Kensuke’s Kingdom has completed its budget, thanks to an injection of €5.4 million (USD$6.5M) from the L.A.-based Align. The sum represents just over half the film’s total budget.
The film is an adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s 1999 novel of the same name, which tells the story of a shipwrecked boy’s adventures on an island. The project is a U.K.-Luxembourg-France co-production involving Lupus Films (Ethel & Ernest), Melusine Productions (Wolfwalkers), Le Pacte, Bumpybox, and Jigsaw Films. Neil Boyle and Kirk Hendry are directing.
The British Film Institute awarded Kensuke’s Kingdom £1.62M ($2.29M) in 2020 — its biggest production grant of the year. Animation production began last September and final delivery is due in 2023. The film is sold by the U.K.’s Bankside Films.
Align was set up by Adrian Politowski and Nadia Khamlichi in 2019. The production and finance outfit aims to fund five projects a year in the $6–$30M budget range, according to Screen Daily. It will develop some projects internally and partner with third-party producers for others.
The pandemic has encouraged Align to focus on animation for now, Politowski tells Screen Daily. “Animation was always part of the strategy at Align — we’re genre-agnostic in terms of the films we want to produce and finance,” he says. The company has also invested in Blazing Samurai, an animated retelling of Mel Brooks’s Blazing Saddles in the works at Cinesite and Aniventure.
Read more here about Kensuke’s Kingdom, which we at Cartoon Brew have been following since its earliest days.