European partners animate The Sun Queen
by Fabien Lemercier
01/04/2005 - The production of Philippe Leclerc’s second full-length animation film (after Les enfants de la pluie - 2003), The Sun Queen , adapted from the famous egyptologist Christian Jacq’s book La Reine soleil, is starting this week in Budapest. This European coproduction involving France, Hungary, and Belgium will take a full year. The film is about Akhesa, the daughter of Akhenaton and Nefertiti who married Tutankhamon and helped him take power over his country. The plot, obviously based on true facts, focuses both on their love story and on the conflicts around the succession to the throne. It shows how two adolescents, hunted by the Pharao’s ennemies Akhesa et Thou, manage to escape many dangers —the burning heat of the desert, the terrible giant Zannanza’s jails...—, innocently weaving the incredible legend which will unite them forever. Ancient Egypt is thus given an animated representation made in Europe and based on a script by Gilles Adrien and Hadrien Soulez-Larivière.
This €5.3M film is produced by Léon Zuratas for the French company Belokan Productions (70%). The coproducers are Cinemon (Hungary - 15 %), and Y.C. Aligator Films (Belgium - 15 %). The Sun Queen also received €580,000 from Eurimages and €450,000 from France 3 Cinéma (half as coproducer, half as broadcaster). Canal + and CinéCinéma already bought the rights. The project also benefitted from the Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC) development fund, and got subsidies from Media Plus Programme and from the Procirep (cinema and television producers society). Rezo Films, which will release the film in France in February 2007, is also handling international sales.
(Translated from French)