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Eric Beckman, Marc Bonny Receive Variety & Mifa 2017 Animation Personality of the Year Award

Annecy, France — Guillermo del Toro, DreamWorks Animation’s Chris DeFaria and Bonnie Arnold and Sony Pictures Animation’s Kristine Belson were among guests at a seated dinner at Annecy’s lake-side Imperial Palace on Tuesday night to celebrate this year’s recipients of the 2017 Mifa & Variety Animation Personality of the Year Award: Eric Beckman, founder of New York’s Gkids, and Marc Bonny, founder of France’s Gebeka Films.

The choice of Beckman and Bonny was hardly made a chance affair. As Bonny remarked, accepting his award, the two are in many ways cousins.

Launched in 2008 but really taking off when David Jestead joined the company, Beckman said in his acceptance speech, Gkids is the only independent distributor to have won an Academy Award animated feature nomination. In fact, as a trailer suggested, the films it has distributed in the U.S. have won nine, taking in the Studio Ghibli films,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

GKids’ Founder Eric Beckman Champions Independent Voices in Animation

Eric Beckman, founder and head of GKids, looks at animation in a different way than many of his contemporaries. This has made his independent distribution outfit a popular destination for filmmakers who are interested in telling complex stories with a more handmade approach to animation.

“We love what we do at GKids, and much of our passion is born out of the people we choose to work with,” says Beckman, who is receiving the Mifa & Variety Animation Personality of the Year Award at Annecy along with Gebeka Films’ Marc Bonny.

This year, the GKids slate includes “The Breadwinner” and “Birdboy: The Forgotten Children.”

Founded in 2008, GKids rose in stature in 2010 when “The Secret of Kells” received an animated feature Oscar nomination, joining the likes of studio pics “Up,” “The Princess and the Frog,” “Coraline” and “The Fantastic Mr. Fox.”

“The extraordinary success of ‘Kells’ really helped us, both with profitability and exposure,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Gebeka Films’ Marc Bonny Takes Artisanal Approach to Animation

“In France, we have the religion of the auteur,” says Gebeka Films’ Marc Bonny laughing. It explains why his eye for animation looks to the diverse and distinctive — films driven by eccentric minds and brilliant ideas rather than franchises, tie-ins and marketing opportunities. It has been a decade since Bonny first hit on the strategy that has made him a pioneer in the world of crossover animation, starting as a distributor but recently branching out into production, as he did with this year’s Cannes out-of-competition title “Zombillennium.”

Bonny, along with GKids’ Erik Beckman, are the joint recipients of the Mifa & Variety Animation Personality of the Year Award at the Annecy festival.

It began in 1997, with the formation of Gebeka Films. “I wanted to specialize in high-quality films for children,” Bonny recalls. “At that time I thought of distributing both live-action films and animated films, but at the very beginning
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Eric Beckman, Marc Bonny To Receive the Variety & Mifa Animation Personality of the Year Award

Cannes — Eric Beckman and Marc Bonny, the founders of New York’s Gkids and Lyon’s Gebeka Films in France, will be the joint recipients of the 2017 Variety & Mifa’s Animation Personality of the Year Award.

The prize will be presented in Annecy next month at the 32nd International Animation Film Market (Mifa), the industry forum of France’s Annecy Intl. Animation Film Festival which for a decade has been one of the fastest-growing film events in Europe.

Past recipients of the award, now in its third edition, are Chris Meledandri, founder/CEO of Illumination Ent., in 2015 and Peter Lord and Dave Sproxton. co-founders of Aardman Animations.

In 2017, the Award celebrate Beckman and Bonny’s mutual commitment to independent animation cinema. Both distributors, Gkids was founded in 2008, Gebeka Films way before in 1997. Both Gkids and Gebeka distributed the Academy Award-nominated “My Life as a Courgette,” Gebeka also co-producing the Swiss-French animated feature.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Claude Barras’ ‘My Life as a Courgette’ Tops Cartoon Movie

Claude Barras’ ‘My Life as a Courgette’ Tops Cartoon Movie
Bordeaux France — Switzerland’s Rita Productions and France’s Blue Spirit Productions and Gebeka Films took the European Producer of the Year plaudit for “My Life as a Courgette” at the 2017 edition of Cartoon Movie, which closed Friday in Bordeaux, France.

