content. Over the years, the company has extended its slate to include other genres and audience bases, also turning its interest to documentaries, fiction works, clips and animated films for young viewers.
The company has produced over 80 short films, including the classics Obras (Hendrick Dusollier), Flesh (Édouard Salier), Carlitopolis (Nieto), Peripheria (David Coquard-Dassault), Decorado (Alberto Vázquez), Bavure (Donato Sansone), A Town Called Panic: The Christmas Log (Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar), and Logorama (H5: François Alaux, Hervé De Crécy & Ludovic Houplain)—which won the 2010 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.
Specialized in 3D animation and the combination of innovative techniques, Autour de Minuit also produces TV series for both young and mature audiences (Non-Non, Jean-Michel Super Caribou, Babioles, and soon L’Homme le plus flippé du monde) and feature films (Unicorn Wars by Alberto Vázquez, to be completed in 2022, and Les Ombres by Nadia Micault, currently in development and winner of the Eurimages Prize at Cartoon Movie 2021).
In 2020, despite the decline in sales volume due to the pandemic, the short films produced and distributed by Autour de Minuit registered over 200 sales in markets outside France. The County Fair (Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier), À la mode (Jean Lecointre), and Empty Places (Geoffroy De Crécy) are among the short films produced by the company that achieved the highest exposure abroad last year.
As the first winner of the Export Prize (created in 2015 by UniFrance in association with the AFCA), and honored in 2019 with the UniFrance Short Film Distributor's Award (organized in conjunction with La Fête du Court Métrage event), it is with great pleasure and honor today Autour de Minuit received the 2021 Export Prize. This tribute is shared with the company's staff and its stable of filmmakers, as well as the producers who demonstrated their trust by joining its distribution catalogue of over 400 titles.
UniFrance's contribution to the Prize
- Free membership to UniFrance in 2022 as a Short Film Producer
- A grant of €1,000
- A "Focus event" on Autour de Minuit on UniFrance's Short Film Gallery: to honor the company's career, the following 4 short films will be available for free viewing on the UniFrance website from June 21 to 25, 2021:
Bavure by Donato Sansone
Decorado by Alberto Vázquez
The Death, Dad & Son by Vincent Paronnaud (Winshluss) and Denis Walgenwitz
Reruns by Rosto
AFCA's contribution to the Prize
- Free accreditation at the next Rennes Métropole National Animation Festival
- One night at a hotel during the festival
- Free membership to the AFCA