The Brazilian animated feature “Tito and the Birds,” which makes its North American premiere at TIFF, has been picked up for distribution by Shout! Studios (“Big Fish & Begonia”) for Oscar consideration.
This exquisite-looking movie, about a 10-year-old boy who saves the world from an epidemic of fear, was created by Split Studio in Brazil with oil paintings (like last year’s innovative “Loving Vincent”), digital drawings, and graphic animation.
“Tito and the Birds” was directed by animation newcomer Gustavo Steinberg (the live-action “End of the Line”), Gabriel Bitar (“Cidade Cinza”), and André Catoto (“Say I Am Only Seventeen”). In addition, it features an original score by Gustavo Kurlat and Binho Feffer (the Oscar-nominated “The Boy and the World”). The producers are Daniel Greco, Felipe Sabino, and Brenda Wooding.
“Tito and the Birds” tells the story of the titular boy and his two friends confronting a pandemic created by fear by discovering his father’s missing research on bird songs. “Unfortunately, it seems that the ‘fear epidemic’ that the movie dwells on is not exclusive to Brazil — it has been affecting the whole world,” said Steinberg. “So I hope that the movie inspires North American kids to face it — just like Tito and his friends do.”
Shout! had its first Oscar contender last year with “In This Corner of the World” from Japan, and this year offers “Tito and the Birds” along with the mystical Chinese feature, “Big Fish & Begonia.”