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AFM: German Sales Outfits Toon Up Market With Animated Pics

Animation is front and center for leading German companies attending the American Film Market.

The wide selection includes original productions and adaptations of popular literary works from German and international animation studios.

Munich-based ARRI Media Intl. presents the 3D feature “Ploey — You Never Fly Alone,” about a young golden plover that has trouble learning to fly, fails to migrate with his family to warmer climates and is forced to survive in a world full of natural enemies. Currently in production, “Ploey” is produced by Icelandic animation studio GunHil in co-production with Belgium’s Cyborn. ARRI will unveil the pic’s official trailer and present 30 minutes of footage at AFM.

Sola Media offers Karsten Kiilerich’s “Hodja and the Magic Carpet,” based on Danish author Ole Lund Kirkegaard’s classic children’s book “Hodja From Pjort.” The film, which  showcases one of Denmark’s most beloved characters for the first time in CGI, follows a boy who, after finding a magic carpet, sets off to a far away city in search of a lost girl.
“Hodja” is produced by Tivi Magnusson’s Copenhagen-based M&M Prods. and fellow Danish group, A. Film Production.

“I have been a big fan of Kirkegaard’s wonderful tales since I read them to my own kids, and now I am given the opportunity to bring ‘Hodja’ to the silver screen — wow,” says Kiilerich.
Sola Media also presents “Space Chicken” from directors Alex Orelle and Eduardo Schuldt and Miami-based Pajarraco Films and Peru’s Aronnax Animation Studios.

Based on the popular Latin American comic strip “Condorito,” by Chilean cartoonist René Ríos, “Space Chicken” follows Condorito as he sets off on an out-of-this-world adventure with his nephew Chicky to rescue his mother-in-law, who was abducted by aliens.

“Following the very successful release of the film in Peru, Chile and Colombia, we are convinced that international audiences will love the [film],” says Solveig Langeland, managing director of Sola Media.

The company’s current catalog also includes Norwegian production “Anchors Up,” about a  heroic little rescue boat, from Animando and Qvisten Animation.
Munich-based Global Screen’s muscular slate includes “Luis and the Aliens,” directed by Oscar-winning German siblings Wolfgang and Christoph Lauenstein. The pic centers on young Luis, who befriends three awkward little aliens after they land their spaceship near his home.

“Luis and the Aliens” is produced by Hamburg-based Ulysses Film, whose previous animated feature, 2015’s “Ooops! Noah Is Gone …,” went on to sell worldwide and gross more than €25 million ($29.37 million) at the international box office. Co-produced by Luxembourg’s Fabrique d’Images and Denmark’s A. Film Production, the pic will be released in Germany via Majestic/Fox.

Global Screen’s other highlights include “Capt’n Sharky,” based on the popular children’s book series by writer Jutta Langreuter and illustrator Silvio Neuendorf about a pint-sized swashbuckler. Produced by Munich’s Caligari Film, the CGI feature, which Global Screen will show at AFM, follows Capt’n Sharky and his motley crew as they sail the high seas in search of adventure.

The company also presents “Marnie’s World,” from the Lauenstein brothers and Scopas Media in co-production with Grid Animation. Inspired by the Grimm fairytale “The Town Musicians of Bremen,” the 3D feature follows a spoiled house cat who is forced to make her own way in the world but ends up getting by with a little help from her friends.

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