Charades, the French sales agency, has closed deals on a number of prestige animated features. Here are the details:
- Charades scored sales to various territories of three features: Marona’s Fantastic Tale, Little Nicholas, and Bigfoot Superstar. The deals were announced during the European Film Market, which ties in with the Berlinale festival in Berlin, Germany.
- Marona’s Fantastic Tale was acquired by Japan (Riskit), Spain (Pack Magic), the Baltics (Scanorama), Taiwan (Sky Digi), China (Legend Film), Poland (New Horizons), South Korea (Challan), Sweden (Triart), and Netherlands (Windmill). It had already secured a North American release via Gkids.
- Directed by the Annecy-winning Romanian director Anca Damian, the film tells the episodic story of a dog’s life with a series of owners. It stands out for its bold, freeform graphic style, which was conceived with Belgian cartoonist Brecht Evens. The film is produced by Aparte Films, Sacrebleu Productions, and Minds Meet.
- Little Nicholas was pre-sold to South Korea (A-One), Czech Republic and Slovakia (Aero & Mozinet), Middle East (Empire), Greece (Feelgood), Switzerland (Impuls), Portugal (Lusomundo), Poland (Monolith), Taiwan (Proview), Russia (Volga), Turkey (Yeni Films), and ex-Yugoslavia (2i). It has no North American distributor for now.
- The 2d film is based on the series of eponymous children’s books written by René Goscinny (Asterix), about the misadventures of a young boy and his friends. The books were illustrated by Sempé, whose stripped-down cartoon style has had a wide influence in France and beyond.
- The directors are Gilles de Maistre (Mia and the White Lion) and Amandine Fredon (an animator on A Cat in Paris). The film is being produced by On Entertainment (The Little Prince), in co-production with Foliascope (The Tower), Luxembourg outfit Bidibul Productions (A Cat in Paris), and Canada’s Kaibou. It is due to be completed in the spring.
- Bigfoot Superstar was sold to Latin America (CDC), Italy (Koch Media), Scandinavia (Scanbox), China (Wing Sight), Turkey (Ozen), Malaysia (Metropolis), Taiwan (Avjet), and French-speaking Africa (Films 26).
- The 3d feature is the sequel to The Son of Bigfoot, which grossed more than $50 million globally in 2017 — an example of a mainstream cg feature from Europe that worked well. Bigfoot Superstar is directed by Ben Stassen and Jérémie Degruson. The script is by Bob Barlen and Cal Brunker (Escape From Planet Earth, The Nut Job 2), working from a story by Stassen.
- Launched in 2017, the Paris-based Charades has swiftly built up a solid reputation in the animation world. Features it previously sold include I Lost My Body, for which Netflix picked up near-global rights, and Mirai, which went on to receive an Oscar nomination.
- Its co-founder Yohann Comte told Variety, which first reported the European Film Market news, that the company plans to become more involved in animated features, including as co-producers. “We’ll always make sure to have an eclectic lineup of animated features so that they don’t cannibalize and have projects that are driven by auteurs who have a voice and a style,” he said.
(Image at top, left to right: “Marona’s Fantastic Tale,” “Little Nicholas,” “The Son of Bigfoot.”)