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ANNECY  —  Ed Noeltner’s L.A. and Paris-based Cinema Management Group (CMG), one of the world’s leading sales agent specializing in international animated features, has closed both France and South Korea plus a swathe of South East Asian territories on “Salma’s Big Wish,” which bows in Annecy on Monday as one of eight titles in its inaugural Contrechamp competition.

Five years in the works, “Salma’s Big Wish” is produced by Estefani Gaona Gochicoa (“Sugar Skulls,” “Once Upon a Time in Transylvania”) and directed by director Carlos Gutierrez Medrano (“La Cuarta Compañía”), part of a burgeoning Guadalajara animation in Mexico.

Adding to a swathe of first deals on the title, which are all the more impressive for being pre-sales, “Salma’s Big Wish’s” sales campaign was initiated by CMG at the Berlinale.

The sales confirm the export potential of select animation movies. They’re also a further sign of CMG’s reputation as a company whose sales on animated features can represent not just a top-up on other revenues but rather a significant, though still minority, source of financing for independent animated features.

Produced by Mexican animation studio Metacube Technology & Entertainment and co-produced with Symbiosis Technologies, “Salma’s Big Wish” (aka “Día de muertos”) has been licensed in newest deals off Berlin  and now the Cannes Festival to KLB for France and Booxoo for South Korea.

In already announced major territory accords, Palatin Media will distribute “Salma’s Last Wish” in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Big Picture in Spain, and Volga Film in Russia, Ukraine and the Baltics.

Videocine, the distribution powerhouse of Mexican TV giant Televisa, will release “Salma’s Big Wish” on Nov. 1, one day ahead of the official Dia de Muertos celebrations in Mexico and Latin America.  That makes sense given the movie’s plot line which sees Salma, an orphan bent on discovering the identity of her parents, setting off with her two foster brothers, Jorge and Pedro, on an adventure to uncover the mystery of her ancestors.

“Salma’s Big Wish” opened this March’s Guadalajara Festival as the Mexican event seeks to turn an ever larger spotlight on animation and aid the growth of an animation hub in the city.

Deals for distribution of the film in the U.S. and the U.K. are currently in negotiation, Noeltner said.

In further new deals, Lomo Films has acquired Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Mongolia; Skyline has taken  Vietnam; and Front Row Entertainment has picked up the Middle East.

These join already confirmed sales to Kino Swiat (Poland), Media Squad (Hungary, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Programs4Media (Romania), APlus Films (Bulgaria), 2iFilms (ex-Yugoslavia), Cinemundo (Portugal) and Movie Box (Turkey).

“Salma’s Last Wish” will premiere in China at the 2019 Shanghai International Film Festival, which opens later this week, running June 14 – 24. It has already been selected for a number of other prestigious festivals, to be announced soon.