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‘Buñuel,’ ‘Zombillenium,’ ‘Fox’ Make Cartoon Movie Cut

Variety logo Variety 2/22/2017 Emilio Mayorga
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BARCELONA– “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles,” “Zombillenium,” and “The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales” are among the 55 projects selected for Cartoon Movie, Europe’s leading movie co-production event devoted to animation, which will take place in the French city of Bordeaux, kicking off March 8.

Much awaited, and produced by France’s Maybe Movies and Belgium’s Belvision, “Zombillenium” is based on Arthur de Pins’ eponymous comicbooks. Directed by Arthur de Pins and Alexis Ducord, it turns on a Halloween theme park that is the only place on earth where real monsters can hide. “Zombillenium” is in production and is represented for international sales by Urban Distribution International (UDI).

Sold by Studiocanal, “The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales”” marks another co-production between France, here Didier Brunner’s Folivari, and Belgium (Panique!), one of Europe’s most fertile production axes for upscale animated features.

Producers will be offering a sneak preview at Bordeaux. Benjamin Renner (“Ernest & Celestine”), and Patrick Imbert (an animation director on “Celestine”) direct this three-tale story which take place on a little farm. The tales involve a clumsy fox which is always beaten by his prey, a hen: a stork forcing to deliver a baby to an unexpected recipient, a bonehead rabbit; and a rabbit and a duck who think they’ve destroyed Santa Claus and try to replace him giving out presents at Christmas.

Produced by Spain’s The Glow Animation Studio and Sygnatia Films, and currently at concept stage, “Buñuel” will be directed by Salvador Simó (“Paddle Pop Adventures 2: Journey Into the Kingdom”). The toon feature follows the Spanish surrealist as he shoots “Land Without Bread,” the legendary documentary made in 1932 about one of the poorest areas in Europe -Las Hurdes.

Other Cartoon Movie projects take in Oscar-nominated Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart’s “Wolfwalkers,” Kristoff Leue’s futuristic “ZOOks,” Alessandro Rak’s “A Skeleton Story,” set in an underworld of the dead. Also to be presented are Remy Schaepman’s “The Nazis, My Father and Me,” produced by Folivari, and Jayne Kirkham’s “Two Caravans,” an adaptation of Marina Lewycka’s novel, about immigrants in England.

Out of 55 projects from 19 countries, nine are already in production; 27 will be shown in a development stage; 16 are at concept, and a sneak preview will be offered of three.

France tops statistics in terms of presence with 17 projects. Belgium and Germany come with five. U.K. follows with four, and Ireland, Netherlands and Spain offer three projects each.

Further countries –Italy, Poland, Luxembourg, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Romania, Sweden and Ukraine– come to Bordeaux with one project. Israel and Ukraine will participate for the first time at Cartoon Movie as new Creative Europe program members.

35 projects are family-targeted, 17 address young adults or adults, two aim to enchant toddlers. Just one targets teens.

“High-quality and very creative projects are presented again this year in Bordeaux, whether family comedies and adventure films for children or films addressing social issues aimed more at an adult audience. This is the cultural diversity, the richness of Europe,” Cartoon Movie director Annick Maes told Variety.

The Bordeaux Co-production Forum will gather 950 delegates, including 260 investors or broadcasters executives, according to its organizers.

Cartoon Movie will bow a focus section. The first selected region is Flanders, with an eight project showcase.

Flanders offers a seductive tax shelter program. Flemish producers have acted as co-producers on Oscar-nominated films such as “The Triplets of Belleville” and “The Secret of Kells.” The region has 22 animation production companies –including Grid Animation, Wave Pictures, Vivi Film and Walking The Dog, all of them awarded as best producer of the year in previous editions of Cartoon Movie. Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) is its main national source.

Europe continues to exhibit a strong line in films tackling adult, political and social concerns with what looks like sophistication. Cartoon Movie projects this year, deal in sexual abuse (“Awekening Beauty”), Alzheimer disease (“Tangles”), resistance in Iran (“The Siren”) and human trafficking (“Flee”). 3D CG dominates with twenty-one projects, followed by 2D + 3D (18), 2D (15). Seven sport other systems.

To date, 268 projects presented at Cartoon Movie have come to fruition, representing an overall investment of 1.8 billion euros, Maes said.

She added: “Every year, a European film that has been at Cartoon Movie is nominated for the Oscars. This year is exceptional with two — Claude Barras’ ‘My Life as a Zucchini’ and Michael Dudok de Wit’s ‘The Red Turtle.’”

Cartoon Movie run March 8-10 for the first time in the French port city of Bordeaux.

CARTOON MOVIE 2017

At concept:

“Awakening Beauty,” (Spain)

“Butts on Ice,” (Germany)

“Fabulous Circus!” (France)

“Geno,” (Georgia)

“Indecisia,” (Israel)

“Mavka, The Forest Song,” (Ukraine)

“Organic Panic,” (France)

“Princess Dragon,” (France)

“Single Mom in Korea,” (South Korea, France)

“Stitch Head,” (Germany)

“Tangles,” (U.K., Canada)

“The Nazis, My Father and Me,” (France)

“The Tales of Mankind,” (Belgium, Switzerland)

“The Wondrous Journey of Little Sophie,” (Netherlands)

“Two Caravans,” (U.K.)

“Unicorn Wars,” (Spain, France)

 In development:

“A Skeleton Story,” (Italy, France)

“Amundsen & Nobile,” (Norway, France)

“Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles,” (Spain)

“Butterfly Tale,” (Canada)

“Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane,” (France)

“Canaan,” (Belgium, France)

“Charlotte,” (Belgium, France, Canada)

“Crazy Island,” (Belgium, France, Germany)

“Fatima And The Secret Treasure,” (Poland, Portugal)

“Flee,” (Denmark, France)

“Fox and Hare Save the Forest,” (Netherlands, Belgium)

“Hump,” (Germany, Belgium, Canada)

“Icarus,” (Luxembourg, Belgium, France)

“Josep,” ( France)

“Kensuke’s Kingdom,” ( U.K., Luxembourg)

“Little Caribou,” (Ireland)

“Miss Saturne, ( Belgium, France)

“Monstria,” ( Sweden, Denmark)

“My Sunny Maad,” ( France, Czech Republic)

“Ooops ! 2,” ( Ireland, Germany, Luxembourg)

“Super Vinamotor,” ( France)

“The Fantastic Voyage of Marona,” ( Romania, France)

“The Prince’s Journey,” ( France)

“The Red Jungle,” ( France, Switzerland)

“The Siren,” (France, Belgium)

“The Treasure of Morgäa,” ( Canada)

“Wolfwalkers,” (Ireland)

In production:

“Bombay Rose,” (France, U.K)

“Luis & The Aliens,” ( Germany, Luxembourg, Denmark)

“Ploey – You Never Fly Alone,“ (Iceland, Belgium)

“The Incredible Story of The Giant Pear,” (Denmark)

“The Little Vampire,” ( Netherlands, Germany, Denmark)

“The Tower,” ( Norway, France, Sweden)

“The Wind in the Reeds,” (Belgium, Switzerland, France)

“Zombillenium,” ( Belgium, France)

“ZOOks,” ( Belgium)

 Sneak Preview:

“Ethel & Ernest,” ( U.K., Luxembourg)

“Rabbit School – Guardians of the Golden Egg,” ( Germany)

“The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales,” ( France, Belgium)

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