Seen through the eyes of a street dog that became the world’s first four-legged celebrity, Titina tells the true-ish story of the perilous quest to conquer the North Pole via zeppelin at the end of the roaring 1920s. Onboard was Italian airship engineer Umberto Nobile, Norwegian polar hero Roald Amundsen, and not to forget, Nobile’s lap dog, Titina, a small terrier totally unsuited for polar adventure.
Founded in 1996, Mikrofilm has a strong track record in short films and commissioned work. Its shorts have picked up many awards, including an Oscar for Torill Kove’s 2007 film The Danish Poet. Titina is its first feature. It’s also the feature directorial debut of Kajsa Næss, whose shorts include Deconstruction Workers and It’s Up to You. Last year, Næss spoke to Cartoon Brew about her work.
Les Films du Losange was launched in 1962 by Swiss director Barbet Schroeder, in partnership with French director Éric Rohmer, both of whom are closely associated with French New Wave filmmaking. It has worked with leading European filmmakers, including Michael Haneke, Olivier Assayas, and Mia Hansen-Løve.
“We are extremely proud to be working with Les Films du Losange,” Mikrofilm producers Tonje Skar Reiersen and Lise Fearnley said in a statement. “Their catalogue of artistically acclaimed yet commercially successful titles is a perfect match for Titina. We are aiming for a vivid, fun, and relevant polar epic, telling a very male story from a feminine point of view offering humor, warmth, and a fresh angle. We could not possibly find a better sales match than Les Films du Losange.”
Titina is co-produced by Vivi Film in Brussels, Belgium, whose catalogue includes two Oscar-nominated animated features The Secret of Kells and The Triplets of Belleville. The project is supported by the Norwegian Film Institute, Media, Nordic Film and TV Fund, Screen Brussels, Screen Flanders, and VAF, among others. Titina is being art directed by Emma McCann (background painter on The Red Turtle and The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily).
The film is due to be completed in September 2021. Its budget is €7.7 million ($8.5 million).