Pitch Par­tic­i­pants

Animation Magazine - - Miptv Special Report -

MIFA mar­ket or­ga­niz­ers have whit­tled down more than 400 project sub­mis­sions to the 35 most promis­ing con­cepts for fea­ture films, short films, trans­me­dia prop­er­ties, TV spe­cials/se­ries and the An­i­ma­tion du Monde sec­tion, cel­e­brat­ing the cre­ativ­ity of emerg­ing an­i­ma­tion-pro­duc­ing coun­tries. A va­ri­ety of prizes will be awarded, rang­ing from cash and co-pro­duc­tion as­sis­tance to res­i­den­cies and de­vel­op­ment con­tracts. A lit­tle boy takes off on a jour­ney to save the world from a “fright epi­demic” be­cause peo­ple are falling ill when­ever they get sud­denly scared. Kim, a young gang­ster ac­cused of trea­son, is forced to flee Saigon. Hurt and con­fused, he is res­cued by a strange duo: Thao, an old one-legged gam­bler, and his grand­daugh­ter Lan. On the small roads of the Mekong Delta, the trio heads to Cam­bo­dia. Paco’s life­long dream comes true and then he meets the love he has al­ways been search­ing for. This is the story of a gen­er­a­tion of 40-year-olds that ev­ery­one can iden­tify with. Solo Lobo is a clumsy ban­dit who roams the prairie on the back of his mule and tries to rob trav­ellers. One day, a puppy be­comes part of his loot and he sud­denly has the chance to be­come a rich man if he re­turns the puppy to its owner. Based on the story of the Ger­man eth­nol­o­gist Curt Nimuen­dajú, who lived in Brazil from 1903 un­til his death. He stud­ied nearly 50 in­dige­nous peo­ples and died in Ama­zo­nia un­der mys­te­ri­ous cir­cum­stances. tchaud Mathilde Par­quet (France) Direc- tor: Alix Fizet Traces (France) Di­rec­tors: Hugo Fras­setto, So­phie Tavert En­tre Som­bras (Por­tu­gal) Di­rec­tors: Mónica Fer­nan­des Dos San­tos, Alice Guimarães La Lam­padaire (Bul­garia/ France) Di­rec­tor: Emma Vakarelova

(France) Di­rec­tor: Julie Rem- Carpelle (France/ Hun­gary) Di­rec­tors: Sarolta Sz­abo, Ti­bor Banoczki Plan­théon (France) Di­rec­tor: Thomas Pons O Diário de Alice (Brazil) Di­rec­tor: Diogo Vie­gas Mille et un Moyen Âge (France) Di­rec­tors: Paul Bour­gois, Jérémy Boulard Massie Flee (Den­mark) Di­rec­tor: Jonas Po­her-Ras­mussen Du­val (U.K.) Di­rec­tor: Felix tor: Lluis Sanchez Jorge Deluze Ele­mented (Canada) Di­rec­tors: Emily Paige, Daniel Gies tor: Daniel Kham­damov Di­rec­tor: Branislav Br­kich Astrononeko (France) Di­rec­tors: Axel Rousseau, Clé­ment De Ruyter Noth­ing Hap­pens (Den­mark) Di­rec­tor: Uri Kra­not An­i­ma­tion du Monde Mallinson ovska (Peru) Di­rec­tor: Jimmy Carhuas Step into the River (China) Di­rec­tor: Wei­jia Ma Dog Days (Georgia) Di­rec­tor: Vakhtang Tato Kotetishvili

(Georgia) Di­rec­tor: San­dro Kata- Khamsa (Al­ge­ria) Di­rec­tors: Khaled Chi­heb, Mes­saoud Rouag, Ka­mal Zak­our (China) Di­rec­tor: Mengqian Chen (China) Di­rec­tor: Gin­ger

Hav­ing suc­cess­fully turned its The Snow Queen an­i­mated fea­ture into an im­pres­sive global an­i­ma­tion fran­chise, Wizart An­i­ma­tion is back with an­other orig­i­nal an­i­mated fea­ture as­pir­ing to fran­chise sta­tus in Sheep and Wolves.

