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Ventana Sur: ‘Escape to India,’ ‘Noah’s Ark,’ ‘Inzomnia’ Among Projects at Animation!

Buenos Aires market announces 16 Projects in newly- expanded animation showcase

“Escape to India,” produced by Juan José Campanella, “Noah’s Ark,” whose producers include Walter Salles, and Inzomnia Animation’s “Inzomnia” are some of the projects included in the 2nd Animation!, a showcase at Buenos Aires’ Ventana Sur market which is devoted to animated features and TV shows.

Animation! projects total sixteen – eight features and eight TV series. All have been selected in a partnership with Annecy’s Intl. Animation Film Market (MIFA), the world biggest film-tv animation mart. A jury will select four projects among TV shows and features to be presented at MIFA 2018.

Set up at Buenos Aires’ studio Mundo Loco and produced by Academy Award winner Campanella (“The Secret in Their Eyes”) and producer-composer Cris Morena, Latin America’s leading specialist in youth-orientated TV shows (“Rebelde Way”), “Escape to India” follows Azadi, a courageous cow who, destined for the slaughterhouse in Patagonia, escapes and begins an epic journey to India, where her mother tells her that cows are venerated.

The feature will be directed by Gastón Gorali, who re-teams with Campanella after “Underdogs,” which was acquired by The Weinstein Co. and cumed $25 million worldwide. It is set in the mid-1940s when Latin America was one of the richest regions in the world, exporting food to Europe and Asia, and Argentina enjoyed a Belle Epoque here.

Fabiano Gullane, Caio Gullane, producers of Brazil’s foreign-language Academy Award entry “Bingo: ” and famed director Salles (“The Motocycle Diaries”) are behind “Noah’s Ark,” set up at Gullane, Videofilmes and Globo Filmes.

To be directed by Sérgio Machado (“The Violin Teacher”) and registering the highest budget of the Animation! selection –$7.5 million, vs. an average $4.6 million – is the musical comedy unspools as both an adventure and political fable turning on two bohemian mice –inspired by celebrated Brazilian composers Vinicius de Moraes and Carlos Jobim– confronted by the flood.

The robust growth of Latin America’s animation sector is reflected in the number of submissions for this year’s Animation! pitching sessions, up 50% on last year to 174 projects.

“Inzomnia” centers on a dystopic world where rulers have created the Inzomnia pill, eliminating citizens’ need for sleep, making them capable of working 24 hours a day. First-timer Luis Téllez Ibarra helms “Inzomnia.”

CREDIT: Paula Astorga

Other Animation! projects include family comedy “Small Town,” directed by Uruguayan veteran Walter Tournier (“Selkirk, the Real Robinson Crusoe”) which focus on a surprising discovery –cows’ farts can become clean and renewable energy. This will alter daily life in a quiet village. The animated feature is co-produced by Uruguay’s La Suma and Argentina’s Nuts Media; “My Grandfather Miguel,” produced by Chile’s Osobuco Animations, directed by Tomás Andrés Montalva and a story about an elderly man decides to look for the love of his life.

Completing the features slate are Juaco Garin’s “Confite,” from Argentina’s Artan Animation, about the moving friendship between a dog and a girl through time and distance; Mexico’s Huevocartoon Producciones’ “Grimalkin,” a family horror comedy directed by Sant Arellano which the Animation! Award at Cuernavaca’s Pixelatl Animation Festival. It turns on a cat whose love towards his family is put to the test with the arrival of magical creatures at their home; and family adventure drama “Edith’s Magical Voice.” Produced by Ad Infinitum & Co and Perrenque Media Lab, it tells the story of a seven-year-old girl who discovers that her voice has the ability to expell people’s demons. First-timer Andrés Barrientos directs.

Projects pitches will be guided by Heather Kenyon, head of project development on Kelly Asbury’s “Gnomeo & Juliet,” who form part of the jury alongside Joan Lofts, an executive producer on the “Peppa Pig” series, Heath Kenny, president of the Paris-based development company You and Eye Creative, and animation director Leon Joosen, whose credits include John Schultz’ “Aliens in the Attic.”

Animated TV shows at Ventana Sur Animation! include the Chilean sporting self-improvement story “Raise the Bar!” directed by first-timer Fernanda Frick, “The Adventures of Ugo and Serena the Whale,” an adventure/friendship tale between a kid and a whale directed by Sebastián Mignogna, International Emmy Award-nominated for “La asombrosa excursión de Zamba,” fantasy-adventure story “My Brother the Monster,” produced by Mexico’s Gasolina Studios and directed by Ernesto Molinas;  and pre-school-targeting “The Bolocos,” from Brazil’s Estúdio Alcalina and Segui Filmes and directed by Alexandre Neves Almeida.

Other TV shows at Buenos Aires’ Ventana Sur pitching sessions are”Ray Trigger, Space Commander,” from Argentina’s Banzai Films, a comedy adventure about an alleged hero fixing misfits in the Galaxy; also from Argentina, “Onion the Steak,” a Nuts Media production about a steak feeling alone in a vegan world; and Colombian Be Cartoons’ YB show “What Would Jesus Do?,” a sci-fi comedy for adults offering a new version of Jesus Christ’s life. Chile’s Plastiestudio will present “Zander,” a philosophy series for kids.

Fortifying Animation! Ventana Sur also includes for the first time Animation! WIP’s, a new sidebar for films in post-production curated by Annecy’s MIFA.

It will showcase features from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Peru.

”Producers are beginning to assume that competition in animation is worldwide. In regional terms, they are testing what they can learn one from each other, Animation! coordinator Silvina Cornillon told Variety summarizing the opportunities offered by the Ventana Sur Animation! showcase.

She added: “It’s a change of paradigm at animation studios in Latin America. They have learnt that they can grow combing their efforts.” Pitching sessions will take place Nov. 29-30.

VENTANA SUR ANIMATION! PROJECTS, WORKS IN PROGRESS

FEATURES

“Noah’s Ark,” (Sérgio Machado, Brazil)

“Confite,” (José Joaquín Garin, Argentina)

“Escape to India,” (Gastón Gorali, Argentina)

“Grimalkin,” (Sant Arellano, Mexico)

“Inzomnia,” (Luis Téllez Ibarra, Mexico)

“Edith’s Magical Voice,” (Andrés Barrientos, Colombia)

“Small Town,” (Walter Tournier, Uruguay)

“My Grandfather Miguel,” (Tomás Andrés Montalva Armijo, Chile)

TV SERIES

“The Adventures of Ugo and Serena the Whale,” (Sebastián Mignogna, Argentina)

“My Brother the Monster,” (Ernesto Molina, Mexico)

“The Bolecos,” (Alexandre Neves Almeida, Brazil)

“Ray Trigger, Space Commander,” (Javier Salazar, Argentina)

“Raise the bar!,” (Fernanda Frick, Chile)

“Onion the Steak,” (Esteban Echevarría, Argentina)

“What would Jesus Do?,” (Julián David Hernández Castillo, Colombia)

“Zander,” (María Luisa Furche Rossé, Chile)

ANIMATION! WORK IN PROGRESS

“City of Pirates,” (Otto Guerra, Brazil)

“Here Comes the Grump,” (Andrés Couturer, Mexico, UK.)

“Dalia and the Red Book,” (David Bisbano, Argentina, Peru)

“Koati, the Movie” (Rodrigo Pérez Castro, Mexico)

“Nahuel and the Magical World” (Germán Acuña, Chile, Brazil)

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