WestEnd Films has launched international sales on “Lamya’s Poem,” an animated feature by Alexander Kronemer, which will be part of Annecy’s Works in Progress panel at the digital version of the world’s largest animation festival and market that begins Monday.
WestEnd builds on an established reputation representing prestigious independent arthouse animated features, such as Oscar-nominated films “The Breadwinner,” executive produced by Angelina Jolie, and “Song of the Sea.”
“Lamya’s Poem” is an inspiring and timely tale about a 12-year-old Syrian refugee girl named Lamya. When she flees the violence of her country, she is given a book of poetry of the famous 13th-century poet Rumi. As the perils of her journey mount, the book becomes a magical gateway where she meets Rumi when he was a boy and also a refugee fleeing the violence of his time. In a shared dreamworld, they battle the monsters that follow them from their real world situations, and Lamya must help young Rumi find his calling and write the poem that 800 years later will save her life.
The film will feature the voice talent of Mena Massoud, the star of Disney’s most recent “Aladdin,” as young poet Rumi, Millie Davis (“Wonder,” “Orphan Black”) as Lamya and Faran Tahir (“Iron Man,” “Star Trek”) as Baha Walad, Rumi’s father.
Rumi was a 13th-century Persian poet and Sufi master whose influence has transcended borders. His poems have been widely translated and have sold millions of copies in recent years – centuries after his death – making him the most popular poet in the U.S.
“The wound is the place where the light enters you” is one of Rumi’s famous quotes, which inspired the filmmakers of “Lamya’s Poem.”
The Unity Productions Foundation-financed picture is written and directed by Alexander Kronemer, with Sam Kadi (“The Citizen,” “Little Gandhi”) producing and Brandon Lloyd (“The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!,” “Cyberchase,” “Doki”) as director of animation, for Canada’s PiP Animation Studios in Canada.
Other crew members include music composer Christopher Willis (“The Personal History of David Copperfield,” “The Death of Stalin,” “Veep”) and art director Kristina Vardazaryan (“Wonder Park,” “The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run”).
“’Lamya’s Poem’ speaks to the conflict of good and evil that resides within all of us. The film offers a glimpse into a world torn by invasion and war, yet reveals that the greatest battle we face is usually within ourselves. In designing ‘Lamya’s Poem,’ we set out with the goal of creating a film that would have a mature look appropriate for the topic. We drew inspiration and techniques from other mediums such as graphic novels and classical paintings to create visual pallet that will appear like an animated watercolor painting, in a similar approach to the widely successful film, ‘Loving Vincent.’ The film will be presented as 2D, though there are many 3D elements that will be incorporated,” said writer-director Alexander Kronemer.
“This magical realism story of two refugees meeting in an imaginary world is incredibly moving and extremely topical, and we’re very excited to have a seasoned sales agency like WestEnd to come onboard. WestEnd is a great addition to our team and a perfect fit for an ambitious film like ours,” said producer Sam Kadi.
“We’re thrilled to work with Alex and Sam on such an emotional and poetic story, that couldn’t be more timely. We were blown away by the first images we’ve seen and we’re convinced Lamya’s Poem will move and inspire both children and adults across the globe,” said Maya Amsellem, WestEnd’s managing director.
The film is currently in production. WestEnd will be introducing “Lamya’s Poem” to buyers at Annecy this week and at the Cannes virtual market next week where it will show first visuals of the animated feature.
ICM is repping the North American rights. They also represent Massoud along with The Characters Talent Agency and Link Entertainment. Davis is repped by AMI Artist Management and Industry Entertainment. Tahir is repped by Greene & Associates Talent Agency. Kadi is repped by Team 713 Entertainment.