French filmmaker Ocelot preps animated pic

France’s Michel Ocelot, whose “Tales of the Night” plays in Competition today at Berlin, is prepping 3D toon feature “Kirikou et les hommes et les femmes” (Kirikou and Men and Women).

The third installment in the popular “Kirikou” franchise is set up at Didier Brunner’s animation house Les Armateurs.

Paris-based, Les Armateurs produced 1998′s “Kirikou and the Sorceress” and 2005′s “Kirikou and the Wild Beasts.”

StudioCanal will distribute the new “Kirikou” in France and has taken international sales rights.

“Animation is part of StudioCanal’s priorities through our productions with NWave — ‘Sammy’s Adventures’ and soon ‘Sammy 2,’ and also by working with great talents such as Michel Ocelot,” said Olivier Courson, chairman-CEO of StudioCanal.

“It is fascinating to work with this character, who became stronger than me, in some ways,” Ocelot told Variety. “It is also fascinating to go back 12 years and it’s the present again.”

“Women” will once more turn on Kirikou’s childhood adventures. “If Kirikou wasn’t tiny and naked, nobody would recognize him or be interested,” Ocelot joked.

The pic will introduce some other characters, but Kirikou’s usual entourage will be there as well.

It’s the first “Kirikou” to be shot in 3D, a format Ocelot used for the first time on “Tales of the Night.”

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