With this year's animated Cannes Competition entry, "Persepolis," directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, animation is high on Dreamachine's agenda. Additionally, three animated features are in the works for the company: "Fear(s) of the Dark," "Mia and Migoo," and "Brendan and the Secret of Kells." Dreamachine's co-chariman Hengameh Panahi first started promoting animated works by compiling Aardman Animation's early shorts into two feature length releases which succeeded in capturing top box office rankings in key territories. That was followed by films by Jan Svankmajer, Brothers Quay, Michel Ocelot and Sylvain Chomet's Oscar-nominated "Les Triplettes de Belleville."
"Animation has been neglected by the cinema world for a long time and generally perceived as children's fare," Panahi commented. "However, the possibilities of invention are limitless and this form of artistic expression merits acknowledgement. The mindset is slowly changing to the extent that important festivals have now started to select animation films."
Regarding the upcoming films, "Fear(s) of the Dark" returns to the fundamental roots of the comic book tradition, using the talents of many of the world's leading comic book artists. Under the artistic directorship of Etienne Robial, the film intends to screen the "essence of fear." "Mia & Magoo" is directed buy French animator Jacques-Remy Girerd ("Raining Cats and Frogs") and follows the story of a little girl and a mysterious creature who are pitted against an evil property developer in the rainforest. Taking from the Irish "Book of Kells," animation house Les Armateurs ("Les Triplettes de Belleville") will make "Brendan and the Secret of Kells," about an orphaned boy who rebels against his authoritarian upbringing. [Peter Knegt]