You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

New Alexis Ducord Project ‘Saba’ Set For Cartoon Movie

BARCELONA – “Saba,” the new project of Alexis Ducord (“Zombillenium”) and Benjamin Massoubre, the editor at “Zombillenium,” and “Big Bad Fox & Other Tales,” will be offered up to potential partners and buyers at Europe’s upcoming Cartoon Movie, which kicks off March 5 in Bordeaux.

A 3D CGI animated feature project, “Saba” is produced by France’s Maybemovies, whose credits include Benjamin Renner’s “Ernest & Celestine,” and budgeted at $15 million.

The story is set in Ethiopia, then Abyssinia, in 1938, after the devastating invasion of Mussolini’s Italian army. 10-year Emelyia sets out to rescue her parents, captured by the fascist forces.

A coming-of-age experience, Emelyia’s trip will take her from Danakil Desert to the shores of the Red Sea, up to the cities of Sanaa and Marib in Yemen through the territories that once belonged to the legendary kingdom of the Queen of Saba.

In a context of war as the film builds as an epic archaeological adventure quest, Emelyia will eventually unite the different peoples of the Horn of Africa.

Maybe Movies founder and formerly Gaumont’s head of new media Henri Magalon told Variety that Ducord and Massoubre’s aim is “to represent on the big screen the diversity and cultural richness of Africa, which is too often ignored, overshadowed by cruel news; to highlight ‘positively’ a region nowadays ravaged by famine and poverty, which isn’t covered well by the media.”

Magalon added: “‘Saba’ seems to us to be the quintessence of all the projects we like to develop at Maybe Movies: an adventure film for the whole family with a double reading for children/parents where everyone will find something; an intelligent and mischievous film that doesn’t take children for fools and that gives them a taste for action.”

The goal is to build a graphic design at the same height as the background through a CGI 3D technique which would allow free and fluid framing, editing, and animation. The first artistic research was carried out by Ducord, aided by Nicolas Pawlowski, a story-boarder on ‘Zombillenium,” Ivan Gomez, a story-boarder on Jamel Debbouze’s “Why I Did (Not) Eat My Father,” Guillaume Ivernel, co-director at ‘Dragon Hunters,” and Arthur de Pins and Rémi Chayé, director of “Long Way North,” Magalon explained.

Maybe Movies has produced to date seven feature films, three animated series and several documentaries, including “Long Way North,” Philippe Aractingi live-action feature “Under the Bombs,” “Zombillenium” and the afore-mentioned “Ernest & Celestine.”

The company is also in production on the next project of Chayé, “Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary,” an animated Western focusing on the mythical personality of Calamity Jane, set in 1863. Budgeted at $9 million, “Calamity”’ sales are managed by Indie Sales. Denmark’s Norlum and France’s 2 Minutes animation studio and France 3 Cinema serve as co-producers.

CREDIT: Maybe Movies

More Film

  • Billie Holiday (1915-1959, born Eleanora Fagan)

    Billie Holiday Documentary Draws Buyers, Concord Boards Project

    Concord, successor to the Billie Holiday Estate, has boarded James Erskine’s documentary “Billie,” which tracks the singer’s life. Altitude Film Sales has revealed sales to several territories. Also joining the film, now in post-production, is the Brazilian colorization artist Marina Amaral. Most of the filmed and still images that exist of Holiday are in black [...]

  • My Extraordinary Summer With Tess review

    Film Review: 'My Extraordinary Summer With Tess'

    Winner of a special mention from the Berlinale Generation KPlus’ adult jury, the family-friendly, light drama “My Extraordinary Summer With Tess” is straightforward youth cinema with surprising emotional depth. Based on a prize-winning novel by Anna Woltz, a beloved Dutch writer of work for young readers, it explores family relationships and emphasizes the importance of [...]

  • UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report: Women, Minorities

    Hollywood Diversity Gains in TV but Falls Short in Movies

    Minorities and women have registered gains in several key areas of television but women continue to lag in movies, according to a report issued Thursday by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. “My basic take is that TV is improving more for minorities and women than film,” said Dr. Darnell [...]

  • Ghost Fleet review

    Film Review: 'Ghost Fleet'

    The revelatory documentary “Ghost Fleet” condemns the modern-day slave labor fueling the Thai fishing industry while focusing on the work of Bangkok-based advocacy organization Labor Rights Promotion Network Foundation (LPN), a group dedicated to ending slavery at sea. Combining chilling testimony from formerly enslaved men, some wincingly arty recreations of their ordeals, and on-the-ground footage [...]

  • WGA West Logo

    WGA Plans March 25 Member Vote on Talent Agency Rules

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America plan a March 25 vote for members to decide whether to implement tough new restrictions on how Hollywood talent agencies as operate as agents for writer clients. The vote comes as the guild is in the midst of pitched negotiations with the Association of Talent Agents to renew [...]

  • Netflix Buys Chinese Sci-fi Hit 'The

    Netflix Buys Chinese Sci-fi Hit 'The Wandering Earth'

    Netflix has bought rights to “The Wandering Earth,“ the smash hit film pitched as China’s first mainstream sci-fi movie. The movie was the sleeper hit of Chinese New Year. It opened in fourth position on Feb. 5 but climbed to the top spot and has not yet relinquished it. After 14 days in theaters, the [...]

  • Michael B. JordanAFI Awards Luncheon, Los

    Film News Roundup: Michael B. Jordan's Hitman Drama 'Silver Bear' Gets Director

    In today’s film news roundup, Michael B. Jordan’s “The Silver Bear” finds a director, biopic “Running for My Life” is in the works, Fox is using new trailer compliance software and the 14-hour “La Flor” gets distribution. DIRECTOR ATTACHMENT Gerard McMurray, director of “The First Purge,” will write and direct Michael B. Jordan’s thriller “The [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content