Curated in coordination with the Annecy International Animation Festival and its MIFA market, Animation! at Ventana Sur will feature five productions for its 2020 Works in Progress sidebar, including its first-ever non-Latin American production.
Adult animation is booming, and one figure at the forefront of the movement is Spain’s Alberto Vazquez, the mastermind behind festival hits such as “Birdboy: The Forgotten Children” and one of this year’s darkest animated shorts “Homeless Home,” selected as one of Variety’s ten to watch at June’s Annecy festival.
The medium isn’t leaving kids behind, however, and Gullane’s “Noah’s Ark – A Musical Adventure,” one of the most buzzed animated features to come out of Latin America in recent years which boasts Brazil’s largest-ever budget for an animated film, and the first Brazilian animated feature with an Indian co-producer in Symbiosys Technologies.
This year’s WIPs will be available to accredited guests on Ventana Sur’s digital platform, as in-person attendance is impossible for most attendees. However, the section aims to host live events in seven cities across Latin America and Europe as part of the event’s Worldwide Screenings program, allowing for meetings and screenings to festival programmers, potential production partners, sales agents and distributors.
ANIMATION! BY ANNECY WORKS IN PROGRESS
“Noah’s Ark – A Musical Adventure,” (Sergio Machado, Brazil)
Sold, and pre-selling particularly well across Latin America and Asia, by Cinema Management Group, “Noah’s Ark” retells one of history’s greatest fables following two adventurous minstrel mice – Tito, a charismatic musician who’s naturally elegant and always accompanied by his guitar, and Vini, a charismatic poet suffering terrible stage-fright, who attempts to board the Ark in drag. Along the way, the two are accompanied by Bossa Nova heavyweight Vinicius de Moraes’s Noah’s Ark children’s songs. Almost all the animals will be inspired by real people such as famed musicians Tom Jobim and De Moraes.
“Noah’s Ark,” returning to Animation! having pitched there as a project in 2017, is produced by Brazil’s Gullane, backers of Annecy Cristal best feature winner “Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury,” VideoFilms and Indian production shingle Symbiosys Technologies.
“Unicorn Wars,” (Alberto Vázquez, Spain, France)
Hot off the heels of a his 2020 Annecy competition short “Homeless Home” and 2015 main feature competition player “Birdboy: The Forgotten Children,” filmmaker Alberto Vázquez’s “Unicorn Wars” unspools in a blood and cotton candy-soaked world where teddy bears and unicorns have fought from time immemorial. Teddy bear Private Bluet covets unicorn blood and its legendary powers for preserving eternal beauty, while his brother Tubby just isn’t cut from the same cloth and can barely stomach war.
“Unicorn Wars” is the first ever Ibero-American production to participate in Animation!’s WIP event. It’s produced by UniKo, Abano Producións, Autour de Minuit and Schmuby Productions, and expected to be ready for deliver summer 2022. Charades handles international sales.
“The Paradise,” (Fernando Sirianni, Federico Moreno Breser, Argentina)
Another feature for mature audiences, “The Paradise” is returning to Animation! having pitched as a project in 2018. In June of this year, the film participated in the Animation Speed Meetings at the online Marché du Film, where talks were initiated with several potential international co-producers and sales agents.
Set between the two World Wars, “The Paradise” is a period thriller in the vein of “Road to Perdition.” Slavery, prostitution, revenge and murder weave through the black and white 3D feature with the look of a decades-old video game. Nomad Cine, Eok Producciones and Mcfly Studio produce the film, slated to finish animation in early 2021, for a probable summer release.
“La Leyendas, The Origin” (Ricardo Arnaiz, Mexico)
The sections most vibrant feature, in color and lighting at least, “Las Leyendas” (The Legends) is the story of Finado and Moribunda, two sugary-sweet skull-headed children who live in the cheerful village of Calaca where they enjoy a life free of consequences, at least until a human child crosses into their world through the Eternal Mirror that borders the lands of the living and the dead. The child’s presence unwittingly foils the plans of the evil sorceress Moira, putting it firmly in the malevolent mage’s crosshairs.
Scheduled for release in 2021, “Las Leyendas” is produced by trans-Atlantic company Ánima Estudios, which has offices in Mexico City, the Canary Islands and Buenos Aires. Recent productions include Disney XD series “Space Chickens in Space” and the Mexican Academy award-winning feature “Ana y Bruno.”
“Quixotes,” (Gonzalo Gutierrez, Argentina, Germany, Brazil)
When a powerful storm threatens the town of La Mancha, forcing its inhabitants to evacuate, 11-year-old Alfonso finds himself the only one who can see the giant monster causing the storm. Believing himself to be the lone legitimate heir to the legendary monster fighter Don Quixote, he sets out on an adventure to save the town.
Argentina’s GF produce with Studio 100 from Germany and Chatrone from Brazil. Studio 100 will distribute in Europe, while Latin American and North American distribution are still available.