U.S. distrib cuddles up with ‘Cat’

Distrib acquires rights to toon

New York-based GKids, a specialty distributor of independent and foreign animation films, has acquired U.S. distribution rights to “Une vie de chat” (A Cat in Paris), the latest animated film from French toon studio Folimage (“Mia and the Migoo”).

The film will qualify for the Oscars with a U.S. theatrical release in 2011.

Directed by Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Feliciolli, “Cat” makes its international premiere at the Berlinale, screening in Generation Kplus on Sunday. The film will have its North American premiere March 5 at the New York Children’s Film Festival.

Produced and co-written by Folimage’s Jacques-Remy Girerd (the director of “Magoo,” which won the European Film Academy’s award for best European animation feature in 2010), “Cat” is an old-school 2D hand-drawn charmer set on Paris’ old quarter rooftops.

“A police thriller for children,” in Girerd’s words, Gagnol and Fellicioli’s film turns on a cat and a cat burglar who team to save a 7-year-old girl who has been abducted by a local mob kingpin.

” ‘A Cat in Paris’ helps to reinvigorate 2D animation as both a peerless art form and viable commercial medium with universal appeal,” said Eric Beckman, prexy of GKids.

In the run-up to January’s Unifrance Paris Rendez-Vous, which “Cat” opened, Films Distribution also sold the film to Palace in Australia.

The U.S. deal for “Cat” was negotiated by Beckman and Nicolas Brigaud-Robert for Films Distribution.

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