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Malzieu, Berla Unveil ‘Jack’ at Paris Rendez-vous

Burton-esque love story opens 16th French film mart

PARIS – Actress-singer Olivia Ruiz, director-musician Mathias Malzieu, co-director Stephane Berla and UniFrance managing director Isabelle Giordano presented “Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart,” the latest animation film from Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp, at its sneak-peek European premiere Friday.

They were joined on stage by EuropaCorp marketing director Fabrice Denizot and UniFrance president Jean-Paul Salome.

Championed by Besson and produced by EuropaCorp’s Virginie Besson-Silla, “Jack” brought down the flag on the 16th UniFrance Rendez-vous with French Cinema in Paris, a mega French film mart which runs through Jan. 20.

Co-directed and co-penned by Malzieu and Berla, and based on Malzieu’s novel and subsequent album, “Jack” was chosen to open the Rendez-vous because it “is a very good movie, a kind of jewel, and very representative of the diversity of French cinema,” Salome said.

Six years in the making, said Berla, “Jack” has sold to 10 territories, said Denizot. These include post-AFM deals with Universum for Germany, Swan in Latin America and South Korea JoynContents Group.

Movie will screen in Berlin Generation section.

Scored by Malzieu, the Tim Burton-esque love-story between a boy born with a dicky heart and a feisty if very shortsighted femme Spanish singer brought applause at the gala for its exquisite designs, near omni-present narrative music and originality.

The challenge of indie animation is that it often lacks the in-built branding of the latest Disney or Pixar movie, so needs muscular marketing and distribution support. “Jack,” however, comes backed by one of France’s strongest companies, which opens it Feb. 5 in France.

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