Fotosintesis’ ‘Angel’ Launches Cause-Driven Entertainment in Mexico

‘The Angel in the Clock,’ an animation feature, forefronts child cancer

MADRID – Mexico City-based Fotosintesis Media, a joint initiative of Mexico’s Mantarraya Group and writer-director Miguel Uriegas, is producing “The Angel in the Clock,” a 2D animation film which is launching cause-driven entertainment in Mexico.

Written by Rosanna Curiel from an original idea by Uriegas, who provided concept art on Mantarraya’s first toon pic production, pre-school “The Incredible Story of the Stone Boy,” taking a co-director credit, “Angel” turns on an eight-year-old girl, Emilia, whop has leukemia, and wants to stop time. She meets Malachi, an angel who lives inside her cuckoo clock, who takes her to a magical realm, the fields of time, where hundreds of clock-castles soar to the sky, protecting human time on earth. There she learns the importance of living in the here and now, what the present can give us allowing us to fight for what we want the most.

The real world is kept pretty realistic, the magical one a mixture of surrealistic steam-punk art and florid plants, in rich colors and contrasts, the first drawing on a Mexican palette.

“Angel” aims to raise awareness of and research into child cancer, Uriegas said.

“The Angel in the Clock” is financed by Mexico’s Eficine 189 tax shelter coin, from Telefonica Movistar, Terra, Kansas City Southern, and Johnson & Johnson Laboratory, and supported by two organizations, Casa de la Amistad and Aqui Nadie Se R¡nde.

The charities do not put up money for the film, but can use it for events, Uriegas said.

The film rolls off an attractive logic: The more people who go to the cinema, the more people who are aware of the cause it supports, and vice versa. Investors are also likely to be attracted by a film that is both a high-profile movie and made in a good cause.

“Charities and foundations around the world don’t always have money for big advertising campaigns,” Uriegas said.

“So I tried to figure out a business model that can fill hat gap: High quality entertainment, be it films, or documentaries, attached to a specific cause and organization that gives it support and credibility.”

“Angel” tips its hat to “The Wizard of Oz,” Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away” – “We hope to do what Studio Ghibli has achieved: A natural animation in movements and acting,” Uriegas said – and, most obviously, “Alice in Wonderland,” It will also serve as a case study for cause-driven entertainment, Uriegas added.

“We want to end this adventure with a social white book where we can measure the results, the actual tangible results of how much social impact the film actually had.”

In a cross-platform initiative which places “Angel” as the centerpiece of a larger campaign, Fotosintesis is developing a website which works as a magazine about cause-driven content, publishes articles and video blogs about child cancer and creates a catalog of charities. “When the film premieres, we will have a community of people that wants to go to the theatre to support the cause,” Uriegas commented.

Foreign distributors will be supplied with a database of charities in their territory. Fotosintesis imagines a sponsor paying for distribution costs and P & A and non-profit orgs being able to use the film to promote their efforts, such as private fund-raising events.

“The Angel in the Clock” initiated pre-production in January, is two months into production, aiming for delivery first quarter 2017.

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