PARIS– EuropaCorp’s “Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart,” Futurikon’s “Minuscule: Valley of The Lost Ants” and Mad Entertainment’s “The Art of Happiness” will compete for best animated feature at the upcoming European Film Awards.
Penned and directed by Mathias Malzieu and Stephane Berla, “Jack” was produced by Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp and co-produced by Belgium’s Walking the Dog. It world-premiered at Berlin in the Generation Kplus section and was picked up by The Shout Factory for U.S. distribution.
The arthouse film, set in 19th-century Edinburgh, tells the tale of a boy whose heart was replaced by a clock at birth. The music-filled toonpic features animation designs by Nicolette Ceccoli, Stéphane Martinez and Robert Cepo.
Alessandro Rak’s “Happiness” (“L’Arte de La Felicita”), which world-premiered at Venice’s Critics Week, is an adult-skewing drama set in Naples. Scored by Antonio Fresa and Luigi Scialdone, “Happiness” follows a taxi driver who struggles to come to terms with his brother’s death.
Hélène Giraud and Thomas Szabo’s “Minuscule,” meanwhile, was produced by France’s Futurikon. It proved a box office hit in Gaul where it was released by Le Pacte. Based on a popular TV series, the dialogue-free “Minuscule” earned Giraud and Szabo an European Director of the Year trophy at Cartoon Movie, the co-production forum set in Lyon.
The three features were selected by a committee made up of Israeli producer Marek Rozenbaum, Italian producer Roberto Cicutto, producer (Italy), as well as three reps of Cartoon, the European Association of Animation Film: Doris Cleven, topper of Belgium-based Anima festival), Wolfgang Spindler, journo at Euronews, and Caroline Cor, production analyst in the feature films department at France’s national film board CNC.
The European Film Awards ceremony will take place in Riga on Dec. 13.