Grégoire Melin’s Paris-based Kinology will sell Sacrebleu’s upcoming animated feature “Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds,” set to host Was an Annecy Works in Progress panel at the upcoming digital version of the world’s largest animation festival and market.
At March’s Cartoon Movie in the French port city of Bordeaux, the films singular visuals and family-friendly story caught the eye of many in attendance, and makes it one of the most anticipated productions set to participate at this year’s Annecy.
Kinology has a strong reputation in dealing with independent arthouse animated features, including the critically acclaimed 2014 Annecy main competition player “Mune: Guardian of the Moon.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with Ron and Benoit on such a unique, poetic and emotional journey; it has everything to become a true future kids’ classic in the line of ‘The King and the Mockingbird’ and ‘Kirikou,’” Kinology CEO Grégoire Melin told Variety.
“Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds” follows two young sisters, Juliette and Carmen, who discover a passage into the universe of their favorite book, “The Kingdom of the Winds,” where they will be transformed into cats forced into a series of unenviable situations before eventually finding help in the unlikeliest of places.
Benoît Chieux (“Aunt Hilda!”) directs and co-wrote the screenplay alongside writer director Alain Gagnol, co-creator of the Oscar nominated animated feature “A Cat in Paris.”
About the film’s visual influences, Chieux explained to Variety, “I’m from the ‘Heavy Metal’ generation and I grew up with ‘Moebius.’ As a child I was deeply marked by Topor and Laloux’s ‘La Planète sauvage’ and by Paul Grimault’s ‘Le Roi et l’oiseau’ (‘The King and the Mockingbird’).”
“Also, some American classical illustrators such as Ludwig Bemelmans, Maurice Sendak, Dr Seuss, Edward Gorey, Etienne Delessert (who is Swiss but lives in the U.S.). I am a huge admirer of Winsor McCay’s ‘Little Nemo’ and I’m very interested in Japanese animation,” he added before admitting that on a recent, particularly difficult project, he promised himself he would create an easy to make graphic style for his next project.