‘Mechanics’ images to unveil at Annecy

Festival takes place June 7 -14

Exclusive images of Luc Besson’s passion project “The Mechanics of the Heart” will be unveiled at the 50th Annecy Intl. Animation Festival, set to take place June 7-14.

Produced by Besson and his wife, Virginie Silla-Besson, EuropaCorp’s “Mechanics” will be one of the films presented in Annecy’s Work in Progress section.

A 19th-century drama set in Scotland, $27.3 million “Mechanics” centers on a man whose heart was replaced with a clock at birth. The toon, which is set for an October 2011 release, is based on Mathias Malzieu’s novel. Malzieu, the lead singer of French rock band Dionysos, is co-directing with Stephane Berla and also wrote the film’s score.

Annecy will again be an international launchpad for toons, opening with Sylvain Chomet’s Berlinale player “The Illusionist,” based on Jacques Tati’s unproduced screenplay, and closing with the European preem of “Shrek Forever After.”

Fest attendees will also get a peek of “Une Vie de chat,” a 2D animated suspenser produced by Gallic toon house Folimage (“Mia and the Migou”), and Patrice Leconte’s animated musical, “Le Magasin des suicides.” Both will be presented in the Work in Progress section.

While the official selection has not yet been announced, key titles were unveiled. These include Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and Hungarian helmer Gabor Csupo’s “Immigrants.”

Hollywood will be represented at the fest by Disney-Pixar’s John Lasseter and Pete Docter plus DreamWorks’ Jeffrey Katzenberg. Nick Park from Aardman Animation reps the U.K.

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