Joann Sfar’s Petit Vampire in production
by Fabien Lemercier
- The team behind The Rabbi’s Cat has partnered up again for a new animated film, produced by Autochenille and sold by StudioCanal
While the 40th Annecy International Animation Film Festival is in full swing (read the article) and was yesterday paid a visit by French President François Hollande, the production of other works continues apace. Standing out among them is Petit Vampire by Joann Sfar, production for which commenced in March. On this occasion, the director is teaming up again with his partner from Autochenille Production, Antoine Delesvaux, with whom he co-directed The Rabbi’s Cat [+see also:
film profile] (winner of the Crystal at Annecy in 2011 and the César Award for Best Animated Film in 2012). However, this time, Sfar is the only director helming this adaptation of his successful comic book, Petit vampire, the first volume of which came out in 1999. To date, it has sold almost 320,000 copies and has been selected in the New York Times’ list of bestsellers, within the top ten in the "Picture Books" category.
Written by Sfar and Sandrina Jardel (as was the case for The Rabbi’s Cat), who have worked together to come up with an original story that incorporates part of the first volume of the comic, the story revolves around Petit Vampire, who has been ten years old for the last 300 years – and now he’s getting bored and wants to go to school to make friends. Michel is an orphan, has behavioural problems at school and finds that he feels totally at ease when he discovers the spellbinding world of his undead buddy. The two boys immediately strike up a friendship, but the terrifying Gibbous, a supernatural creature with a crescent-shaped head, who has sworn to destroy the happy little community of the living dead, places no end of obstacles in their way...
Produced by Antoine Delesvaux for Autochenille Production, Petit Vampire is being co-produced by StudioCanal (which will distribute the movie in France in 2018 and is in charge of the international sales), France 3 Cinéma and Belgian outfit Panache Productions. Having been pre-purchased by Canal+ and Ciné+, the feature is also benefiting from backing from the Ile-de-France region, the Cofinova Sofica and the CNC’s support for new technologies in production.
For the record, this is the fourth feature by Sfar, and his second animated film, as the filmmaker has also made two live-action fiction titles, including Gainsbourg [+see also:
Interview with Joann Sfar, director of…
interview: Kacey Motten Klein
film profile], which took home three César Awards in 2011 (Best Debut Film, Best Actor and Best Sound) and racked up a total of eight nominations. Meanwhile, Autochenille Production also has Aya de Yopougon [+see also:
film profile] (nominated for the César Award for Best Animated Film in 2014) to its credit.
(Translated from French)