ANNECY, France — India’s Green Gold Animation has boarded 3D animated musical comedy “Escape to India,” it was announced at Annecy’s Mifa. The company will co-produce alongside Gastón Gorali of Argentina’s Mundoloco, who’s producing his first feature.
“When Gastón told me about the idea and showed me the character sketches, I immediately fell in love with the project. We felt emotionally connected with the storyline, and more importantly, we loved all the talent involved in ‘Underdogs’,” said Green Gold Animation CEO Rajiv Chilaka, referring to the 2013 animated feature directed by Mundoloco co-founder Juan José Campanella.
Based in Hyderabad, Green Gold Animation also has offices in L.A. and Singapore. The studio specializes in animation for TV, with two of its three toon features ready for release: “Hanuman vs. Mahiravana,” which is based on an untold myth from the ancient Indian epic poem “Ramayana,” and “Kung Fu Dhamaka,” a spin-off of the company’s animated series “Chhota Bheem,” the largest kids franchise in India.
Mundoloco CGI is one of the biggest digital animation studios in Latin America. It was founded by Juan José Campanella, director of Academy Award winner “The Secret in Their Eyes,” producer Jorge Estrada Mora, and Roberto Schroder, one of the co-producers of “Underdogs” – one of Latin America’s most successful animated features, which sold to more than 50 countries and raised the bar for animation in the region.
Inspired by a novella written by Marcelo Birmajer, “Escape to India” is set in the 1940s, following the adventures of Azadi (“freedom” in Hindi), a young, valiant cow who escapes her fate at an Argentine slaughterhouse. An epic journey takes her across the Americas, where she crosses the Bering Strait into Russia, makes her way through Mongolia and China, and finally arrives in India, which her dying mother described to her as a paradise for cows.
Hoping to give the film more international appeal and comedic punch, a final version of the script is being co-written by four-time Emmy-nominated director Rob Hughes, who was also a scriptwriter on Disney’s “Phineas and Pherb.”
Latin American producer-director-songwriter Cris Morena (“Rebelde Way”) will be in charge of the soundtrack, which will draw on popular Ibero-American musical genres like tango, malambo and bossa-nova.
Gorali said that Buddhism and Indian spirituality will be a focal point of “Escape to India.”
“The idea of non-violence changing things in the world is something that India – the largest democracy in the world – has given to us, and we want the idea to be very present in the movie,” Gorali told Variety.
He added: “We’re very far apart, India and Argentina, and you may think our cultures are totally different. However, beyond religion and tradition, we are both big dreamers and big survivors. Our cultures were built by overcoming adversities.”