London-based production company Lupus Films is developing a new animated feature based on the life and work of iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The project, created in partnership with Universal Content Group, has BAFTA-winning Mexican-English filmmaker Paloma Baeza attached as director.

The 2d project, mixed with live-action elements, is biographical in nature, with a “dramatized internal life.” According to the film’s producers, it will depict Kahlo’s life in a “sensitive and celebratory way” and provide a “concise, compelling and accurate representation of her development as an artist and a woman.” Adds Baeza, “With my Mexican heritage, it is particularly meaningful to have this opportunity to explore her deep and complex personality, as well as her relationship with Mexico’s past and its future. ”

Paloma Baeza.
Paloma Baeza.

U.K-born actress and filmmaker Paloma Baeza, who spent her childhood in Mexico City, has received multiple accolades for her work in animation including both an Annie award and the 2018 BAFTA for her first animated short film, Poles Apart. The stop-motion graduation film, produced at the National Film & Television School, features the voice of Helena Bonham Carter, who plays a solitary polar bear. Baeza is currently working on a hybrid animation and live-action feature titled The Toymaker’s Secret, which was written by her husband Alex Garland and is being developed with Sony Tristar.

“Frida Kahlo was, and still remains, an inspirational woman,” said Camilla Deakin from Lupus Films. “Her story is startlingly modern and a powerful representation of how to embrace challenges and conflict in a meaningful and positive way. As an all-female team of director and producers we are excited to be telling Frida’s story through animation, allowing us to capture the vivid palette of her work, her inspirations, and the colours and textures of Mexico, and we are delighted that such a talented director as Paloma Baeza shares our passion for this project.”

Lupus Films recently produced the late Roger Mainwood’s animated feature Ethel & Ernest, and is currently in development on Peter Dodd’s Kiki and Neil Boyle and Kirk Hendry’s Kensuke’s Kingdom.