Switzerland’s Claude Barras, the director of “Courgette,” was also honored with European Director of the Year.

The two awards at Europe’s top dedicated European movie animation co-meet add to a high-profile kudos collection for the stop-motion dramedy which sets it apart as, in prizes and nominations at least, as the most successful European animated feature of the last 12 months.

Awards recognition takes in a nomination for both the 2017 Academy Awards and Golden Globes, César Awards in France for Best Animated Feature and Best Adapted Screenplay, and a Cristal Award for Best Feature and Audience Award at the 2016 Annecy Intl. Animated Film Festival in 2016.

Released in the U.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Didier Brunner animation boarded by Sc Films, Haut Et Court

  • ScreenDaily
Didier Brunner animation boarded by Sc Films, Haut Et Court
Exclusive: Sales and distribution deals for Pachamama, from Ernest And Celestine producer.

Sc Films has boarded international sales rights to animation feature Pachamama from Oscar-nominated producer Didier Brunner, known for The Triplets Of Belleville, The Secret Of Kells and Ernest And Celestine.

Pachamama will be the first 3D CGI animation to be produced by Damien Brunner and Didier Brunner’s new company Folivari.

The film has started production in France where it is due to be theatrically released by Haut Et Court in 2018. Studiocanal handles some home entertainment rights in France.

Set in the Andes, Pachamama follows the story of young boy Tepulpaï, who dreams of becoming a Shaman, and his best friend Naïra. When a sacred treasure is taken from their village, they set off on a mission to retrieve the irreplaceable artefact.

Director is first-time filmmaker Juan Antin, who wrote the script with Patricia Valeix (Long Way North).

Producers are Folivari, O2B Films
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Next for 'Kirikou and the Sorceress' Director: 'Dilili in Paris' (Belle Époque Era Adventures of a Mixed-Race Girl)

Michel Ocelot, the French writer and director of animated films, likely best known for his 1998 début feature "Kirikou and the Sorceress," which has been written about a few times on this blog (as well as its sequels; it's a trilogy) is prepping to launch production on what will be his next film, "Dilili à Paris" ("Dilili in Paris"), another feature-length animation - his 7th. The story, set in Paris, follows the adventures of the titular Dilili, a mixed-race girl of the Kanak (the indigenous inhabitants of New Caledonia) during the Belle Époque era (1900-ish), who teams up with a boy her age to solve a mystery of little girls who are...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Annecy: New Studies Nail French Toons’ Highs, Challenges

Annecy: New Studies Nail French Toons’ Highs, Challenges
Annecy – France remains Europe’s animation powerhouse, the third biggest producer of animated features in the world, and the locale of an equally massive toon TV industry whose shows dominate major broadcast networks and increased sales abroad for five years running over 2009-13, suggested a report from France’s Cnc film-board presented at the Annecy Festival.

But while the envy of the rest of Europe, the Cnc study paints, however, a picture of France’s animation industry where there is little room for complacency, and no clear sign as yet of a sustained commercial lift-off of its animated movie industry since Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp pulled out of big toon pic production after sustaining losses on its “Arthur” trilogy

“To talk about French animation is to talk about an industry of excellence, and that’s nit by chance but reflects the quality of our schools, R & D and technology, known the world over,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Mother, Modris big winners at new Riga festival

  • ScreenDaily
Mother, Modris big winners at new Riga festival
New Riga Meetings platform welcomes projects including two projects by Finnish film-maker Aku Louhimies.

Janis Nords’ second feature Mother I Love You and Juris Kursietis’ debut Modris were the big winners at the ¨Great Christopher¨ (¨Lielais Kristaps¨) National Film Competition held during the first edition of the Riga International Film Festival (December 2-12).

Nords, who graduated in film directing from the UK’s Nfts, received the top honour of best film as well as the trophy for best feature film director and best actress (for Vita Varpina’s performance as the single mother trying to make ends meet).

On presenting the direction prize to Nords, the competition jury’s chairman, veteran film director Janis Streics, said that he saw “a bright future ahead for Latvian cinema” on the strength of the line-up for this edition of the national film awards.

Mother I Love You, which is handled internationally by New Europe Film Sales, premiered at the
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Didier Brunner Steps Down as President of Les Armateurs

Paris – Producer Didier Brunner, one of the driving forces of European feature film animation, has stepped down as president of Les Armateurs, the five-time-Oscar nommed Paris-based film/TV animation production house.

