Ahead of Friday’s world premiere at the Critics’ Week sidebar of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, a new teaser trailer is out for Jérémy Clapin’s I Lost My Body (J’ai perdu mon corps).

The 45-year-old Clapin, a respected short filmmaker in France (Skhizein, Palmipédarium), makes his feature debut with this project, adapted from the 2006 book Happy Hand by Amélie screenwriter Guillaume Laurant. The film’s surreal set-up: a sentient, severed hand goes on a dangerous journey through Paris to return to the body it belongs to, which is that of Naoufel, a Moroccan immigrant.

Though Laurant shares a screenwriting credit on the film, Clapin told Cartoon Brew in March that he was given a free hand to adapt the story for animation: “[Laurant] took a backseat. He is very respectful of the scriptwriter, as he is one himself. I wrote on my own, and honestly, I would not do it again. I tried to work with simple patterns: the hand and its body are like two beings made for one another, who are separated and try to get together again. All along its journey, the hand will remember its past life with Naoufel through flash-backs: a happy childhood in Morocco, dull teen years in Paris, the beginning of a fling with a young woman, and the separation from its body…”

I’ve seen bits and pieces of the film, but haven’t seen the final film yet, though two of Cartoon Brew’s writers have, and the words they’ve used to describe I Lost My Body are “fantastic” and “excellent.” Needless to say, this has already become one of the year’s must-see animated features.

For more about the film, read Cartoon Brew’s interview with Clapin and producer Marc du Pontavice.

The film was produced by Pontavice’s Xilam Animation, with the support of Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Cinéma. Charades is handling international sales for I Lost My Body. No U.S. distributor has been announced yet.

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