EuropaCorp Sends ‘Jack’ Overseas (EXCLUSIVE)

Tipped for Berlin Generation Kplus selection, "Jack" opens Unifrance RDV mini-mart on Jan. 10.

EuropaCorp Sends 'Jack' Overseas (EXCLUSIVE)

PARIS — Luc Besson’s Europacorp has closed major territory sales on “Jack & the Cuckoo-Clock Heart” in the run-up to its opening night unspooling of the 16th UniFrance Paris Rendez-vous With French Cinema in Paris.

An animated adventure romance billed by EuropaCorp as “Edward Scissorhands” meets “Belleville Rendez-Vous,” “Jack” is being tipped for Berlin’s Generation Kplus sidebar.

Led by Marie-Laure Montironi, EuropaCorp’s sales team has sold the auteur-driven toonpic to Germany (Universum), South Korea (Joycontente) and Latin America (Swen) following its first market screening at the AFM.

“Jack” previously sold Switzerland (JMH), Scandinavia (Scanbox), Greece (Odeon), Poland (ITI), Middle East (Golf), Singapore (MVP Ent.) and Benelux to U-Media which is also co-producing. Montironi said the shingle is in negotiations with U.K., U.S. and Polish buyers.

UniFrance has given us a wonderful opportunity to unveil the film to 400 buyers of French movies in the best possible conditions. Even if the American and Asian aren’t there at the Rendez-Vous we’ll be able to show the film to Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Eastern European and Canadian buyers right before Berlin, which is perfect timing.

Since then EuropaCorp has supported “Jack” through thick-and-thin, including a change of animation studio when original animator Duran Duboi went to the wall and the project was taken to Belgium’s Walking the Dog.

Produced by EuropaCorp’s Virginie Besson-Silla, the big screen movie adapts co-director Mathieu Malzieu’s popular novel that also inspired an strong-selling album performed by Malzieu’s band, Dionysos. Stephane Berla, who has helmed Dionysos vidclips, co-directed.

Music from the album drives a late nineteenth-century faux- naïf tale of amour fou, centering on Jack, a frail lad who was born with a icy heart which, in order to work, has been stitched to a cuckoo-clock. Growing up, he has to avoid all strong emotions, especially love.

Well-received excerpts from the movie – whose characters are designed by Italian artist Nicoletta Ceccoli, famous for her near doll-like figures set in not-so-innocent contexts – were shown at 2013’s Annecy Animation Festival last June.

EuropaCorp will bow “Jack” in France on Feb. 5 in the run-up to Valentine’s Day.

Over Jan. 10-13, distributors from 50 countries, primarily in Europe but also Latin America and Canada, will screen 110 movies shown at movie theaters in Paris. 52 this year will be market premieres.

In the second part of a newly double-backed event, over Jan. 17-20, journalists from Europe, Israel and Quebec will interview key cast and directors of French films released in their countries from February to June. UniFrance describes this second meet as the biggest press junket in the world.