First attracting attention with Sylvain Chomet’s 1997 short “The Old Lady and the Pigeons,” the first of its Academy Award nominations, Les Armateurs, which Brunner founded in 1994, has also produced “Belleville Rendez-vous,” which scored two Oscar noms, and co-produced 2009’s “Brendan and The Secret of Kells,” which again made the final cut.

Released in the U.S. and promoted by GKids, Les Armateurs’ latest toon pic, “Ernest & Celestine” (pictured), produced with Studiocanal, scored a 100% Rotten Tomatoes critics’ rating and is in the running for the 86th Academy Awards on March 2.

Reginald de Guillebon, the owner of the Hildegarde holding company that bought up Les Armateurs in late 2011, will replace Brunner as Les Armateurs president. Brunner will be retained as an artistic consultant for Hildegarde,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Adiff Monday 12/2 Screening Highlights: 'Kirikou,' 'Toussaint L'Ouverture,' & 'The Miscreants'

Currently underway here in New York City, through December 15, 2013, is the 21st annual New York African Diaspora International Film Festival (Adiff), with a lineup that includes 73 films - 35 of them being World, Us and NY Premieres - from 35 countries.Today's screening highlights - Monday, December 2 - include: - The School Program, which starts at 11am, at The Chapel - Teachers College, Columbia University, with a screening of the universally-acclaimed Kirikou and the Sorceress, the animated feature, directed by Michel Ocelot, that follows...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Film Review: ‘Kirikou and the Men and Women’

The titular African boy saves the day five times over in “Kirikou and the Men and Women,” the broad-minded but pretty vanilla third film in the French toon series from Gallic helmer Michel Ocelot. Like the second installment, “Kirikou and the Wild Beasts,” this old-school-looking animated pic consists of several unconnected vignettes set during the same period as “Kirikou and the Sorceress,” the feature that launched the franchise. Though not as big a B.O. smash as its predecessors, “Men” did solid theatrical biz in Francophone territories and will be confined to fests and home-viewing formats elsewhere.

Originally envisioned as a series of standalone shorts for TV, the film brings together five unrelated 15-minute tales that are told to the audience by Kirikou’s grandfather (voiced by Emmanuel de Kset Gomes), who briefly appears before each episode. Ocelot worked with different femme authors for the stories, including, for the first three tales,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Blu-ray, DVD Release: Tales of the Night

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Jan. 29, 2013

Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $34.95

Studio: Gkids/Cinedigm/New Video

The 2011 animated fantasy family film Tales of the Night by French filmmaker Michel Ocelot (Kirikou and the Sorceress, Azur & Asmar) weaves together six exotic fables, each of which unfolds in a unique locale, from Tibet, to medieval Europe, to the Land of the Dead.

Tales of the Night (or Les contes de le nuit in its original French) extends the shadow puppet style of Ocelot’s earlier works, with black silhouetted characters set off against exquisitely detailed, colorfully kaleidoscopic patterns.

The half-dozen fables in the unrated film include the following:

• The Werewolf – Two sisters are in love with the same dashing young man. The older girl wins the young man’s heart through deceit, leaving her younger sister in despair. But this perfect man has a terrible secret.

• Ti Jean and the Belle-Sans-Connaître – In the Antilles,
See full article at Disc Dish »

Sliff 2012 Day 3 – The Hole with Joe Dante, A Fierce Green Fire and More

Day three of the 21st Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival promises more great films and an appearance at the Hi-Pointe by director Joe Dante. And there are still 8 days to go!

Sliff’s main venues are the the Hi-Pointe Theatre, Tivoli Theatre, Plaza Frontenac Cinema, Webster University’s Winifred Moore Auditorium, Washington University’s Brown Hall Auditorium and the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville, Il

The entire schedule for the 21st Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival be found Here.

http://cinemastlouis.org/sliff-2012

Here is what will be screening at The 21st Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival today, Saturday, November 10th

Director Jennifer Lynch

A Fall From Grace Program is at 11:00 am at the Tivoli Theatre – A Free Event Sliff guest Jennifer Lynch (Chained.) has plans to shoot her next film, A Fall from Grace, in St. Louis. Post-Dispatch film critic Joe Williams leads a
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Film Not Out Yet But Soundtrack For 'Kirikou And The Men And Women' Now Available

