France’s Les Film d’Ici and Netherlands’ Submarine have boarded “They Shot the Piano Player,” the much-awaited new animated project from Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal after their 2012 Oscar-nominated “Chico & Rita.” The producers join existing producers Trueba PC, Mariscal Studios and Peru’s Tondero production team.
Sold internationally by Films Constellation, the animated feature is a celebratory evocation of the eruption of world-renowned Latino musical movement Bossa Nova in the ’60s and ’70s through the personal story of a young Brazilian piano virtuoso, Tenorio JR, whose disappearance is being researched by a journalist – Jeff Goldblum attached to voice.
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“Fernando and Javier have developed a powerful and moving film combining a unique artistic, political and humanistic approach. It is an important story, given the film’s many layers that will entertain audiences worldwide,” Serge Lalou at Les Films D’ici told Variety.
The French company – always stimulated by genre hybridization, documentary soul and auteur aim – has previously backed Aurélien Froment’s “Josep,” a player at this year’s Cannes Official Selection, and is currently backing Iranian filmmaker Sepideh Farsi’s project “The Siren,” presented as a project at Annecy’s this year.
In 2019, Submarine took the Cartoon Movie distinction of Producer of the Year for Salvador Simó’s multi-awarded “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles.” A leading animation studio in the Netherlands, its CEO Bruno Felix said: “Fernando introduced us to an extraordinary story that will be full of drama, music, and visualized beautifully by Javier Mariscal. As a true cineaste, he will once again prove that animation is an excellent way to engage audiences of all ages.”
At the most recent Cartoon Forum, Submarine presented a new project, “Little Charlie,” a preschool-targeting TV series in co-production with Germany’s Alexandra Schatz Filmproduktion.
The production is “currently in full swing between three animation studios in Spain, France and The Netherlands,” according to Fabien Westerhoff, Film Constellation CEO, who is also exec-producing Trueba’s feature alongside Nano Arrieta.
Delivery is scheduled for the first semester 2023.
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