Cannes acclaimed filmmaker Marie Amachoukeli and leading French studio Miyu Productions will pair on “Happy End,” a macabre comedy Amachoukeli will co-direct with Vladimir Mavounia Kouka. Set for production in 2024, the project has already received backing from Bac Films and MK2, with the latter handling international sales.
Variety has scored a first look at the project, which recently presented at the Cartoon Movie pitch and co-production forum in Bordeaux.
Imagining a world without death and employing a visual style reminiscent of Max Fleischer, the 2D, adult-targeted film follows Bertha King, a suicidal career soldier who has the bad to luck to finally end things right as the grim reaper hangs up his scythe. Left yearning to die while death has gone on strike, the depressed hero must navigate a morose new existence all of sudden freed from the bonds of mortality.
“The idea of the film is to encourage laughter and re-enchantment,” says Amachoukeli, who co-wrote the project with Jean-François Halin. “If not towards the world, then at least in our respective lives. Because the project is, to paraphrase Seneca, eager to die while urgently alive.”
Co-directed with Claire Burger and Samuel Theis, Amachoukeli’s feature debut “Party Girl” won the Camera d’Or and the Un Certain Regard ensemble prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. The filmmaker teamed with animator Vladimir Mavounia Kouka for the 2016 short “I Want Pluto to be a Planet Again,” and is currently in post-production on her second feature, “Ama Gloria.”
A hybrid feature produced by Lilies Films (“Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” “Petite Maman”), “Ama Gloria “ will mix live-action with animated sequences provided by Miyu as it follows a six-year-old girl with fading vision over the course of a heart-wrenching summer in Cape Verde. The project is aiming at a festival launch later this year.