Rock Salt Releasing has picked up global sales rights and U.S. distribution for Ayar Blasco’s sophomore adult animation feature “Lava,” with sales kicking off at this year’s digital American Film Market (AFM).
Rock Salt also announced that the English dub of the Spanish-language film, a hit in this year’s Contrechamp section at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, will feature two-time Primetime Emmy-nominated actress and comedian Janeane Garofalo in the lead role.
The near-future sci-fi satire accompanies Débora (Garofalo), a lonely and ineffectual tattoo artist, and her friends through the likely end of the world. One evening, several friends come over to watch the latest episode of “Gain of Clones” when suddenly the signal cuts out. Everyone in the room loses two minutes of time as they are entranced by a subliminal message broadcast over the screen.
Soon enough the group learns that aliens have hijacked all forms of media, from mobile phones to cinema to the nightly news, and are using the screens to further hypnotize a device-addicted populace. With humanity otherwise occupied, the men from space meet little and unprepared resistance when they invade in the forms of kaiju-sized cats and snakes or flame throwing witches. It’s up to Débora and her friends to learn how to resist the alien mind control and fight back to save Earth.
Since screening at Annecy in June, the film has featured at several major international festivals including Argentina’s Mar Del Plata International Film Festival and the Sitges Film Festival, where it screened in competition.
“Lava” is based on Salvador Sanz’s original screenplay, written with Blasco and Nicolás Britos. It’s produced by Argentine genre cinema specialists Crudo Films, and features themes and action common in the company’s other productions. The film utilizes traditional 2D animation and bold primary colors to deliver an over-the-top experience and a biting social commentary.
“Rock Salt was really drawn to the story’s ability to mix sardonic wit with apocalyptic fantasy, and who better to voice this sci-fi animated rollercoaster other than Janeane Garofalo? She is iconic of the pre-cell phone era, and to have her voice speak to the slaves we’ve all become to screens since then, feels perfect,” said Daisy Hamilton of Rock Salt Releasing.