As announced a year or so ago, the pint-sized Senegalese hero Kirikou is returning for yet another animated adventure titled Kirikou et les hommes et les femmes (Kirikou And The Men And Women) - this, however, will be the first film in the franchise to be produced in stereoscopic 3D, a format French director Michel Ocelot used for the first time on Tales of the Night (2011). This is the third installment of a trilogy which began with the universally-acclaimed Kirikou and the Sorceress (1998), and continued with Kirikou and the Wild Beasts (2005). Kirikou et les hommes et les femmes is scheduled to reach France screens on February 13, 2013,...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

'Kirikou And The Men And Women' Gets A Glossy Poster

A quick recap... the pint-sized Senegalese hero Kirikou is returning for yet another animated adventure titled Kirikou et les hommes et les femmes (Kirikou And The Men And Women) - this, however, will be the first film in the franchise to be produced in stereoscopic 3D, a format French director Michel Ocelot used for the first time on Tales of the Night (2011). This is the third installment of a trilogy which began with the universally-acclaimed Kirikou and the Sorceress (1998), and continued with Kirikou and the Wild Beasts (2005). Kirikou et les hommes et les femmes is scheduled to reach France screens on February 13, 2013, starring our...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

First Trailer For 'Kirikou And The Men And Women' (3rd Film In Franchise, This One In 3D)

As announced a year or so ago, the pint-sized Senegalese hero Kirikou is returning for yet another animated adventure titled Kirikou et les hommes et les femmes (Kirikou And The Men And Women) - this, however, will be the first film in the franchise to be produced in stereoscopic 3D, a format French director Michel Ocelot used for the first time on Tales of the Night (2011). This is the third installment of a trilogy which began with the universally-acclaimed Kirikou and the Sorceress (1998), and continued with Kirikou and the Wild Beasts (2005). Kirikou et les hommes et les femmes is scheduled to reach France screens on February 13, 2013,...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

First Trailer For Ocelot's Kirikou: Men And Women!

Michel Ocelot's little (literally) African boy is returning to the big screen! The French master animator first rose to international prominence with his feature film Kirikou And The Sorceress, an African folktale about a tiny little boy who must free his village from oppression by a local sorceress. Kirikou proved a huge hit, spawning books and a second film since and now Ocelot is poised to return for a third go-round.Titled Kirikou: Men And Women this third film returns us to the village where Kirikou again proves himself wiser than his size may indicate.The first trailer has just arrived and while it appears that Ocelot has updated the visual style slightly from the first offerings the tweaks are minor and it certainly appears to...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

First Look Images At Stereoscopic 3D Animated Feature "Kirikou And The Men And Women"

First Look Images At Stereoscopic 3D Animated Feature
As announced a year or so ago, the tiny Senegalese hero Kirikou is returning for yet another animated adventure titled Kirikou et les hommes et les femmes (Kirikou And The Men And Women). Director Michel Ocelot is currently working on the third installment of a trilogy which began with the universally-acclaimed Kirikou and the Sorceress (1998), and continued with Kirikou and the Wild Beasts (2005). Notably, this will be the first film in the franchise to be produced in stereoscopic 3D, a format Ocelot used for the first time on Tales of the Night. Kirikou et les hommes et les femmes is scheduled to reach French screens on February 13, 2013, and I'm looking forward to yet another sumptuous piece of animation starring our brave tiny hero, using his wits and speed to thwart evil Sorcery and save his village from supernatural and environmental perils. Co-written by the director with Bénédicte Galup, Susie Morgenstern and Cendrine.
See full article at Indiewire »

First Stills From Michel Ocelot's Kirikou: Men And Women

French animator Michel Ocelot rose to international acclaim in 1998 with the release of his animated feature Kirikou And The Sorceress, the story of a very small and very brave boy whose village is under the thumb of an angry sorceress based on African folk tales.Though Ocelot has certainly ventured away from his diminutive hero in the years since Kirikou has always been around in the background. There was a second feature film, there have been books and in February of 2013 Ocelot will release his third Kirikou feature into French theaters. Titled Kirikou: Men And Women this one is being produced in 3D and the first stills have just been released. Plenty of familiar faces lie within including - obviously, since she's right...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »
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