Eight feature films have been selected for Annecy’s Mifa Pitches
- Happy End by Marie Amachoukeli and Vladimir Mavounia-Kouka stands tall among the 32 projects due to be pitched at the international animated film market
With just a few days to go before the biggest event in global animation, the upcoming Annecy Film Festival (running 13 – 18 June), unveils its official selection, the 32 projects (chosen from among 472 submissions) which are due to be pitched during Mifa’s market have now been revealed. Stealing focus among them are eight feature film projects, including Happy End, which marks French talent Marie Amachoukeli’s first steps in the world of animation, having previously co-directed Cannes’ 2014 Camera D’Or-winning movie Party Girl [+see also:
interview: Marie Amachoukeli, Claire B…
film profile], as well as recently shooting her second fiction feature Ama Gloria – read our article).
Marie Amachoukeli also penned the screenplay for Happy End, which she will co-direct with Vladimir Mavounia-Kouka who is also responsible for the film’s graphic design. For the record, the pair were previously nominated for the Best Animated Short Film César in 2018, courtesy of I Want Pluto to Be a Planet Again. Targeting adult audiences, Happy End revolves around an interesting idea: what if death disappeared from one day to the next? And what about the world and Bertha King, a former career soldier who is now deeply suicidal and devastated by this development? Production is steered by Emmanuel-Alain Raynal on behalf of Miyu Productions (who are gearing up to unveil Pierre Földes’ Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman [+see also:
Another two French projects stand out in Mifa Pitches’ 2022 selection: Le Gardien du feu by Jeanne Irzenski (overseen by Gao Shan Pictures – read our news) and Le Coeur à danser by Pierre Le Couviour and Amine El Ouarti. Produced by Vivement Lundi !, the latter is aimed at children and families, with a story taking us back to 1918 in Douarnenez, a land of fishermen and legends. Venaig’s father is fighting on the front. To make him return, she decides to organise a party which they and the inhabitants of the Breton port loved before the war. But the town’s adults no longer feel like dancing.
Equally eye-catching is an animated documentary aimed at adults and young adults: Verser l'eau comme je pars (Prospi Vode Za Mnom) by the Bosnian director (living in the USA) Daniela Repas. Penned by Vu Pham, the story looks back at how courageous survivors of the Bosnia-Herzegovina War in the 1990s, who are now in diaspora, give advice to two characters who are trying to escape the same war zone.
Targeting family audiences, Frank Mosvold’s Norwegian project The Legend of Magnus the Good sees Denmark (A.Film Production A/S), Norway (Kool Production AS) and the Netherlands (Phanta Vision Film International) joining production forces. Written by the director alongside Rob Sprackling and John Smith, this action comedy follows immature Magnus, a Viking prince who escapes his diabolical, macho uncle by travelling through time from the year 1030 to modern-day Norway. Here, he meets three drag-queens who teach him a thing or two about courage…
Likewise worth a mention is a project entitled Igi by Georgia’s Natia Nikolashvili (also a producer via her company 20 Steps). Adapted from Jemal Kharchkhadze’s novella of the same name, the story rockets us back to prehistoric times and into the company of a primitive tribe who still walk on all fours. Igi is a young man who looks like the others but whose inner thoughts and feelings set him apart. He’s the first one to stand up, and huge changes take root in his mind, and in his relationship with society…
The other two feature film projects selected for Mifa Pitches (unspooling 15 and 16 June) are Mexico’s The Ballad of the Phoenix and Zimbabwe’s Tribe, but the selection also consists of Short Film Pitches, Series and TV Special Pitches and Digital Experience Pitches, all unfolding alongside Partner Pitches which will showcase talent from one specific country or from one specific category (notably Switzerland by way of the GIFF, which is dedicated to digital experiences, and Spain via ICEX).
The selected projects are as follows:
Le Coeur à danser - Pierre Le Couviour – Amine El Ouarti (France)
Production: Vivement Lundi !
Tribe - Tendayi Nyeke (Zimbabwe)
Production: Ndiani Productions PTY LTD, Triggerfish Animation Studios (PTY) LTD.,
Igi - Natia Nikolashvili (Georgia)
Production: 20 Steps
Happy End - Marie Amachoukeli, Vladimir Mavounia-Kouka (France)
Production: Miyu Productions
The Ballad of the Phoenix - Arturo Ambriz, Rodolfo Ambriz (Mexico)
Production: Cinema Fantasma
Le Gardien du feu - Jeanne Irzenski (France)
Production: Gao Shan Pictures
Verser l'eau comme je pars (Prospi Vode Za Mnom) - Daniela Repas (Bosnia-Herzegovina/USA)
Production: Shrine13, Yellow Inc.
Arbor - Valentino Lasso (Mexico)
La bolsita de agua caliente - Yuliana Paula Brutti (Argentina)
La Petite Reine blanche - Mathieu Georis, Théo Hanosset (Belgium)
Production: Ozù Productions
Le Chagrin des tournesols - Léa Krawczyk (France)
Production: Les Astronautes
Petra y el sol - Stefania Malacchini, Maria Luisa Furche (Chile)
Shokoladi - Fabián Guamaní Aldaz, Medea Sharikadze (Ecuador/Georgia)
Supersilly - Veronica Martiradonna (France)
Production: Sacrebleu Productions
The Day I Smoked a Cigarette with My Father - Robin Vouters, Sameh Alaa (France)
Production: Les Valseurs
Dwie Marie - Wioletta Sowa (Poland)
Production: Likaon SP. Z O.O.
Orbis - Éric Serre (USA/France)
Production: Lucid Realities, Ink Stories, Camera Lucida
La Horde du Contrevent - Morgane Schmitt Giordano (France)
Production: Small Bang, Studio NEB (Association Blend Awake), Studio Manette, Cosmotone
Anouschka and the Braid of Time - Tamara Shogaolu (the Netherlands/USA)
Production: Ado Ato Pictures
Amazing Monster! - Raphael Penasa (France/Switzerland)
Production: Wowl, Small Creative
Melancholia - Stéphane Hueber-Blies, Nicolas Blies (France/Luxembourg)
Production: Lucid Realities, A_BAHN
Series and TV Specials
Mission magique à Mexico - Hefang Wei (France)
Production: Kazak Productions
Greetings from the Apocalypse - Maryka Laudet, Quentin Camus Durand (USA/UK)
Production: Management 360, Passion Pictures
My Superhero Husband - Alex Tagali (Greece)
Polo sans bobo - Sophie Castaignede (France)
Production: Big Company
Papy et Mamy ont fait la révolution - Agnès Patron, Sophie Nivelle-Cardinale (France)
Production: Les Films du Tambour de Soie
Yukon - Martin Engh, Jakob Thommessen (Norway)
Production: Imaginar Film
Les Cogitations de Jupiter - Jupiter Moumouni Sodre (Burkina-Faso/France)
Production: Komadoli Studio
Tiger and Hog - Liang Huang (China)
Production: Uyoung Culture & Media Co LTD.
Love - Anna Mantzaris (UK/Sweden)
Production: Passion Pictures
(Translated from French)
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