Titina Titina

One of the standout animated titles being presented at this week’s American Film Market is Titina, a Norwegian-Belgian family feature we’ve been following for a while. We are honored to exclusively premiere its latest teaser, which you can watch below.

Based on real events, the film tells the story of a 1920s expedition by dirigible to the North Pole. Onboard the vessel are Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and Italian aviator Umberto Nobile, as well as the latter’s pet dog Titina, whose mute but expressive presence anchors the whole film. In the new clip, we see her reaction as the airship swoops over St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome:

Titina is the first feature from Oslo-based Mikrofilm, whose shorts have picked up many awards, including an Oscar for Torill Kove’s 2007 film The Danish Poet. The feature is co-produced by Vivi Film in Brussels, whose filmography includes two Oscar-nominated animated features: The Secret of Kells and The Triplets of Belleville.

The film is also the feature directorial debut of Kajsa Næss, whose shorts include Deconstruction Workers and It’s Up to You. The project began when Næss stumbled on a book about Nobile and the expedition.

“In Norway, Roald Amundsen is a national icon,” says producer Tonje Skar Reiersen. “Everyone knows how he won the race against the South Pole, beating the British Scott in a deadly march. But that Amundsen had flown across the North Pole in an airship! This was news to her as to most people. How come this spectacular expedition was largely unknown?”

Titina is not “a typical expedition film: hard men, harsh nature, that sort of thing,” Reiersen continues. “The idea is to create an adventure with humor and compassion that really showed us the unexpected, soft, and sometimes petty sides of these great men. To focus on Titina allows us to be more playful and highlight details and storylines that would not fit in an heroic epic.”

Full production began in June 2020; we caught up with Mikrofilm in early on in the pandemic. Delivery is due in June 2022.

The producers are Reiersen and Lise Fearnley for Mikrofilm, and Viviane Vanfleteren for Vivi Film. The film has been pre-sold to France, Benelux, and the Nordic countries, and sales agent Les Films du Losange will launch international sales shortly.

Below are some stills from the film, the first of which we’re exclusively unveiling:

Titina Titina Titina Titina

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Watch Kajsa Næss speak about her work

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Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Associate Editor of Cartoon Brew.

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