These five were among the 55 animated feature film projects that were presented at the Cartoon Movie Forum in Lyon, France; an annual initiative where producers go in search of partnerships and co-productions that will allow for the funding of around 20 animated feature films a year.
The 55 projects that were pitched came from 19 European countries: 23 of them in the concept stage; 21 in development; 8 in production; and 2 completed films.
Since 1999, over 254 films pitched at the Cartoon Movie Forum, with a total budget of 1.7 billion Euros ($1.8 billion), have secured their financing and have been released thanks to this annual event aimed at strengthening the production and distribution of animated feature films in Europe.
Below you’ll find 5 projects that will be of specific interest to readers of this blog, along with descriptions, countries of origin, posters/artwork, and status.
1. “Another Day of Life” (France, poster above) - is a story of a reporter searching for truth during the Angolan Civil War in 1975. During his suicidal journey across the country, he is faced with situations and events that force him to reevaluate his approach to his work and life, in general. It is the dramatic account of the three months the reporter spent in civil war. (In post-production).
"The Prince of the City of Sand" (Luxemborg) - Songs are the oil that makes dreams flow, the water that makes them germinate. Because of this, Rokìa loves more than anything to listen to her grandfather Matuké and sing along with him. And it is for this that the Prince of the City of Sand, who blots out the dreams of men with sand and collects their souls, hates the storytellers. This is the song of Rokìa, the girl with the enchanting voice. The girl who will cross the desert to recover the soul that the Prince of the City of Sand has stolen from Matuké, the great storyteller. (In development)
"Nayola" (Portugal, Belgium, Angola) - Three generations of women are deeply plagued by Angolan Civil War: Lelena (the grandmother), Nayola (the daughter) and Luana (the granddaughter). The imagination of Luana, a 16-year-old orphan girl, reinvents her mother, Nayola, as an anti-heroine on the sheets of a journal, where memories and masks, utopias and cruelties, reality and magic emerge, mesh together and fall apart. A suspended love, a fearless quest on a military landscape, a lacerating regret, an initiatory journey under the vigilant eye of a mysterious Jackal. (In development)
"Mutafukaz" (France) - Angelino is just one of the thousands of deadbeats living in Dark Meat City, a ruthless megalopolis in sunny California. At day, he runs the streets of the city delivering pizzas; at night, he squats a seedy hotel room with his pal Vinz and an army of cockroaches that are now part of the family. Following a scooter accident caused by the heavenly vision of Luna, a girl with jet-black hair, the young man starts experiencing violent headaches doubled with strange hallucinations (or maybe they are not) of being chased by men in black suits. Angelino has no doubts: he is a target. Why him? Following a terrifying manhunt, he is finally captured and learns the truth about his origins... (In post-production)
"Heart of Darkness" (France) - A Brazil-set version of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness." Rio de Janeiro, in the near-future, riot and corruption-laden - we follow Police officer Marlow, who is asked to find a certain Captain Kurtz (a famous policeman who has gone missing in mysterious circumstances). The mission has to be carried out in a boat, undertaking a dangerous journey through the favelas of Rio de Janeiro (the same favelas that were the setting for cross-over films like "City of God"). (In development)
Feature animation is still an area where representation of people of African descent both in front of and behind the camera is lacking, so these are all projects we'll be tracking from here on, with anticipation. Animation can be a time-consuming lengthy process, so it's anyone's guess when we'll actually start to see these. At least those that are in post-production are closer to becoming full realities than the others.