Arthouse distributor Samuel Goldwyn Films has picked up U.S. rights to Dilili in Paris, the new film from veteran French director Michel Ocelot (Kirikou and the Sorceress, Azur & Asmar: The Princes’ Quest). The company is planning a 2019 theatrical release.
Ocelot’s latest follows Dilili, an indigenous Kanak girl from New Caledonia, who’s just arrived in Paris during the Belle Époque era. Upon her arrival the young heroine gets caught up in the strange disappearances of women across the city and decides to investigate. Along the way she encounters enchanting places and fantastical characters that help her solve the mystery.
For Dilili in Paris, the director’s first full-length feature since 2012’s Kirikou and the Men and Women, Ocelot used 2d characters set against photographic backgrounds of the City of Lights creating an intriguing contrast.
The film premiered opening night at the 2018 Annecy animation festival and was released in French cinemas last October. It’s currently nominated for the César Award in the animated film category alongside Pachamama and Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion. Winners will be announced on February 22.
Samuel Goldwyn Films’ Peter Goldwyn said in a press statement that their decision to acquire Ocelot’s new film is part of the company’s strategy to build a presence in the family market. “It’s an exciting time here at Samuel Goldwyn Films as we are expanding back into family entertainment” he said. “We believe that Dilili in Paris is a great family film to launch us back into this space.”
In France, the film is already being used as an educational tool for teachers given its relevant cultural and historical topics.