Annecy player ‘Panda Bear in Africa’ sells to key areas

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The children’s and family animation film ‘Panda Bear in Africa’ by Ricard Claus and Karsten Kiilerich continues its long journey and goes to France (Le Pacte), Switzerland (Praesens) and the Benelux (WW Entertainment) after a large number of sales by the films . sales agent Cinema Management Group. In early autumn the film will also be released in the Middle East (Front Row Entertainment), Poland (Kino Świat), Portugal (Films4You) and Turkey (Filmarti).

Screening in the Annecy Presents section at this year’s French festival, the film focuses on Pang, a young panda bear who is best friends with Jielong, a young female dragon.

While playing with Jielong in the bamboo forest, Pang is kidnapped by an African baboon and a “hilariously stupid” crocodile. Pang’s journey to save his best friend will take him far from his home in China, all the way to the southern tip of Africa.

“When we make films, we always think about the audience. ‘How can we reach them? What can we offer the distributors?’ The concept of the film and this whole fish-out-of-water comedy aspect really appealed to them, and I hope it will appeal to viewers as well,” says director Richard Claus. Variety.

“There is artistic ambition in the film and we wanted it to look great. But our goal is to entertain the audience rather than show what great artists we are.”

The film has previously been sold to distributors in Spain (Vercine), the Philippines (Nathan Studios), Indonesia (MVP), Great Britain and Ireland (Dazzler Media), Greece (The Film Group) and South Korea (NK Contents).

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According to a statement shared with Varietyit has become this year’s highest-grossing independent animated film released in the Commonwealth of Independent States, with 400,000 admissions.

“Panda Bear in Africa” is produced by Claus and Kiilerich, who previously collaborated on “The Little Vampire 3D.” Cinema Management Group is handling sales.

“The great thing is that we are friends. We have known each other for fifteen years, so it is not such a ‘Euro-pudding’ construction if you have to facilitate public financing,” says Claus.

He also admitted that the duo was not afraid to compete with another famous animated panda.

“When you tell stories, you always have to deal with the fact that most things have been done before in some way or another. You’d have to dig very deep to find an animal that hasn’t been used yet [in animation]. It didn’t bother us that there was still a panda walking around.”

That said, humor and comedy were still a crucial part of the screenplay, written by Rob Sprackling, of “Gnomeo & Juliet” and “Shaun the Sheep Movie” fame.

“That’s some kids And looking for adults. With Rob joining us, we found someone who has this incredible ability to add jokes. It’s also okay if kids don’t understand them all. We wanted to make sure there is plenty of entertainment for adults too.”

Claus, who recently co-directed “Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon,” has a personal connection to the story.

“I lived and worked in South Africa for eight years. It’s almost autobiographical,” he laughed.

“I was a fish in water there too. I have a daughter, and when she was about five years old, she wanted me to tell her bedtime stories about African animals. That’s how it started, although the panda bear came much later.”

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Now Pang will teach his new friends – and his audience – a thing or two about friendship and peace, and prove that this is possible even among sworn enemies like lions and hyenas.

“This is a story about tolerance. About accepting others, who may be different from us, but different doesn’t mean we should be afraid of them,” Claus notes.

“We must understand each other, because that is what makes the world so rich. It’s not a film full of messages, but it’s about all of this. Entertainment is important, but entertainment without any substance is just hollow.”

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