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Laguionie’s ‘Louise’ Finds a Home in France

Helmer's 'Painting' screens at New York kids' film fest this month

PARIS — Gallic arthouse distrib Gebeka has acquired Jean-Francois Laguionie’s toonpic “Louise in the Winter,” his follow-up to “The Painting,” whose English-language version world preems at the New York Children’s Film Festival this month.

Laguionie is considered a toon auteur in Europe, with a reputation approaching that of Sylvain Chomet (“The Triplets of Belleville”) and Michel Ocelot (“Kirikou and the Sorceress”).

“The Painting,” repped by Rezo, was an international sales hit that GKids released Stateside last year in its original version. The film earned a Cesar nom at France’s film awards, and it won a nod at Chicago’s children’s fest.

“Louise in the Winter” — which is being pitched later this week at Cartoon Movie, a co-production confab in Lyon, France — is produced by La Fabrique Prods., JPL Films and Vivi Film. It turns on Louise, a grandmother who lives alone in an abandoned village, who miraculously grows younger as the winter months go by.

Budgeted around €3 million ($3.9 million), “Louise” is aimed at families and young adults, said Xavier Julliot at La Fabrique Prods.

“ ‘Louise’ will have the same painterly style as Laguionie’s previous films, but it will boast pastel colors rather than vivid shades,” Julliot said.

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