FilMart: Ablaze Animation ‘Happiness Road’ Leads to European Buyers

“On Happiness Road,” the Taiwanese animation that last week won the top prize at the Tokyo Anime Award Festival, has found buyers in Europe ahead of its debut at FilMart.

With sales handled by Ablaze Image, the film was acquired for release in France by Eurozoom and for Spain by Media Solutions Partners.

The film is a drama about a young woman who had found her American dream after persevering with her studies. But, following her grandmother’s death, she returns home to Happiness Road. There she feels nostalgia for her childhood, and is forced to reflect on deeper matters. For Chinese-language audiences, the film boasts a high profile voice cast headed by star actress  Gwei Lun-Mei, and director Wei Te-Sheng.

The film was directed by journalist and photographer turned director, Sung Hsin-yin. Educated in Japan and the U.S., Sung has enjoyed a bright festival career with live action short films “The Red Shoes” and “Single Waltz.” She previously won the best animation prize at the Taipei festival for her earlier animated short, also called “Happiness Road.” Interested in finding universal values through different film genres, Sung is now readying her first live action feature, “Love is a Bitch.”

At FilMart, Ablaze Image is also handling sales of Taiwan drama “Father to Son,” by Hsiao Yu-chuan. The film previously played at the Rotterdam festival, and has a buyers’-only screening this week in Hong Kong.

The company’s latest pick up is the “Scoundrels,” the new film by Hung Tzu-Hsuan. “Scoundrels” stars Wu Kang-ren (“White Ant”,) JC Lin, Nana Lee, and Hsieh Hsin-ying in a crime action story of a down-on-his-luck former basketball player who find himself accused and on the run after a bank robbery.

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