Sunday, June 23, 2024

Le Pacte Boards Cannes Animation Day Title ‘Conference of the Birds’

Leading French production-distribution outfit Le Pacte has boarded the upcoming 2D animated feature project “Conference of the Birds,” which will be spotlighted at the Marché du Film’s Animation Day during this year’s Cannes Festival.

In addition to co-producing, Le Pacte will handle French distribution and serve as international sales agent on the film, part of the five-title Annecy Showcase at the Animation Day. Confirmed voice cast members include Golshifteh Farahani (“Paterson,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”) and Louis Garrel (“Little Women,” The Dreamers”).

“Conference of the Birds” is an updated adaptation of Farid al-Din Attar’s 900-year-old Persian poem of the same name. The film centers on a flock of birds who are the sole survivors of a man-made natural disaster. Leading the avian gang is Hod-Hod, a young adventurous hoopoe who sets off on a quest to meet the legendary bird Simorgh, rumored to hold the key to solving all the birds’ problems.

According to the filmmakers, the film draws its visual inspiration from sources including Paul Grimault’s “The King and the Mockingbird,” Hayao Miyazaki’s films, and Carlos Saldanha’s “Rio.”

“Conference of the Birds”
Le Pacte

Caroline Piochon created the project and is directing alongside accomplished writer and filmmaker Atiq Rahimi, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay with Nahal Tajadod-Carrière.

Rahimi is a French-Afghan writer and filmmaker who in 2008 won France’s prestigious literary prize, the 105-year-old Prix Goncourt, for “Syngué Sabour.” In 2012, he directed the feature adaptation of his novel from a screenplay co-written with Jean-Claude Carrière. His most recent feature, 2019’s “Our Lady of the Nile,” had an impressive festival run including competition screenings at Berlin, Durban, and El Gouna. 

“Conference of the Birds” marks Rahimi’s animation debut, but he’ll have plenty of help on that front. Piochon is a 2005 Gobelins graduate who has worked on several standout European animated features, including “The Secret of Kells,” “The Illusionist,” “The Red Turtle,” and “Klaus.” She also illustrates children’s books and works with associations that promote and develop cultural and artistic initiatives for the handicapped.

“Conference of the Birds” is produced by Gilles Podesta at Diabolo Film, Stéphane Sorlat at Mondex et Cie, Christel Hénon at Bidibul Productions, and now Jean Labadie at Le Pacte.

Speaking with Variety, Labadie said that after hearing about the book while listening to the radio, he immediately read the text and fell in love. “I believe it is one of the most important oeuvres of human history on the level of ‘Mahabharata’ or Homer’s ‘The Iliad’ and ‘The Odyssey.’”

“Bringing this masterpiece to the cinema became an obsession and, happily, after meeting Nahal Tajadod, one of the world’s biggest connoisseurs of Farid Al-Din Attar, and thanks to my friends Gilles Podesta and Stephane Sorlat, the project could start.”

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HomeReviewsLe Pacte Boards Cannes Animation Day Title 'Conference of the Birds'

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