The Little Prince: draw me some box office admissions!
by Fabien Lemercier
- Paramount France launches its highly ambitious animated film, made by Mark Osborne and produced by Dimitri Rassam and Aton Soumache
Unveiled out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival in May, French animated superproduction The Little Prince [+see also:
film profile] by Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda) is the undisputed star attraction of this Wednesday, which sees nine new films hit the big screen in France. Distributed by Paramount Pictures France, the French version of the film adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s hugely famous book boasts a star-studded voice cast including Marion Cotillard, Vincent Cassel, André Dussollier, Florence Foresti, Guillaume Gallienne, Laurent Lafitte and Vincent Lindon.
"We set off with the aim of making something just as good as DreamWorks or Pixar would, not because we had delusions of grandeur, but because The Little Prince required the best that animation has to offer" explains Dimitri Rassam who produced the film with Aton Soumache for On Animation Studios. "We had to convince potential partners to fund part of the €57 million budget. So we pre-sold the film in Japan, Europe, Russia and South America. Each time, Mark Osborne showed up with his presentation suitcase: he would set up pieces of scenery in a room and tell the story. In total, he has done 300 presentations, starting from when we were trying to secure funding right up to promoting the film!". It seems all the hard work has paid off, as The Little Prince (co-produced by Orange Studios and M6 Films), has already been sold very well around the world by Wild Bunch. All that remains is for this to be confirmed by audiences the world over.
Also being released in theatres today are two very good non-national European films: The Summer of Sangaile [+see also:
interview: Alanté Kavaïté
film profile] by Lithuanian director Alanté Kavaïté (which won the Directing Award at Sundance and was selected for the Panorama section of the Berlinale – see review and interview - UFO Distribution) and Arabian Nights: The Desolate One [+see also:
interview: Miguel Gomes
film profile], the second volume in the trilogy by Portuguese director Miguel Gomes, which was screened as part of Directors’ Fortnight this year at Cannes (see review and interviews with the director and French co-producer and distributor Shellac).
Last but not least, also hitting theatres this week are three French debut feature films. Bac Films is releasing Musical Chairs [+see also:
film profile] by Marie Belhomme (article - with Isabelle Carré, Philippe Rebbot and Spanish actress Carmen Maura), Le Pacte is releasing Papa Lumière [+see also:
film profile] by Ada Loueilh (article - starring Nils Arestrup) and Sophie Dulac Distribution is releasing French-Belgian co-production Port-au-Prince, dimanche 4 janvier [+see also:
film profile] by François Marthouret.
(Translated from French)