Feature FilmShorts

New Europe Snags Worldwide Sales Rights To ‘This Magnificent Cake!’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Jan Naszewski’s Warsaw, Poland-based sales outlet New Europe Film Sales has signed a world sales deal for Emma de Swaef and Marc Roels’ highly-anticipated new film This Magnificent Cake! (Ce magnifique Gâteau!).

It’s the first new film from de Swaef and Roels since their 2012 festival smash Oh Willy…, which launched a trend of creating stop motion with wool.

This Magnificent Cake!, an ambitious anthology film, will premiere next month at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight (La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs), before screening in June at the Zagreb and Annecy animation festivals. “We couldn’t have wished for a better premiere than being among the selected films at the 50th anniversary edition of the Quinzaine, which has always embraced and championed animated films,” said directors de Swaef and Roels.

Set in colonial Africa in the late 19th century, This Magnificent Cake! tells the stories of five different characters: a troubled king; a middle-aged pygmy working in a luxury hotel; a failed businessman on an expedition; a lost porter; and a young army deserter.

At 44 minutes, the mid-length project is being viewed as both a feature-length and short film, depending on the venue that’s screening it. Directors’ Fortnight has selected it for their shorts category, but Zagreb has placed it in their feature competition. If the filmmakers decide to qualify the film for Oscar consideration, they would have to qualify it in the feature category, since the Academy considers any animated film with a running time of over 40 minutes to be a feature-length production.

“We have been following Emma and Marc ever since we saw their festival hit Oh Willy… as we loved their style, humor and storytelling,” said Jan Naszewski, CEO of New Europe. “We felt that This Magnificent Cake! will make a perfect fit to our catalogue, which already includes a number of superb animations, many directed by women. The film excels both in form and the story, which is a smart, self-reflective and humorous look on European colonial misadventures in Africa.”

New Europe Film Sales has been particularly strong on representing women filmmakers, and the company has acquired some of the most-lauded festival favorites of the last couple years, including The Burden by Niki Lindroth von Bahr, Pussy by Renata Gąsiorowska, Manivald by Chintis Lundgren, and Solar Walk by Reka Bucsi, as well as the Swedish feature Gordon & Paddy by Linda Hambäck, which screened in the Berlin Film Festival’s Generation section this year.

This Magnificent Cake! is produced by Beast Animation (Belgium) in co-production with Vivement Lundi (France) and Pedri Animation (The Netherlands).

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