SAN SEBASTIAN — Spain’s Film Factory has acquired international rights to Fermin Muguruza’s adult animation feature debut “Black is Beltza.”
The project will be offered to buyers at the Berlinale’s next European Film Market, Film Factory CEO Vicente Canales told Variety. A teaser will be screened at Berlin, where Muguruza has promised a “noteworthy” musical landing, as well.
“’Black is Beltza’ is very different for the Spanish adult animation scene so far, and originality is exactly what the market is demanding,” Canales said, adding that the project is perfectly suited for combining international theatrical releases with launches on digital platforms and VOD services.
Co-produced by Basque country Talka Records & Film and Catalonia’s Setmagic, “Beltza” will offer a colorful canvas of the 60’s counterculture era, kicking off in October 1965 when a group of giants and carnival heads –inspired by Pamplona’s 17th century parades– is invited to march down New York’s 5th Avenue on Hispanic Day. However, the figures of two black giants are not accepted for the parade.
Unax Ugalde (Helena Taberna’s “The Good News”), a 2005 EFP shooting star, is attached to star in “Beltza” playing Manex, a young Basque who intended to walk inside one of the carnival giants.
The Black Panthers, racial uprisings, the Cuban Revolution, intricate Cold War stratagems act as a colorful historical background for a story linking action, love, revolution and espionage.
The film’s musical score is already finished –”and this is one of the great weapons we have in ‘Beltza’,” Muguruza said including pieces from Spanish songwriters as Raúl Fernández or Manu Chao. Rights to legendary songs from the period are under negotiation.
Spain’s Hampa Studio and Argentina’s Draftoon animation houses are also on board.
“After movies like Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal’s ‘Chico & Rita’ and Ari Folman’s ‘Waltz with Bashir,’ animation for adults seemed to suffer a certain hiatus, but I am convinced that 2D traditional animation for adults will see a new strength,” Muguruza said.
“Beltza” was originally a movie screenplay penned by Muguruza and Harkaitz Cano and then became a graphic novel illustrated by Argentine Jorge Alderete.
Feature is scheduled to be ready for delivery by September 2018.
Muguruza began his musical career setting up one of most important bands in Basque Radical Rock –Kortatu. Last year the multi-hyphenate artist premiered at San Sebastian Film Festival “Nola?,” a documentary exploring the cultural universe of New Orleans ten years after Katrina.