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LOS CABOS, Mexico – Mexico’s first stop-motion animation feature, “Inzomnia,” is in pre-production with Luis Tellez directing and former Mexican Cinematheque director Paula Astorga and producer Milko Luis on board as producers.

Budgeted at an initial $2 million, the toon has participated in Venice’s Gap-Financing Market and will next be taken to Buenos Aires confab, Ventana Sur, to be pitched in its Animation! section.

“Inzomnia” tracks 10-year old Camila in her quest to rescue her parents and the rest of the city’s inhabitants from the yoke of a ruthless businessman who has converted them all into automatons via an insomnia pill. Camila is immune to the effects of the pill that keeps everyone else awake and at work.

“We started shooting “Inzomnia” at a 7,535-sq. ft. gallery in Guadalajara’s Museo Trompo Mágico (Magic Spinning Top Museum) where we staged a live exhibit for our young visitors to witness the entire process in real time,” said Astorga, whose debut feature as a producer, Jimmy Cohen’s docu “Omar & Gloria,” had its world premiere at Play-Doc, Spain last March.

While the characters are designed in Mexico, the puppets are being made in Poland’s Momakin, renowned for its technical know-how and experience. It will be a truly international production with key animators flying in from Poland, Brazil, Spain, Chile and Argentina, among others. Production kicks off in January with the goal to debut the feature by 2020.

Animation is increasingly bigger business in predominantly youth-populated Mexico, which leads among the top three animation markets in the region.

Under her new shingle, Home Films, Astorga is developing Anabel Caso’s coming-of-age fiction feature debut, “Trigal” and Ricardo Lozano’s doc “DMX.”  She’s also co-producing Brazilian feature “Señoritas” by Mycaela Plotkyn.  Another doc in development is “Los Colores de la Tormenta,” a live action doc with some 2D animated scenes about a refuge for marginalized people –gays, trans, HIV-infected people – in Honduras.