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The Ape Star, Flee to compete in Annecy

24 MAY 2021

Flee / PHOTO: Final Cut For Real

The two animated films backed by Nordisk Film & TV Fond are among 10 international productions selected for the leading animation film festival’s official selection.

The Swedish film The Ape Star by Linda Hambäck had its world premiere at the BUFF film festival in Malmö earlier this year. Based on Frida Nilsson’s children’s books, the story was adapted for the screen by Jan Vieth, who collaborated with Hambäck on her previous film Gordon & Paddy. The warm and engaging mother/daughter relationship story features the orphan Jonna (8) who gets a shock the day a clumsy female gorilla shows up to adopt her. Just as the little girl is getting used to her new mum, the local authorities threaten their family life. Among the famous Swedish actors lending their voices to the characters are Stellan Skarsgård, Pernilla August, Felix Herngren, Mia Skäringer and Melinda Kinnaman.

Commenting on The Ape Star’s selection at Annecy, Hambäck said: “Honestly, it feels absolutely amazing! After a difficult year of repeatedly postponed launches, this is a real treat! Annecy has always been a dream festival, and to be selected for the main competition is a huge honour for all of us who’ve been involved with the film.”

Annecy’s artistic director Marcel Jean described The Ape Star as “a film that follows the grand tradition of cinema for young audiences from the north of Europe”.

The Swedish/Norwegian/Danish co-production between Lee Film, Mikrofilm and Nørlum, will be released in Swedish cinemas June 11 via SF Studios. The French release through Les Films du Préau is set for September 22. Attraction Distribution handles world sales.


The Ape Star, Flee to compete in Annecy

The Ape Star Apstjärnan / PHOTO: Lee Film Stockholm

Meanwhile the animated documentary film Flee by Jonas Poher Rasmussen continues its successful festival run. The heartfelt story of self-discovery and acceptance of a gay Afghan refugee in Denmark, won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Göteborg-Dragon Award for Best Documentary 2021. Flee was produced by Denmark’s Final Cut for Real with animation studio Sun Creature, in co-production with France’s Vivement Lundi!, Sweden’s Mostfilm, and Norway’s Mer Film. Cinephil handles global sales.

This year’s main feature film competition programme at Annecy is dominated by Asian entries, with three films from Japan, one from China and one from the Philippines.

Annecy’s competition programme comprises a total of 10 sections.

Other Nordic titles competing include

  • Moominvalley November (Finland/UK), screening in the TV films competition
  • The Hangman at Home (Denmark/France/Canada), part of the VR Works competition
  • Film Found by Norway’s Volda University College graduate Claudia Munksgaard-Palmqvist competing for Best Graduation Film
  • Norway’s Hjelp, vi har en blind patient by Robin Jensen, Stine Sofies stiftelse Valg by Hanne Berkaak, Denmark’s End of the Line by Hera Hallsdóttir, competing for Best Commissioned Film.

The 60th Annecy festival will be the first major international film event to be held partly on-site in France after over a year of Covid-19 restrictions to live events.


The Ape Star, Flee to compete in Annecy

The parallel hybrid market MIFA (June 14-19) comprises pitches, networking sessions with festival programmers, buyers, book publishers, producers, country focuses and a unique Virtual Recruitment Area.

For further information, check: