×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Les Films d’Ici Waltzes With ‘Funan’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Cambodia-set animation project to be pitched at Annecy

Les Films d’Ici, the Paris-based producer of Oscar-nominated “Waltz With Bashir,” is stepping into Denis Do’s “Funan,” another thoughtful, politically engaged animated feature.

Project will be one of six titles to be pitched at Annecy Film Festival as part of the eclectic Creative Focus showcase.

“Funan” belongs to a breed of European toons taking on under-explored historical issues aimed at adult auds: Think “Bashir,” “Persepolis” or Annecy’s best feature and audience award winners in 2012, “Crulic — The Path to Beyond” and “Approved for Adoption.”

A semi-autobiographical tale penned by Do and Magali Pouzol, “Funan” centers on the epic struggle of Do’s mother, who was separated from her other son during the reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia — a regime that orchestrated a genocide resulting in the deaths of an estimated 2 million people. Do’s mother searched for him for four years.

Through the eyes of Do’s mother, Funan sheds light on this somber chapter of Cambodian history from a different perspective than Rithy Panh’s “The Missing Picture,” this year’s Un Certain Regard winner.

“Our ambition is to make a popular film that can reach teens and adults while maintaining our editorial mandate,” said Sebastien Onomo, producer at Les Films d’Ici.

“Audiences will be touched by the universality of themes and the dilemmas that the characters are faced with,” Onomo added. “They are trapped within an authoritarian regime that could have easily been transposed to Rwanda or another country.”

Do said in an interview that he chose “to stay close to the characters, to depict this story with an intimate and human point of view. (…) This oppressive regime stands for a context, a situation which will emphasize the relationships and the personalities of the protagonists.”

Toon will be produced mainly in 2D with scenes in CGI 3D. Michael Crouzat is the graphic author on the project.

Two French studios, La Station Animation and Caribara, have been tapped to work on the Euros5 million ($6 million) project, which has received coin from the CNC and the Jean-Luc Lagardere Foundation. It will go into production within the next few weeks.

Les Films d’Ici is in discussions with various distributors and sales agents.
John Hopewell contributed to this report.

More Film

  • Aquaman

    China Box Office: ‘Aquaman’ Sinks All Challengers With $94 Million Opening

    The decision to release “Aquaman” in China two weeks prior to its North American outing paid off handsomely. The DC Comics adaptation achieved a massive $94.1 million opening in three days, according to data from Asian entertainment consultancy Artisan Gateway. The early release meant that the film played against weak opposition – tired Hollywood and [...]

  • Alfonso Cuarón, Emmanuel Lubezki Discuss the

    Alfonso Cuarón Details 'Roma' Cinematography With 'Gravity' DP Emmanuel Lubezki

    As part of an overall push to bring Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” to awards season voters, Netflix’s “‘Roma’ Experience'” played host to guild and Academy members Sunday in Hollywood. The all-day event featured panels focused on the film’s crafts and an audio-visual installation akin to the streamer’s FYSee initiative for Emmy contenders, featuring costumes and art [...]

  • IFFAM: Erik Matti Hatches Plans for

    IFFAM: Erik Matti Hatches Plans for ‘On The Job’ Franchise

    Filipino director Erik Matti is known for his eclectic body of work that includes “Honor Thy Father” and “Seklusyon.” His 2013 effort, “On The Job” travelled widely and won several awards including two at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, and was nominated for an SACD Prize at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. Matti is at [...]

  • Joan Chen attends the season premiere

    Joan Chen Talks Diversity in Hollywood, Welcomes #MeToo

    Chinese-American actress, writer and director Joan Chen says that she was flattered when Time magazine described her as the “Elizabeth Taylor of China.” When asked at an in-conversation event in Singapore on Saturday whether she paved the way for Chinese actresses to follow in Hollywood, Chen said, “We never go to work because we want [...]

  • Kyzza Terrazas Joins Garcia Bernal, Diego

    Kyzza Terrazas Joins Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna’s La Corriente del Golfo (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — Launching their new production house, La Corriente de Golfo, last April, Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna have tapped Mexican writer-director Kyzza Terrazas as the company’s head of development. The appointment will certainly help build the company appointing an old-rounder capable of overseeing and implementing development, writing and directing, and a longtime [...]

  • IFFAM Actress in Focus: Yao Chen

    IFFAM Actress in Focus: Yao Chen Talks Performing, Producing and Public Pressure

    Macao’s Actress in Focus is a woman who has trained as a boxer, likes British actors, especially Benedict Cumberbatch and Jeremy Irons, and is now setting out her stall as a producer. Yao Chen has built a career over 20 years thanks to TV shows including “My Own Swordsman,” and films including “If You Are [...]

  • Bradley Liew's 'Motel Acacia' Shoots After

    Cautionary Tale, 'Motel Acacia' Under Way After Four Years of Development

    Production has begun on Malaysian director Bradley Liew’s upscale horror film “Motel Acacia.” With a clearly topical message, the film features a hotel bed that eats immigrants. Actor, JC Santos called it: “A cautionary tale of what’s going to happen in the future.” Indonesian star, Nicholas Saputra said the he agreed to the role “because [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content