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Besson boards ‘French Riviera’

EuropaCorp, Les Armateurs team on animation feature

Two of Europe’s biggest toon players, Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp and Didier Brunner’s Les Armateurs, are teaming on animation feature “French Riviera.”

The pair are sharing development costs on the E15 million ($18 million) pic. EuropaCorp has a first option to French and international distrib rights.

“Riviera” is “a vintage thriller using 3D CGI animation with an art deco rendering,” Brunner said.

Screenplay is by Bruno Benchetrit with the collaboration of French graphic artist, Richard Zielenkiewicz, better known as Monsieur Z.

Toon pic was “imagined and conceived by Monsieur Z and will have his glamorous style,” Brunner said.

Strasbourg-based Monsieur Z is renowned for off-beat 2003 French toon series “Ratz” and glam pop-art illustrations.

In animation, Besson is best known for directing the “Arthur” trilogy. “Arthur and the Two Worlds War” bows Oct. 13 in France.

Gaul’s most accolade-laden 2D artpic toon producer, Les Armateurs nabbed U.S. Academy noms for “Triplets of Belleville” and “The Secret of Kells.”

Its TV gameshow comedy “Allez Raconte!” (The Storytelling Show), helmed by Jean-Christophe Roger, world preemed in competition at this week’s Annecy Animation Festival.

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