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Cartoon 2022 - Cartoon Movie

Industry Report: Animation

Gints Zibalodis’ Flow and Edmunds Jansons’ Born Happy form the Latvian contingent at this year’s Cartoon Movie

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The two features, both in the development phase and backed by the National Film Centre of Latvia, were pitched at the three-day gathering that took place in Bordeaux

Gints Zibalodis’ Flow and Edmunds Jansons’ Born Happy form the Latvian contingent at this year’s Cartoon Movie
Flow by Gints Zibalodis (left) and Born Happy by Edmunds Jansons

At this year’s Cartoon Movie, the Latvian contingent was represented by two strong feature-length projects - namely, Edmunds JansonsBorn Happy and Gints ZibalodisFlow. Both films are being backed by the National Film Centre of Latvia and were pitched during the three-day event, which unspooled in Bordeaux from 8-10 March.

Born Happy is a cut-out, 2D, computer-animated project penned by Liga Gaisa and Lote Eglīte. It follows nine-year-old Ilze, who, during the school summer break, joins her family in the rainforest, where they live together with the Pemon tribe, close to the Devil’s Mountain. When, after an accident, Mum needs to fly Dad to a hospital, Ilze volunteers to look after her three-year-old brother, Alex. However, instead of paying attention to her brother, Ilze’s nose is jammed in a book. When Ilze finally looks up, she discovers that Alex has disappeared. All signs point towards the fact that he has wandered off towards the jungle. Ilze must bring him back home before their parents return. Sabīne Andersone is producing the picture for Latvia’s Atom Art, with Jakub Karwowski co-producing for Poland’s Letko and Pablo Jordi for Finland’s Pikkukala. You can watch the teaser for Born Happy below:

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Commenting on the team’s participation in Cartoon Movie, Andersone told Cineuropa: “Cartoon Movie is one of the most important pitching events in Europe to present film projects at different stages. It is a great platform to exchange ideas and assess the international potential of movies like Born Happy. A great part of the value of the project comes from the graphic style of designer Elīna Brasliņa, whose richly colourful vision of the jungle was highly appreciated by Cartoon Movie’s professional audience. We are happy to be collaborating on this effort with two outstanding co-production partners, Letko and Pikkukala.”

Meanwhile, Gints Zibalodis’ new effort, Flow, is a 3D, computer-animated flick being produced by Matiss Kaza for Latvia’s Dream Well Studio, Ron Dyens for France’s Sacrebleu Productions and Lilia Schneider for Germany’s Cine-Litte Productions. The story, penned by Zibalodis (who also serves as the project’s graphic artist and composer), Kaza and Dyens, takes place after a terrible flood has wreaked havoc on the world. Here, a stubbornly independent cat is forced to share a small boat with a group of other animals. Getting along with them turns out to be an even greater challenge for him than surviving the flood.

Speaking about their new project, Flow’s creative team told us: “We’re extremely glad to be part of our first-ever Cartoon Movie forum, and to finally meet industry professionals in person. Our pitch had a fantastic audience, and they really appreciated Gints’ unique approach to 3D animation, which is both technically and artistically challenging. After finishing his debut animated feature [Away [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Gints Zilbalodis
film profile
]
] all by himself, Gints is ready to collaborate with others, and we have managed to secure some wonderful co-production partners at Sacrebleu and Cine-Litte. Trust and cooperation are the main values of the film, and they are reflected in our production structure as well.” The flick is slated for release in 2024. Check out the film’s teaser below:

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