ROME — The Rome Film Festival has added Gaul’s “Peur(s) du noir” (“Fear(s) of the Dark”), an animation portmanteau pic all about nightmares, with drawings from six internationally known comic book artists, as its surprise pic.

Produced by Valerie Schermann and Christophe Jankovic’s Prima Linea Productions, this mostly black-and-white cutting-edge toon interweaving the artists’ recollected childhood terrors will world preem in Rome on Oct. 21 out-of-competition. Celluloid Dreams is handling sales on “Fear(s),” which will go out in France in February 2008 via Diaphana Distribution.

“The New Yorker” contributors Richard McGuire and Lorenzo Mattotti are among the designers who collaborated on “Fear(s),” besides Strasbourg-born Blutch (Christian Hinker), American illustrator Charles Burns, and France’s Marie Caillou and Pierre Di Sciullo. All artists involved in this complex production are expected to come tubthump.

Etienne Robial, who is art director at Canal Plus, is the artistic director of “Fear(s) of the Dark,” which reflects a growing trend toward envelope-pushing European animation and its inclusion in first-rate film fests, as attested by “Persepolis” in Cannes.