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Phase 4 Takes U.S. on ‘Sarila’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Deal inked with Noeltner’s CMG

ANNECY — In the second U.S. deal to be announced at the 37th Annecy Animation Festival, which kicked off Monday, Phase 4 Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Nancy Florence Savard’s “The Legend of Sarila,” which plays out of competition at Annecy from Wednesday.

“Sarila” is the first 3D stereoscopic animated feature made out of Quebec. Brokered by Edward Noeltner’s Cinema Management Group, “Sarila’s” sales agent, the Phase 4 deal includes a U.S. theatrical bow for “Sarila.” Phase 4 will put through a 10-market platform release this fall.

A 100% Canadian movie, “Sarila” is produced by Marie-Claude Beauchamp, Normand Thauvette and Paul Risacher at Carpediem Film & TV, a Montreal-based shingle focusing on family entertainment, and Savard via her label 10th Ave Productions.

A coming-of-age adventure, it turns on three intrepid young Inuits who set off in search of a promised land to save their clan from starvation.

Christopher Plummer voices Croolik, an ageing shaman, who is fearful his power is under threat, and engages in a fight to the finish with young shaman Markussi, voiced by Dustin Milligan.

Cast also features Rachelle Lefevre, Genevieve Bujold, Tim Rozon, Natar Unqalaaq and singer Elisapie Isaac.

In another mark of the sales attraction of indie family feature animation, whose top-end titles increasingly play Annecy, CMG has now been sold to 20 territories. Major market distribution deals include eOne in Canada, Luxor in Russia, Telepool for Germany and Talent Epitome in China.

At Annecy, CMG is also selling Annecy competition player “Khumba.”

Rolling off a long-term financing deal with Aver Media Finance, Phase 4 is an increasingly aggressive buyer of content for the North American market, acquiring four films at Cannes: Shana Betz’s “Free Ride,” Trevor White’s “Jamesy Boy,” John Huddle’s “Philosophers” and Lucy Walker’s “The Crash Reel.”

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