“Chico & Rita” to open European animation forum Cartoon Movie

  • The UK-­‐Spain co-­‐production will be shown to over 630 animation professionals from across Europe // Acclaimed directors and producers such as Terry Gilliam and French filmmaker Patrice Leconte involved in the event // Stereoscopic 3D and films targeted at adults continue to gain force in European animation

Animated feature film “Chico & Rita”, fruit of the creative collaboration between Oscar-­‐ winning director Fernando Trueba (“Belle Epoque”) and Spain’s successful designer Javier Mariscal, will open the 13th edition of Cartoon Movie on 2 March in Lyon, France. Trueba’s animation debut was recently released to wide public and critical acclaim in Britain after having received the award for Best Feature Film at the Holland Animation Film Festival (HAFF). In the next few months, it will compete for a Goya Award for Best Animated Film at Spain´s national film awards.

Set in Havana and New York during the end of the 1940s, “Chico & Rita” tells an epic story of love and heartbreak between a pianist and a singer who were brought together and torn apart by destiny over 50 years. The soundtrack by legendary Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés takes us back to the origins of latin jazz when musicians like Dizzy Gillespie or Charlie Parker started fusing Cuban music into their compositions.

Targeted at an adult audience — a growing trend in European animation — the film evokes the unmistakeable mark and visual of Javier Mariscal, regarded as one of the most innovative and original designers of our time. The mascots that he created — Cobi for the Barcelona 92 Olympic Games or Twipsy for the World’s Fair in Hannover in 2000 — have become landmarks of universal culture. First film experience of the artist, “Chico & Rita” is also co-­‐directed by his younger brother, Tono Errando.

The film is a joint-­production between Spain’s companies Fernando Trueba PC and Estudio Mariscal, and Britain´s Magic Light Pictures, led by former Aardman Animations Michael Rose. 54 other films — completed or in progress — will be shown at Cartoon Movie 2011, the co-­‐ production forum for animated feature films that will be held from 2-­‐4 March in Lyon (Rhône-­‐Alpes), France.

Projects include participation from other acclaimed live action directors like Patrice Leconte (“Man on the Train”, “My Best Friend”) and Terry Gilliam (Monty Python), as well as confirmed animation director Jean-­‐François Laguionie (César for “Rowing across the Atlantic”).

The event confirms the positive trend in European animated film productions this year, with a 20% rise in the global budget to 385 million EURO, and illustrates the rise of stereoscopic 3D in European animation, which represent almost a quarter of the projects selected.