×

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

  • Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Wins at

    Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Triumphs at Locarno Film Festival

    The 72nd Locarno Film Festival drew to a close Saturday with Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa’s dark and detached film “Vitalina Varela” coming away with several awards together with superlatives from segments of the hardcore cinephile crowd, including jury president Catherine Breillat. In announcing the Golden Leopard prize for the film, as well as best actress [...]

  • Vitalina Varela

    Locarno Film Review: 'Vitalina Varela'

    Frequently beautiful compositions and the theatrical use of a fierce kind of artifice have long been the hallmarks of Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa, regarded by a small but influential group of aesthetes as one of the great filmmakers of our era. For those in tune with his vision, the director’s films offer an exciting lesson [...]

  • Notre dame

    Locarno Film Review: 'Notre dame'

    Not to be too cynical about it, but might the recent horrific fire in Paris’ cathedral attract audiences to a film in which the gothic gem plays a major role? It’s likely a wiser marketing strategy than promoting the unrelenting silliness of Valerie Donzelli’s oh-so-kooky comedy “Notre dame,” the writer-director-star’s return to contemporary Paris following [...]

  • Nordisk Film & TV Fond Announces

    Nordisk Film & TV Fond Backs Joachim Trier, Ole Bornedal, Yellow Bird

    Nordisk Film & TV Fond has announced three features, two series and a documentary set to receive $1.4m in financing, as well as distribution, dubbing and cultural initiative support recipients. Doing so, it highlights some of the key titles moving forward in the Nordic region. Already backed by the Danish Film Institute’s largest ever grant [...]

  • Cat in the Wall Movie Sarajevo

    Sarajevo Film Festival Builds Bridges Through Art

    Rising from the rubble of the Bosnian War to become one of Southeastern Europe’s leading film and TV industry events, the Sarajevo Film Festival has plenty to celebrate as it marks its 25th edition this year. The festival was established in 1995 during the four-year siege of Sarajevo as part of an effort to help [...]

  • 'ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band

    Film Review: 'ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band From Texas'

    Settling in to watch “ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas,” you may have a burning question that applies to almost no other rock documentary, and that is: Who, exactly, are these guys? The ones behind the beards? If you’re old enough, of course, you probably know that ZZ Top started out, in 1969, [...]

  • Patricia Louisiana Knop Dead: Screenwriter Was

    Screenwriter Patricia Louisianna Knop Dies at 78

    Screenwriter Patricia Louisianna Knop, who collaborated with her producer-director husband Zalman King on erotically-charged films of the late 1980s and 1990s including “Siesta” and “9 1/2 Weeks,” died Aug. 7 in Santa Monica after a lengthy illness. “9 1/2 Weeks,” starring Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger, was directed by Adrian Lyne, co-produced by King and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content