ANNECY, France — Edward Noeltner’s L.A. and Paris-based based Cinema Management Group (CMG) has added more key territories to the already fulsomely-sold “Loving Vincent,” a portrait of Vincent Van Gogh, in the run-up to the high-profile animated feature’s world premiere on June 13 at Annecy.
In the most recent licensing pacts, Altitude Film Entertainment has acquired the U.K. and Madman Entertainment rights to Australia and New Zealand. Latest territories to be sold on “Loving Vincent” also include Bulgaria, to A-Plus Films, Romania, to Ultraviolet, Turkey to Medyavizion and South Africa to AAA Entertainment.
At Cannes, worldwide sales agent CMG closed the U.S. and English-speaking Canada with Good Deed Entertainment along with Germany and Austria to Weltkino Filmverleih.
Directed by Dorota Kobiela, one of Variety’s 10 Animators to Watch in 2017, and Hugh Welchman, starring Douglas Booth, Jerome Flynn, Chris O’Dowd, Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan and Eleanor Tomlinson, and produced by Academy Award winners BreakThru Films (“Peter and the Wolf”) and Trademark Films (“Shakespeare in Love”), “Loving Vincent” has to date closed over 30 pre-sales deals repping 90-plus countries. Deals take in all of the top sales territories in the world – including the aforementioned U.S. and Canada, U.K. and Germany – China (Bright East Film), C.I.S./Russia (CD Land), France (TF1 Studio), Mexico/Spain (Fabrica de Cine), Scandinavia and the Baltics (NonStop Entertainment) and South Korea (First Run).
Few independent animation features pre-sell so well. Symptomatically, tickets for “Loving Vincent’s” six screenings sold like wildfire when tickets were made available online last week.
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“Loving Vincent” hit the headlines from the get-go when, talked up as the world’s first fully-painted feature film, the enormity of its production challenge became clear with the film being first shot as a live action film with actors and a green screen and then saw 125 professional oil painters painting the picture frame by frame, producing 65,000 oil paintings in the style of Van Gogh. Entire production took four years.
With the film’s viral teaser trailer viewed by nearly 2.6m views on YouTube and receiving over 200 million views on Facebook, “Loving Vincent’s” unusualness of production approach offers obvious marketing hooks for distributors, some of which will play out at Annecy itself after the world premiere. Special events include painters animating Van Gogh’s Wheatfield with Crows on a wall in front of Lake Annecy and head of painting Piotr Dominak animating Van Gogh’s Le Moulin de la Galette live inside a Painting Animation Workstation – including a chance for Festival attendees to win the final painting.
Written by Kobiela and Welchman, rather than a conventional bio, the film is cast as a suicide mystery in which a young man, played by Douglas Booth, takes on the mission of discovering why Van Gogh shot himself in the stomach in 1891 despite impending artistic success, conducting fictional interviews with the subjects of many of Van Gogh’s final paintings. That, as much as his genius, is a question which has exercised generations of art lovers, probing the nature of artistic genius and inspiration.
“Loving Vincent” is a Polish/U.K. co-production backed by the Lower Silesian Film Fund, the City of Wroclaw and Centrum Technologii Audiowizualnych. Further financial support for the project was provided by Silver Reel, Sevenex Capital Partners and the Doha Film Institute.
The film’s worldwide theatrical release is scheduled for October.