CANNES — Leanne Pooley, whose last pic “Beyond the Edge” played at the Toronto Film Festival, has kicked off production on “25 April,” an animated docu drama about Gallipoli, the World War I battle in which thousands of Australians and New Zealanders died. K5 Intl. is handling international sales.
Pic looks at events at Gallipoli, from the landing of the Aussie and Kiwis troops in 1915 to their evacuation later that year, through the eyes of six Australian and New Zealand soldiers. The campaign led people from both countries to question their place in the British Empire.
Pic is co-written by Tim Woodhouse and produced by Matthew Metcalfe for General Film Corporation (“Beyond the Edge,” “Dean Spanley”), in association with U.K.-based Pitfan Prods. The animation will be created by Auckland-based Flux Animation Studios, led by its founder and creative director Brent Chambers.
Transmission Films will release the film in New Zealand and Australia in 2015.
“Animation gives us the opportunity to bring the men and women who were at Gallipoli back to life. It allows us to really experience what they went through from an entirely new perspective. There are no limitations to how the story can be illustrated. We can create a Gallipoli no one has ever seen before,” said Pooley.
Chambers describes the animation as “an exciting and innovative approach to storytelling. Overcoming the challenge of creating the epic sense of scale required will involve the team here employing multiple new and varied digital techniques.”
The New Zealand Film Commission is financing with Flux Animation Studio, Images and Sound, General Film Corporation and Pitfan. The project is being made with the assistance of the New Zealand government’s Screen Production Incentive Fund.
“This film comes from a talented and well-established team setting out to tell, in an innovative and original style, what is not just one of New Zealand’s defining stories, but what is at heart a universal tale of immense courage against incredible odds,” New Zealand Film Commission chief executive Dave Gibson said. “It’s great to be able to support this project for audiences everywhere to enjoy, whether they be those commemorating New Zealand’s role in Gallipoli or international audiences drawn to an amazing story of true heroism.”
Metcalfe added, “Leanne Pooley is an innovative and exciting director, and we are pleased to be working with her again after the success of ‘Beyond the Edge.’ Combined with the exceptional animation abilities that Flux brings to the project, we feel that this will be a unique, marketable and innovative theatrical film for audiences in territories around the world.”