Helmer Kounen's 3D toon based on Gallic bestseller
Japan’s Digital Frontier and France’s Shibuya Prods. will co-produce 3D sci-fi toon “Windwalkers — Chronicle of the 34th Horde,” directed by Jan Kounen (“Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky”).The English-language toon is an adaptation of Alain Damasio’s bestseller “La Horde du contravent,” with a script by Damasio and Magalie Helle. Pic is set up at Gaul’s Forge Animation, a new film-vidgame company. “Windwalkers” is budgeted at €18 million ($23.4 million); Marc Caro (“Delicatessen”) is art director and vfx supervisor. A dystopic parable set in a world devastated by terrifying gale-force winds, “Windwalkers” tracks an elite team’s epic struggle to reach the land of the Upper Reaches where the winds are generated. Digital Frontier, a CG and motion-capture specialist, was one of the companies behind anime features “Tekken: Blood Vengeance” and virtual world thriller “Summer Wars.” Shibuya is the newly launched subsidiary of Cedric Biscay’s animation-vidgame consultancy Shibuya Intl. Movie’s fantasy world and human-like creatures are a good match for Digital Frontier’s expertise, said Hidenori Ueki, its CEO. Shibuya Intl. will act as a bridge between Digital Frontier and Forge, he added. Aided by French investment groups such as Alumni Angels and Savoie Angels, financing is almost complete, Biscay said. “Windwalkers” will begin production in January and be ready for delivery in 2015, he added.