EXCLUSIVE: LevelK boards Belgian title SpaceBoy
by Marta Bałaga
- The Danish international sales outfit has acquired world sales rights, excluding Benelux, for Olivier Pairoux’s family adventure film inspired by the antics of one Joseph Kittinger
SpaceBoy [+see also:
interview: Olivier Pairoux
film profile], the new film from the production house behind the award-wining Binti [+see also:
film profile], has been acquired by Danish international sales agent LevelK. The movie will see a barely teenage boy, Jim, who is passionate about science, secretly building a hot-air balloon with his friend Emma – all to prove to his father, an astrophysicist, that even despite the tragic passing of his mother, anything is still possible. As both kids set out to imitate Joseph Kittinger’s famed Project Excelsior, which saw him jump from the stratosphere to test high-altitude parachutes, their adventure begins to verge on the dangerous side. Set in the 1980s, in the very same year the tragedy of the Challenger Space Shuttle took place, the film is described as having a “Spielberg-esque touch”.
“It's late at night, and the TV broadcasts the music video for ‘Dayvan Cowboy’ by Boards of Canada. The electro band used archive footage to illustrate their song: the experiment of Joseph Kittinger, who, in 1960, rose up to 19 miles into the sky before plunging into the void,” shared first-time director Olivier Pairoux, previously known for his music videos and commercials, and co-writer Eusebio Larrea in their statement. “We became obsessed with those poetic and scientific images, and developed a passion for Kittinger and his performance: transcendence, having the courage to do things that seem impossible at first. While Jim decides to imitate Kittinger to prove to his father that we need to stand up for our dreams, he would do anything: lying, stealing, taking risks and even putting people in danger. He will discover that dreams can only be fulfilled at a heavy price.”
With Basile Grunberger, Yannick Renier, Albane Masson, Bérénice Baoo, Jean-Benoit Ugeux and Peter Van Den Begin in the cast, SpaceBoy was produced by Annabella Nezri for Kwassa Films, also behind Zoé Wittock’s Jumbo [+see also:
interview: Zoé Wittock
film profile], in co-production with Katleen Goossens for Bulletproof Cupid, and was funded by the Fédèration Wallonie-Bruxelles (Belgian Film Fund), Creative Europe - MEDIA, Loterie Nationale, Belga Films Fund, VOO-BE TV, RTL Belgium and the VAF (Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds).
“I love the saying from Disney: ‘For every laugh, there should be a tear.’ It’s really with that frame of mind that we worked on the story,” added Pairoux, who is already working on his second title, the noir Vigilante. “Even if the main theme is grief, behind that dark dramatic aspect, SpaceBoy is also a mix of romance, comedy and a lot of adventure.”
"SpaceBoy touches on relevant themes of friendship, parenting and believing in following your dreams," LevelK CEO Tine Klint told Cineuropa. "Besides being a match for our family label and boasting a high production value from an experienced team, it is set in the 1980s, which also creates a fun watch for the parents."
The film is currently set to be released in 2021.
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