Pre-sales for “The Peasants,” the new film from Oscar-nominated “Loving Vincent” director Dorota Kobiela, have kicked off with a sale to The Jokers for distribution in France, brokered by New Europe Film Sales.
Following on the success of “Loving Vincent,” which grossed more than $50 million at the global box office, “The Peasants” will be produced with the same painting technique. The team has just finished the live-action shoot, the first stage of the long production process.
“The Peasants” makes use of a wide repertoire of realist and pre-impressionist paintings to depict the Nobel prize-winning novel of Wladyslaw Reymont. Set at the end of the 19th century, it tells a story of love and life in a small community, where rules and traditions dictate everyone’s role.
Manuel Chiche, The Jokers’ president, said: “’The Peasants,’ directed by the extremely talented Dorota Kobiela is a powerful story about the fight of a young woman at the end of the 19th century for her freedom. The freedom of her will, the freedom of her spirit. Which is, unfortunately, still women’s fight in the 21st century. And this story will be crafted into a beautiful rotoscopic animation. This is an audacious project we couldn’t let go anywhere else.”
New Europe Film Sales’ CEO Jan Naszewski said: “Even considering the huge success Dorota had with ‘Loving Vincent,’ we are very happy with the amount of interest in ‘The Peasants’ at this early stage. We are thrilled to work with The Jokers on this movie. This is the best possible start for the film’s international path.”
In the next step of the film’s production process, the edited footage will be hand-painted on canvas by a group of 60 painters in three studios: in Poland, Serbia, and Ukraine. BreakThru Films, which is producing the film, is recruiting painters from all over the world to start work at the beginning of next year. To create the film the studio will use original PAWS stations (Painting Animation Work Stations). This technique makes it possible to unify the animation and systematize the work of painters.
BreakThru Films, founded by Hugh Welchman, is a film and animation production company based in Gdansk, with offices in Lodz, Warsaw and London. It established its reputation with its slate of prize-winning shorts, which have collected over 20 international awards and nominations, including two BAFTA nominations, an official selection at Cannes, the Annecy Cristal and Annecy Audience awards, Canal+ Prize, TCM prize, the Rose d’Or as well as an Oscar for best short animation film for “Peter & the Wolf.”