VARIETY March 3rd, 2016 | By Elsa Keslassy
PARIS — Indie Sales is joining forces with France’s Folivari, the new banner of Oscar-nominated Didier Brunner (“Kirikou”), to produce “Pachamama,” an animated feature directed by Argentine helmer Juan Antin (“Mercano the Martian”).
Penned by Antin, “Pachamama” is an adventure tale set against the backdrop of the Incan Empire at the start of the 16th century in what is now Peru. The story centers around Tepulpaï, a 10-year-old Indian boy who lives in a remote village nestled in the Andes Mountains and dreams of flying high in the sky and becoming shaman.
Antin’s “Mercano the Martian” won the audience prize at Sitges.
The ambitious toon project, which is co-produced by O2b Films, was first pitched at last year’s Cartoon Movie in Lyon and is now in the final development stage. Indie Sales is co-producing and handling international sales on the project.
Launched in 2013 by former TF1 International topper Nicolas Escbach, Indie Sales has been consistently investing in diverse independent toon features from Europe that all share strong concept or IP and commercial potential. The company’s animated slate includes “Moomins on the Riviera,” “My Life as a Zucchini” and video game-based “Dofus.” The Paris-based company won last year’s Cartoon Movie Tribute for best European distributor.
“This collaboration confirms our strong interest in the unique world of animation and our commitment to supporting the competitive European animation market by supporting original creations,” said Eschbach, who is currently attending Cartoon Movie in Lyon (France). “It’s an honour for Indie Sales to work with Didier Brunner, who has consistently produced artistically creative family films for worldwide audiences.”
An expert at delivering artful and upscale, yet non-mainstream-looking toons, Brunner ranks as one of Europe’s top animation producers, with credits such as “Ernest & Celestine,” which was nominated for an Oscar in 2014, as well as the cult toon “The Triplets of Belleville,” nominated for a BAFTA, and the “Kirikou” trilogy. Brunner also co-produced the Oscar-nominated “Brendan and the Secret of Kells.”
“Producing an ambitious film like ‘Pachamama’ requires important dedicated partners who share a common goal to make the best film possible. Folivari is happy to welcome Indie Sales to the Pachamama team,” said Brunner.
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