Oscar-nominated Waltz With Bashir and The Congress director Ari Folman has set his next project, a family-driven animated film based on the life and diary of Anne Frank. Folman will write and direct. Production outfit Purple Whale Films says this is the first time a director/producer team has been granted full access to all the archives of the Anne Frank Fonds Basel, which was founded in 1963 by Anne’s father Otto Frank. Purple Whale is a new Belgium-based shop that is co-owned by Folman’s Israeli company Bridgit Folman Film Gang, and by Diana Elbaum’s Belgium-based Entre Chien Et Loup. Frank’s moving story has been told in several film and TV adaptations, including George Stevens’ 1959 multiple Oscar-winner The Diary Of Anne Frank. Folman, who has emerged as one of Israel’s most important direcors, said today, “Bringing the Anne Frank Diary to all screens is a fantastic opportunity and challenge as there is a real need for new artistic material to keep the memory alive for younger generations.” Production is slated to begin in winter 2014. Folman’s 2008 animated documentary Waltz With Bashir was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Oscar. His most recent film is this year’s The Congress which opened Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes. It also just scooped the European Film Award for Best European Animation. Drafthouse Films and Films We Like acquired North American rights last summer.
Drafthouse Films has picked up North American rights in a deal with Films We Like to the sci-fi pic The Congress which opened the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar last month at Cannes. Ari Folman (Waltz With Bashir) directs the film starring Robin Wright, Jon Hamm, Paul Giamatti and Harvey Keitel. A US theatrical and VOD/digital release is planned for 2014 and Films We Like in Toronto will handle Canadian distribution. Based on legendary science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem’s 1971 novel The Futurological Congress, Folman’s adaptation blends live-action and psychedelic animation as an aging, out-of-work actress (Wright in an unusual role playing an alternate reality version of herself) accepts her final job: preserving her digital image for a future Hollywood. Twenty years later, Wright’s digital double rises to immortal stardom and is invited to take part in “The Congress” as she makes her comeback straight into the world of future fantasy cinema. The deal was negotiated by Tim League and James Emanuel Shapiro on behalf of Drafthouse Films and Brigitte Suárez and Michael Weber of The Match Factory on behalf of the film’s producers.
Robin Wright stars in The Congress as an actress (named Robin Wright) who agrees to be digitized for money, rendering her no longer in control of her own identity. The Cannes selection is set to open the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar May 16. Director Ari Folman follows his Oscar-nominated Waltz With Bashir with a live-action/animation blend adapted from Stanislaw Lem’s sci-fi novel The Futurological Congress. Harvey Keitel, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Danny Huston, and Paul Giamatti also star. Check out the first trailer:
Waltz With Bashir helmer Ari Folman‘s The Congress will raise the curtain on the 45th Directors’ Fortnight sidebar at the Cannes Film Festival on May 16. The pic – a mix of live action and animation — is the adaptation of sci-fi novel The Futurological Congress by Polish writer Stanislaw Lem. Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Paul Giamatti, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Danny Huston star. Wright plays an actress (also called Robin Wright) who accepts a large payout from a major Hollywood studio, Miramount, to be scanned and digitized to create a virtual actress. The deal stipulates she will no longer control her likeness and the studio can use it any way it pleases, essentially kiboshing her career. For 20 years she disappears to return to a transformed world as guest of honor at the Miramount-Nagasaki Convention, where a new invention is to be revealed. Producers are Bridgit Folman, Film Gang, Pandora Film, Opus Film, Paul Thiltges Distribution, ARP and Entre Chien et Loup. Match Factory has international sales. The full Directors’ Fortnight lineup will be unveiled Tuesday.