VARIETY April 25, 2019 | Elsa Keslassy
Paris-based company Indie Sales (“My Life as a Zucchini”) has acquired Rémi Chayé’s animated film “Calamity – The Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary,” the French helmer’s follow up to his critically acclaimed feature debut “Long Way North.”
“Calamity – The Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary” tells the story of the 12-year-old Martha Jane who must take charge of her siblings after her father is hurt in a serious accident while driving a large convoy to the West in search for a better life. Frustrated by the constraints of being a girl, Martha Jane decides to dress as a boy to better fulfil her duty to take care of her family and pursue her growing thirst for freedom and adventure outside of the constraints of the rigid convoy. And one day, after being unfairly accused of theft, she runs away determined to prove her innocence.
As with “Long Way North” in which the protagonist is a fierce 14-year old Russian girl who embarks on a journey to the North Pole to find her grandfather whose ship went missing, “Calamity – The Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary” is also driven by a bold and fearless female hero.
ndie Sales will be handling international sales rights to “Calamity – The Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary” and will introduce the project to buyers at Cannes. The French company has a strong track record with auteur-driven animated films, such as the Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated “My Life as a Zucchini” and more recently “Another Day of Life” which played at Cannes and won the audience award at San Sebastien.
“We are thrilled to team up with Maybe Movies on Remi’s new film. He has proven to be one of France most brilliant talents with a unique signature,” said Nicolas Eschbach, Indie Sales’ co-founder. “The film is in the same vein as ‘Long Way North,’ yet more sophisticated in terms of artistic direction and ambition.”
Eleanor Coleman, Indie Sales’s head of animated acquisitions, described the project as a “wonderful artistic interpretation of the origins of a decidedly modern female hero.” “Rémi has mastered his unique animation technique creating a broad beautiful portrait of the American West in all of its complexity,” said Coleman.
“Calamity – The Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary” has been selected to take part in Annecy Animation Film Festival’s Work-In-Progress program which takes place June. The film is being created by the award-winning team behind “Ernest & Celestine,””Song of the Sea” and “The Secret of Kells;” and is produced by Maybe Movies, whose credits include Chayé’s last film “Long Way North” and the Cannes-premiering “Zombillenium” and Nørlum (“Song of the Sea,” “Long Way North”).
“Calamity – The Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary” will be released in France by Gebeka in 2020.
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