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Cannes: ‘Dumpling Queen’ Animation Set as German-Chinese Venture (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 5/15/2017 Patrick Frater
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Chinese firms, Huawen Pictures and Gravity Pictures have teamed with Berlin- and Los Angeles-based production house MovieBrats Pictures to develop and produce animated comedy “The Dumpling Queen.”

The film is based on a screenplay by U.S. screenwriter Raven Burnett from an original story by Burnett, Alexander Weimer, and Tobias Trebeljahr. No director has yet been attached.

Visual development is currently under way in Berlin by MovieBrats Studios, an affiliate animation and vfx studio to MovieBrats Pictures. Animation duties will later be shared with a studio in China.

Pitched as an action-packed and empowering story of family, tradition, and finding one’s place in the world, the story sees a girl take over from her father in the family dumpling restaurant. She has to learn to cook from the heart after losing control of the magic recipe that she thought would keep her evil uncle at bay.

Production will be by Weimer and Esther Friedrich for MovieBrats, with Gravity’s Wayne Wei Jiang (“Meg”) and Huawen’s Liu Yiwei as executive producers

“The magic of food is that it is that universal language that we all speak fluently. I’m pretty confident that with ‘The Dumpling Queen’ we cooked up a recipe that audiences both in China and the rest of the world will relish,” said MovieBrats co-managing director Weimer.

“We are continuing our successful efforts of Sino-Western jointly-developed projects with the vision of establishing a new brand franchise for an ever-growing Chinese animation audience,” said Jiang. Production and distribution operation, Gravity Pictures is part of the China Media Capital group of companies and is the designated Chinese distributor of films flowing from Flagship Entertainment, the joint venture between CMC and Warner Bros.

Huawen, which spans investment, development, production, publicity, distribution and advertising roles, was originally set up by TV personality Liu to provide training programs for young directors, producers and writers. Liu has credits in front of and behind the camera, and is also secretary general of the China Film Director’s Guild.

MovieBrats will be at the Cannes Film Festival taking part in the series of events hosted by Sino-European producers association Bridging the Dragon.

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