Animated pic enters market at Cannes

EXCLUSIVE– Years in the making, Juan Jose Campanella’s animated movie “Foosball 3D,” his follow-up to “The Secret of Their Eyes,” is now being brought onto the market at Cannes, with Spain’s Film Factory tying down international rights.

Budgeted around $14 million-$15 million, “Foosball” is the biggest film currently coming out of Latin America.

But it’s far more than that: It combines the talents of Campanella, who not only directs but writes, and “Despicable Me” originator Sergio Pablo, who provides 20-25 minutes of animation via his Spanish studios.

Also, it’s backed by two of Spain’s biggest film-TV heavyweights — pic production powerhouse Antena 3 Films, run by Mikel Lejarza and Mercedes Gamero, and conglom Prisa, via Plural Jempsa, headed by Jorge Estrada Mora.

Put together, the talent and backing makes “Foosball” a new flagship for a Spanish world animation movie industry.

Set against a soccer background, the most international of sports, and being an animated feature, the least local of film types, “Foosball” clearly targets an international audience. It follows a boy who, with the help of table football figures that come to life, takes on a star soccer pro to save his hometown.

“Foosball,” said Estrada, “is a coming of age film with touches of ‘The Dirty Dozen.'” It is produced by Argentina’s Jempsa, Spain’s Plural-Jempsa, a Prisa company, and Antena 3 Films. Exec producers are Campanella’s Buenos Aires-based 100 Bares, Gaston Gorali’s Catmandu and Gustavo Ferrada in Spain.

Added Estrada, “We’re attempting to create an animation industry in Latin America, a 3D animation base that could be the seed of something.”

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