Pangea by Simon Rouby
Synopsis: Following an earthquake that threatens her village, 14-year-old Chesa goes to get help from her grandmother, who lives alone at high altitude.
About the director: This cg family film is directed by Rouby, an artist and filmmaker whose wonderful debut feature Adama was nominated for a César and a European Film Award. He developed Pangea on the Kerguelen Islands in the Antarctic, as part of the French residency l’Atelier des Ailleurs.
Les Oiseaux de Porcelaine (Porcelain Birds) by Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter
Synopsis: In 1998, Kayo, a Japanese foreign exchange student, comes to California as part of a new international program funded by an American billionaire, Henry Hughes. She spends her nights secretly exploring Hughes’ magical ranch with a Japanese-speaking ostrich. When disturbing allegations against Henry Hughes come to light, Kayo’s innocence is tested as she tries to find her place in an unfamiliar social structure and discovers the dark side of the American dream.
About the directors: Known collectively as Tiny Inventions, wife-and-husband team Kuwahata and Porter (who are Japanese and American respectively) have directed a number of shorts ranging across cgi, 2d, stop motion, and photography. Their most famous work, Negative Space, picked up 128 prizes and an Oscar nomination. Porcelain Birds, their first feature, will be principally stop motion, and aimed at young adults and upward.
Planètes (Planets — working title) by Momoko Seto
Synopsis: A series of nuclear explosions has wrecked the planet, destroying all life except for four dandelion seeds. They embark on a long journey in search of a terrain hospitable to their species. Along the way, they run into various dangers, but also have happier encounters.
About the director: Born in Japan, Seto studied fine arts in France and the U.S. She has won acclaim — and awards from the likes of the Berlinale — as an experimental artist and filmmaker, with a practice that incorporates vr, holograms, animation, and video mapping. For some years, she’s been working on a series of films about imaginary planets that are based on photographic images of micro-organisms, plants, etc. Planètes will mix 3d and live action, and be suitable for families.
Co-producer: Ecce Films
La Mort N’Existe Pas (Death Doesn’t Exist) by Félix Dufour-Laperrière
Synopsis: Hélène abandons her companions during an armed attack that goes wrong. She flees into the woods, where she meets Catherine, a mysterious, alluring, wolfish alter ego. This doppelganger takes Hélène to a fantastical valley, where things are quickly shaken up by mutations, poisonous forces, and major upheaval. This leads Hélène to reflect on her choices and the moral, political, and human dilemmas that define them.
About the director: Following the recent festival success of his poetic feature Ville Neuve, the Montreal-based Dufour-Laperrière returns with another adult-oriented 2d feature. In the meantime, his animated documentary Archipel, set around the Saint Lawrence River in Canada and the U.S., is due to be released this year.
Co-producers: Embuscade Films, Doghouse Films