Stuttgart-based Luxx Studios is looking to join the ranks of other visual effects facilities breaking into animated features with the release of the teaser trailer for its Manou the Swift.

The cg animated film, which is still a work in progress, is set for release in 2017. It tells the story of a swift who grows up thinking he is seagull but soon finds out his real calling.

Manou is a production of Luxx Film. Sola Media is Luxx’s global agency, with Kinostar locked in as German theatrical distributor and the Disney Channel a partner for pay television and free television in Germany.

The film has been in development for some time. It began with an initial idea from Luxx co-CEO Christian Haas which he ‘saved in a drawer for three years.’ A treatment was then produced by Axel Melzener and a script written by Melzener and Luxx co-CEO Andrea Block, which was re-worked for English by Phil Parker. Haas and Block are co-directors.

Manou in production at LUXX. Image courtesy LUXX Studios.
Manou in production at LUXX. Image courtesy LUXX Studios.

Haas told Cartoon Brew that, as an independent production, Manou was initially a struggle to develop and get made. “The producers and directors invested over €2 million for development and pre-production. Successful pre-sales and licensing deals added substantial amounts to the budget and German regional and national funds built the third column of financing.”

Right now, Luxx is still looking to score a deal on English-speaking territories, including for the U.S. “We did voice recordings in L.A. with American actors which is the basis for our rough edit,” said Haas. “Some of this will be polished and we are searching for two American/English cast members that will help sell the movie.”

Manou storyboards at LUXX in Stuttgart. Image courtesy LUXX Studios.
Manou storyboards at LUXX in Stuttgart. Image courtesy LUXX Studios.

In addition to the work for Manou, Luxx Studios has worked on the visual effects for several high-profile films, including White House Down, Grand Budapest Hotel, and Independence Day: Resurgence.

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