Cesar-nommed toonpic plays at NYC kids' fest

LYON, France — GKids has nabbed U.S. distribution rights to Jean-Francois Laguionie’s critically lauded CGI toonpic “Le Tableau” (The Painting).

The film, repped in international markets by Rezo Films, had its international premiere Sunday at the GKids-produced New York Children’s Film Festival, and played Thursday at Cartoon Movie, a European co-production forum that is taking place in Lyon.

The pic, which was nommed at France’s Cesar Awards, was presented at Cartoon Movie in a pitching session last year.

Produced by Gaul’s Blue Spirit Animation and Belgium’s Be-Films, the €4.8 million ($6.3 million) toon was released in France on March 8 by Gebeka Films and in Belgium by U-Dream.

“The Painting” is penned by Laguionie and Anik Leray (“Eleanor’s Secret”), his writing partner on 2003’s “L’Ile de Black Mor.”

The tale has been applauded by critics for its inventiveness and colorful storytelling.

GKids has been powering up with critically successful arthouse toons: it scored two Oscar noms with Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli’s “A Cat in Paris” and Fernando Trueba’s “Chico & Rita.”

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