Jan Naszewski’s Warsaw-based New Europe Film Sales has acquired world sales rights for “The Peasants,” the latest feature from BreakThru Films, the animation studio behind Oscar nominee “Loving Vincent.” Variety has been given exclusive access to the film’s international teaser.
Principal photography has begun on a film based on the novel from Nobel Prize-winning Polish author Wladyslaw Reymont. The movie will be directed by Oscar nominee Dorota Kobiela and produced with the same hand-painted technique that dramatically brought the canvases of Vincent van Gogh to life in “Loving Vincent,” the film Kobiela co-directed with Hugh Welchman.
“The Peasants” is the tragic story of a peasant girl forced to marry a much older, wealthy farmer, despite her love for his son. With time, she becomes an object of envy and hate in her village and has to fight to preserve her independence. The film captures the rigors of rural life in the Polish countryside on the cusp of the 20th century.
“After years of working on a film about Vincent van Gogh, I felt a strong need to tell a story about women: to show their struggles and their passion and their strength,” said Kobiela.
“The Peasants” will be produced by BreakThru’s Sean Bobbitt and Welchman, who also co-wrote the script. It will be shot with a live-action cast before each frame is composed as an oil painting, utilizing more than 60 painters in three studios to complete the 79,000 frames that will make up the film. The movie’s premiere is planned for late 2022.
“Loving Vincent,” which earned an Academy Award nomination for best animated feature film, grossed more than $52 million globally, making it the most successful Polish film of all time at the international box office. Variety described it as “a truly awe-inspiring portrait of the great Dutch artist…pulling audiences into the delirious, hyper-sensual world suggested by van Gogh’s oeuvre,” for what chief film critic Peter Debruge called a “one-of-a-kind work of art.” BreakThru also won an Oscar for best short animation film with “Peter and the Wolf.”
New Europe Films Sales has handled the international rollout of films such as Oscar nominee “Corpus Christi,” by Jan Komasa, and Cannes prize winner “Rams,” by Grimur Hakonarson. The company will be pre-selling Valdimar Johansson’s upcoming “Lamb,” starring Noomi Rapace, in Toronto.