“Flavors of Iraq” is a co-production between France’s animation-focused Miyu Productions (Pierre Földes’ “Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman”) and documentary-specialized Nova Production (Marie Linton’s “Prison life: Justice in Japan”). Culture channel Arte France is also on board as co-producer.
“Our wish is to accompany projects that are pushing the boundaries of this genre, offering new and creative storytelling ways as well as redefining what a documentary can be,” head of documentary sales Arianna Castoldi at Mediawan Rights told Variety.
In 2019 the distribution branch of Mediawan, one of Europe’s most prosperous independent production-distribution groups, launched a feature documentary catalogue “as this market is currently booming and bolder projects are being developed in this form, less codified than the TV documentaries format,” said Castoldi.
“Flavors of Iraq” flawlessly fits with this aim of melding documentary and animation to tell the story of Iraq through the eyes of author Feurat Alani as a child. Alani is a French journalist of Iraqi origin who, after tweets of his life story went viral, wrote a book which won the prestigious Albert Londres Prize for French journalism in 2019.
“We are delighted to collaborate with a strong and experienced player like Mediawan. The animated documentary is a new and really exciting way of telling stories,” Miyu’s founder Emmanuel-Alain Raynal said, adding: “Counting on an enthusiastic and experienced international seller and its hybrid strategy of theatrical release, festivals and platforms seems to us the best way to reach the largest possible audiences.”
Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s 2021 Annecy Cristal winner “Flee” –a complex portrayal of an Afghan refugee– and Raúl de la Fuente and Damian Nenow’s best 2018 European animated feature “Another Day of Life,” about the war correspondent Ryszard Kapuściński’s hardships during the 1975 Angolan civil war, are two recent vivid samples combining “the power of a true story with the ‘enchanting’ world of animation. Audiences are ready for these films,” concluded Castoldi.
“Flavors of Iraq” is scheduled for delivery in 2023 marking the 20th anniversary of the outbreak of the Iraqi war.