ANNECY -- French animation producer Marc du Pontavice, who is coming off "Oggy and the Cockroaches: The Movie," is embarking on "J'ai perdu mon coeur" (I Lost My Heart), an original fantasy tale.
""J'ai perdu mon coeur," which is adapted from Guillaume Laurant's novel "Happy Hand," follows the absurd and fantasy-filled journey of a hand that was amputated following an industrial incident, and embarks on a quest to reunite with its body. It belongs to a young Moroccan immigrant, who is madly in love.
Budgeted under $10 million, toon will be helmed by Jeremy Clapin, an up-and-coming animator whose Cesar-nominated short "Skhizein" nabbed a flurry of international awards, including Chicago's Silver Hugo and Cannes' Kodak short film nod.
"'J'ai perdu mon coeur' marks a departure from my previous animated features, 'Lucky Luke' and 'Oggy,' which were both family features based on franchises," Du Pontavice told Variety. "It will be a poetic, fantastic and romantic tale set in a very realistic universe."
A seasoned screenwriter, Laurant has collaborated with Jean-Pierre Jeunet on several films, notably Audrey Tautou starrer "Amelie," "A Very Long Engagement," "The City of Lost Children" and most recently, "The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet," which was acquired by the Weinstein Co. at Cannes.
Du Pontavice's company Xilam is launching pre-production on "J'ai perdu mon coeur." It will use rotoscopy and CGI 3D with a 2D-style rendering.
Aside from his animation biz, Du Pontavice also runs One World Films, a production vehicle dedicated to live-action films. It is developing David Oelhoffen's "Loin des hommes" (Far From Men), an adaptation of Albert Camus' novella "Exile and the Kingdom," toplining Viggo Mortensen in his first French-language role.
Set in an Algerian village in 1957, during the struggle for independence, the â¬6 million ($8 million) pic turns on a French professor who is asked to turn in an Algerian dissident to the authorities and unexpectedly bonds with him.
Du Pontavice described the film as a tense Western-like road movie sweeping across the Atlas mountains in North Africa. It will lense on location in the fall.