Academy Award-winning Juan José Campanella (“The Secret in Their Eyes”), top Latin American producer-director-songwriter Cris Morena (“Rebelde Way”) and director-producer Gastón Gorali (“Underdogs”), a driving force on Argentina’s burgeoning animation scene, are teaming to create “Escape to India,” a flagship Latin American toon feature.
Based on a children’s book authored by Gorali and Marcelo Birjmajer, “Escape to India” is set up at Mundoloco CGI, founded by Campanella, Gorali, Jorge Estrada and Roberto Schroder, creators of Campanella’s “Underdogs,” the biggest Latin American TV feature to date. Mundoloco CGI is now one of the biggest digital animation studios in Latin America.
An epic musical designed by Morena, who is composing its songs, as well as a feminist, comedic road-movie whose protagonist is a plucky cow, “Escape to India” is produced by Campanella and directed by Gorali.
Backed by big name talent, but winningly original, “Escape to India” looks like one of the projects which is set to have tongues wagging at late November’s Ventana Sur’s rapidly consolidating Animation! showcase for the best in upcoming Latin American toons, where the project, whose screenplay is completed, will be presented.
Targeting family audiences, the musical comedy turns on Azadi, a cow born in Argentina’s 1940 Patagonia, destined for the slaughterhouse. But she suspects that Indian cows are sacred, enjoy better lives. The other cows think that’s make-believe. But Azadi sets out to find India, in an initiatory journey of a search of freedom.
“Escape to India” sees Azadi make an epic journey up through the Americas to Alaska and then over the Bering Strait.
The story of “a very brave girl that escapes her fate by creating her own destiny,” “Escape to India” is a “feminist” film about freedom, Gorali said.
“Azadi’s arrival in India coincides with India’s battle for independence from the British Crown. “It’s there that she learns Gandhi’s legacy: Peace is the greatest weapon ever created,” he added.
“It’s very important to tell new generations about this crucial time in the world’s history” Gorali said, also calling “Escape to India” a “parable about dreams, and the true meaning of family and friendship.”
Mundoloco aims to enroll international co-production partners.
“Escape to India” marks Mundoloco’s first feature after it announced a three-series co-development deal with Discovery Kids at Mipcom in 2015. A first series from the deal, “Mini Beat Power Rockers,” bowed on Aug. 28.
Birjmajer, who co-wrote Daniel Burman’s double Berlin Silver Bear winner “Lost Embrace,” is co-writing the screenplay with Gorali. Cartoonist and illustrator Franco Spagnolo, who has worked with Cartoon Networks, Hasbro, Nickelodeon and Discovery Kids, serves as “Escape to India’s” graphic creator.
Campanella’s credits also include the Oscar-nominated “Son of the Bride,” episodes of “House,” and the double Daytime Emmy-winning “Lifestories: Families in Crisis.”
Morena made music central to her global breakout youth/kids TV series – “Floricienta,” “Chiquitas” and “Rebelde Way” – and wrote most of the shows’ lyrics. She is credited as one of Argentina’s highest-earning songwriters. She also has a history of developing her TV shows into multi-platform IPs that generate records, magazines and live shows.