The ac­tion-com­edy fea­ture cen­ters on ri­val an­i­mal groups that set­tle near each other, with con­flict seem­ing in­evitable un­til wolf­pack leader Grey finds him­self mag­i­cally trans­formed into a ram and sees what life is like on the other side.

Wizart de­buted the movie in April in its home na­tion of Rus­sia, and next takes the movie to Annecy where it is an of­fi­cial fea­ture film in com­pe­ti­tion.

We caught up with pro­duc­ers Vladimir Niko­laev and Yuri Moskvin, who give us the scoop here on how the fast-ris­ing Rus­sian stu­dio pre­pared the movie for the in­ter­na­tional stage.

An­i­ma­tion Mag­a­zine: Where did the story come from? Was it de­vel­oped in­ter­nally? Is it a story with roots in Rus­sian tra­di­tions?

Vladimir Niko­laev: In terms of the movies, Wizart does not aim at de­pict­ing any na­tional tra­di­tions whether they are Rus­sian or not. To be suc­cess­ful on the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket, a story needs to be com­pre­hen­si­ble for dif­fer­ent kinds of au­di­ence. The idea for the Sheep and Wolves movie came when we were work­ing on the first fea­ture of The Snow Queen se­ries. We were dis­cussing pos­si­ble con­cepts for the next project and the “a wolf in a sheep’s cloth­ing” idea was hang­ing thick in the air. The con­flict be­tween wolves and sheep seemed a rather ready­made idea, so we sug­gested it to our co-pro­duc­tion part­ner, CTB Film Com­pany CEO and pro­ducer Sergey Selyanov, who loved it and we started our work.

An­imag: What about this story made it ap­peal­ing for Wizart to do as an an­i­mated fea­ture?

Yuri Moskvin: I guess the sto­ry­line was ap­peal­ing to us be­cause it could be po­ten­tially com­pre­hen­si­ble for the global au­di­ence re­gard­less of the mind­set, cul­tural tra­di­tions, ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion, gen­der or age. A wolf changes his ap­pear­ance and gets into strange and comic sit­u­a­tions. This kind of com­edy-drama al­lowed us to use a lot of funny episodes that work well for the fam­ily au­di­ence. We felt it had the po­ten­tial and as the re­lease in var- ious coun­tries showed, we suc­ceeded in it.

An­imag: Where was the an­i­ma­tion for the movie done? How many an­i­ma­tors worked on it? How long did it take?

Niko­laev: The stu­dio is lo­cated in Voronezh, a city in Rus­sia, but the lo­ca­tions of the team mem­bers crossed all the con­ti­nents – Eu­rope, Asia, North and Latin Amer­i­cas. So, Sheep and Wolves is an in­ter­na­tional team project. The work on the movie took about five years. At first, there were only 20 peo­ple in the team but by the end of the project this num­ber in­creased to 200 peo­ple.

An­imag: What does it mean to Wizart (and more gen­er­ally to Rus­sian an­i­ma­tion) to have this film cho­sen for the com­pe­ti­tion at Annecy?

Moskvin: That’s an honor for us to be on the of­fi­cial list of such a pres­ti­gious fes­ti­val as the Annecy fes­ti­val, more­over to be nom­i­nated for the Best Fea­ture Film. It means the movie is mar­ketable for the global an­i­ma­tion com­mu­nity. It doesn’t mat­ter whether we’ll re­ceive the Annecy award, the fact that a Rus­sian movie is in­cluded in the nom­i­na­tion list demon­strates that the qual­ity of Rus­sian an­i­ma­tion is grow­ing and it can eas­ily com­pete with in­ter­na­tional projects. For more of this in­ter­view, visit www.an­i­ma­tion­magazine.net.

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