“The bear famous invasion of Sicily” by Lorenzo Mattotti, produced by France’s Prima Linea and Indigo Films (“The Great Beauty”), was the movie that attracted the highest number of buyers at the last Cartoon Movie held in Bordeaux from 7th to 9th March, the annual event aimed at boosting the production and distribution of feature length European animation films.
Over 900 participants (a 20% rise in two years) from 41 countries, with 257 buyers including 126 distri- butors and sales agents for the 60 pitches of this 20th edition.
Round numbers that demonstrate the success of this event which, since 1999, has made it possible for 302 movies to be released in theaters.
Modern and contemporary literature were the great protagonists of this edition.
The feature length movie which brings Buzzati’s children’s story to the big screen (with the involvement of Rai Cinema), showcases two new characters to tell the story about bears and humans, with the consent of Almerina Buzzati, the writer’s widow: Almerina, in tribute to her, and Gedeone, who are two minstrels. The director and famous illustrator worked on the 984 sets taken from the illustrations that Buzzati himself had made for this fairy tale with enchanting results.
We have to wait another year to see the film. Possibly with a preview in Cannes or Venice?
What is certain is the budget, which is quite high for a European film: € 11 million, due to the quantity of animation work.
€ 8 million is the budget for “A Greyhound of a Girl” by Enzo d’Alò, the adaptation of the story by Roddy Doyle with the multi award winning writer Dave Ingham and Peter de Sève, the character designer of “Ice Age”, for the “vintage” design of this story which, according to d’Alò, “is a journey of love”.
Another Italian project “Bartali’s bicycle” by Enrico Paolantonio (Lynx Multimedia Factory) supported by Rai Ragazzi, is based on the true story of Gino Bartali – who, by transporting false identity documents inside the frame of his bicycle, saved numerous Jewish families – and is about the friendship between two kids today in Jerusalem, one Arab and the other Jewish, united by their passion for cycling.
A very topical theme and setting in the year that the Giro d’Italia will be starting in Jerusalem, on 4th May, in memory of the champion from Ponte a Ema to whom the first leg will be dedicated.
Another “low cost” project (€ 1.6 million) aimed at an adult public comes from the Neapolitan Mad Entertainment factory currently at work on Alessandro Rak’s feature “A Skeleton Story”: “Hope”, by the young Francesco Filippini who, “aided” by Luciano Stella (a brand new David di Donatello award winner as best producer for “Cinderella the cat” with M. Carolina Terzi), is inspired by the book “Hope Savage: Mystery Girl” by Kevin Ring, about the muse of Gregory Corso (the Italian-American Beat Generation poet who disappeared in India in the 1960s).
However Jack London is the most revisited writer with his engrossing “White Fang” by Alexandre Espigares recently released in France and “The Sea Wolf”, in development.
Finally, also very successful is the enthralling “Another Day of Life” by Raúl De La Fuente & Damian Ne- now, from the eponymous book by Ryszard Kapuscinski in which the animation alternates and blends magnificently with old archive images and specially filmed accounts in order to describe the experiences of the famous Polish correspondent during the civil war in Angola in 1975.