‘Prodigies’ gets multiple media releases

Film, comic book, video game all on tap

ANNECY, France — Warner Bros. France’s motion capture thriller “The Prodigies” is set to get a multi-media promotional push.

Gallic producers Aton Soumache from Onyx Films and Marc Missonnier from Fidelite Films plan to release a comic book, penned by Marvel Comics’ artists Humberto Ramos and Francisco Herrera, before the film’s yet-to-be-set release date.

A vidgame created by “The Prodigies” artistic director Viktor Antonov (“Half Life 2”) will come out after the bow.

Helmed by Antoine Charreyron, pic is an English-language thriller about five kid geniuses who become serial killers after being assaulted in New York’s Central Park.

Currently in production, “Prodigies” was one highlights of the Annecy Animation Market, which began to wind down Friday as the Annecy Animation Festival unveiled prizes for shorts.

Caroline Attia won the jury prize for “One Morning” and Victoria Vancells nabbed the Arte France prize for “Tati Ramitsu.”

U.K. co-directors Tibor Banoczki and Sarolta Szabo won the prize awarded by Canal Plus and rights collection society SACD for “The Conquest.”

Aside from “Prodigies,” standouts at the market’s Work in Progress section included Gallic productions “The Rabbi’s Cat,” directed by Joann Sfar, and the lesser-known 2-D toon pic “Un monde truque,” helmed by Jacques Tardi. 

Sony’s “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, was also presented to an upbeat response.

Industry execs reacted enthusiastically to the eclectic lineup.

“What I’ve seen this year shows that the line between live-action films and animation is disappearing,” said Bob Osher, jury member and president of Sony Pictures Digital Prods. “Animation is longer a genre but a technique to story-tell.”

Adam Elliot’s “Mary and Max” and Henry Selick’s “Coraline” lead the field in the main competition whose prizes will be announced Saturday at the fest’s closing ceremony.

The main impression given in Annecy is one of vibrant growth in animation worldwide.

“This year, I think we’ve given people who’ve just gone through some very difficult months reason to feel optimistic about the future,” said market topper Mikael Marin.

Fest artistic director Serge Bromberg agreed.

“We haven’t noticed a drop in the production of animated films,” he said. “On the contrary, it has been very up-beat, imaginative and mature.

“We see more and more animated films like ‘Mary and Max’ and ‘Coraline’ that are films with complex narratives that aren’t children movies.”

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