×

Paris-Based Xilam Expands Scope With Shows and Films Targeting Adults and Teens (EXCLUSIVE)

Marc Du Pontavice, whose Paris-based company, Xilam, won Cannes Critics’ Week top prize with the animated feature “I Lost My Body,” is set to expand the scope of his listed outfit with new projects directed at adults and teens.

Among these projects is a series adaptation of “Monkey Bizness,” the popular French comics created by Pozla and El Diablo, the pair behind “Les Lascars.” Xilam has acquired the right to the comics collection and is collaborating with the authors on a half-hour comedy series for young adults. The series is set in a future world dominated by monkeys. It follows the adventures of two clumsy, incompetent underachievers working for the local mafia.

“‘Monkey Bizness’ will be an offbeat and irreverent comedy series appealing primarily to young adults,” said Du Pontavice, who was honored Tuesday at the Annecy Film Festival. The producer said he would likely get a streaming service on board for “Monkey Bizness.”

“There is a strong demand right now for niche projects like ‘Monkey Bizness’ because platforms allow us to target a niche globally and therefore gives us the possibility to access bigger budgets than if we were trying to finance a series based on a niche in a single market,” Du Pontavice said.

Listed on the Paris stock exchange since 2002, Xilam has seen its value skyrocket by 300% to nearly €40 per share, bolstered by the success of nonverbal slapstick comedy series like “Oggy and the Cockroaches,” “Zig and Sharko” and, more recently, “Paprika.” The company recently branched out to animated features for adults and families, such as Jeremy Clapin’s “I Lost My Hand,” and intends to do more of these. Du Pontavice said Xilam was working with Clapin on his next project.

Sold by Charades, “I Lost My Body” was acquired by Netflix following its Cannes premiere for worldwide rights with the exception of China, Benelux, Switzerland, Russia and France. Du Pontavice said the movie marked a milestone because it’s one of the rare animated film for adults which isn’t political.

“‘I Lost My Body’ is first and foremost a romantic comedy and an intimate, singular film. The fantasy aspect comes second, and when you watch the movie you quickly forget it’s animated, notably because it’s shot like a live-action film,” said Du Pontavice.

At Annecy, Xilam also unveiled its series project with Disney Plus, “Chip ‘n’ Dale,” which will be a reboot of the cult series. The show will be driven by slapstick comedy and will follow a pair of chipmunks who struggle with life in the big city. Du Pontavice said Disney approached Xilam not only to handle the animation but also create the entire reboot.

“It’s very rewarding to collaborate with Disney on bringing back these beloved characters,” said Du Pontavice, adding that the company has been developing the series for the last two years.

“I Lost My Body” will be released in France by Rezo on Nov. 6.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Matthew Modine

    Supporters Back Matthew Modine After Clumsy Joke at SAG-AFTRA Meeting

    More than 100 women, including Ellen Barkin and Allison Janney, have voiced support for Matthew Modine’s campaign for SAG-AFTRA presidency, following a joke at a SAG-AFTRA meeting that some decried as misogynist. With voting set to conclude on Aug. 28, the campaigns have featured vitriolic attacks between supporters of Modine, secretary-treasurer Jane Austin and incumbent [...]

  • Lady Gaga

    Variety Earns 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Award Nominations

    Variety has received 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie award nominations for its coverage of the entertainment industry over the past year. The awards gala, which will take place at The Hilton Midtown in New York City on Oct. 30, celebrates publications that have demonstrated impressive investigative journalism, in addition to thoughtful digital and print design. [...]

  • WGA Agents Packaging Fight Placeholder

    Writers Guild Withdraws State Suit Against Agencies, Refiles in Federal Court

    The Writers Guild of America has withdrawn its state court suit against WME, CAA, UTA and ICM Partners alleging packaging fees are illegal and re-filed suit in federal court. The WGA also responded to antitrust claims brought against the guild by the three agencies. Those agency suits alleged that the WGA abused its power in [...]

  • Tim Roth to Receive Honorary Heart

    Tim Roth to Receive Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award

    British actor Tim Roth is to receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award in recognition of his “exceptional contribution to the art of film.” The ceremony at the Sarajevo Film Festival will be held on Tuesday. He will hold a masterclass on the same day. His first screen role was the lead in the controversial [...]

  • Isabelle Huppert, receives the Honorary Heart

    Isabelle Huppert on Fateful Encounters, the Nature of Acting and Judging a Good Script

    Celebrated actress Isabelle Huppert, speaking at the Sarajevo Film Festival on Sunday, looked back on her illustrious career in a candid discussion that touched on her acting, the many renowned directors with whom she’s worked, and the importance of dialogue. The festival honored Huppert with its Honorary Heart of Sarajevo award “in recognition of her [...]

  • Inauguracion SANFIC 2019

    15th Sanfic Touts Attendance Rise, Hosts Gael Garcia Bernal, Wagner Moura

    SANTIAGO — Chile’s Santiago International Film Festival (Sanfic) launched its 15th edition Sunday Aug. 18 with three of Latin America’s best-known actors, Gael Garcia Bernal, Wagner Moura (“Narcos”) and Graciela Borges (“La Cienaga”), to which it bestowed career recognition awards. “It’s been 15 years in which we have presented more than 1,400 films,” noted Francisca [...]

  • Sarajevo, Intl. Casting Directors Network Look

    Sarajevo Film Festival and International Casting Directors Network Look to Launch Local Stars

    The Intl. Casting Directors Network (ICDN) and the Sarajevo Film Festival are joining forces to turn the popular Bosnian film fest into a springboard for regional actors looking to launch international careers. After kicking off with a pilot version last year, the initiative expanded to include a series of masterclasses with leading casting directors and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content