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PRODUCTION Romania / France / Belgium

Anca Damian poised to finish the animated feature Marona’s Fantastic Tale

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- The film, which tells a story about empathy, is targeted at audiences of all ages

Anca Damian poised to finish the animated feature Marona’s Fantastic Tale
Marona’s Fantastic Tale by Anca Damian

Romania’s most prolific animation director, Anca Damian, will soon deliver her third animation feature, Marona’s Fantastic Tale. The film is being staged by Damian’s Aparte Film, with France’s Sacrebleu Productions, represented by Ron Dyens, and Belgium’s Minds Meet, represented by Tomas Leyers, acting as co-production partners.

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The screenplay, written by Anghel Damian, follows Marona, a half-breed Labrador, and her interactions with a series of owners. Each owner will give her a different name, but the only constant in these interactions is the unconditional love and unwavering empathy that the animal is willing to offer those around her. 

The production started in November 2017, with a total budget of €2.7 million. The Romanian National Film Center supported the production with approximately €270,000. A total of 27 animators worked on the production, using various 2D and 3D techniques. Brecht Evens was behind the character design, while Gina Thorstensen and Sarah Mazetti were in charge of the backgrounds. Olimpia MelinteMarius Manole and Alexandru Potocean play the main vocal parts in the Romanian version. The film will also be released in a French-language version.

Anca Damian tells Cineuropa that the story is a based on a personal experience she had five years ago, when she saved a stray dog she’d found on the street. She says her animation is targeted at audiences of all ages. “The audience encounters a dog prepared to give her all out of love for her masters. This theme of empathy lies at the very heart of my film, and as we are telling a contemporary tale, the peculiarity that I wish to highlight is that empathy comes more from the dog than from human beings. Thanks to the power of animation, we are going to be able to amplify this by playing on anthropomorphism, and thus question the notion of giving,” Damian explains. 

Marona’s Fantastic Tale will be released domestically in the autumn. The movie is being handled internationally by French sales agent Charades.

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