French Animation Distributor Eurozoom Inks Strategic Alliance with Special Touch Studios, takes Four Titles to Annecy Animation Festival (EXCLUSIVE)

Eurozoom, a leading French distributor for Japanese animation, has forged a strategic partnership with major French animation producer Special Touch Studios, led by founder and CEO Sebastien Onomo

Published Time: 11.06.2024 - 10:31:32 Modified Time: 11.06.2024 - 10:31:32

Eurozoom, a leading French distributor for Japanese animation, has forged a strategic partnership with major French animation producer Special Touch Studios, led by founder and CEO Sebastien Onomo.

“We both share the same passion for animation and want to tell bold stories with a particular attention to professional diversity,” said Eurozoom’s CEO-Founder Amel Lacombe, who added that they were jointly working on a six-animation feature lineup.

Leading the pack is “Melvile,” directed by Romain Renard and Fursy Teyssier. Initiated and produced by Anne-Laure Guégan alongside Onomo, the feature is an adaptation of the eponymous graphic novel “Les Chroniques de Melvile” by the multi-awarded comic artist Romain Renard.

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“Melvile” revolves around Paul, who, since his fourteenth birthday, has been haunted by the belief that he is responsible for the disappearance of Ruth, his first love, who perished in a fire. Two decades later, he returns to Melvile to settle his grandmother’s estate. During this visit, he will uncover the history of his ancestors and the real circumstances surrounding Ruth’s death, revealing a deep connection between the two.

The international co-production involves SpecialTouch Studios, Creative Touch Studios and Arte Cinema in France, Need Productions in Belgium, Paul Thiltges Distribution in Luxembourg and Unité Centrale in Canada.

“Melvile” won the Eurimages Co-production Development Prize at Cartoon Movie 2022 and the CNC’s Avance sur recettes in 2023. While Eurozoom will distribute the film in France, Urban Distribution will sell it internationally.

The distributor will also be theatrically releasing the new toon films of Denis Do (“Funan”) and Anca Damian (“Marona,” “The Island”) and is celebrating its 37th toon feature in selection at the Annecy Film Festival since 2007, including this year’s four titles, and its 75th animation movie released in French theaters.

“Our collaboration with Annecy is invaluable, it is an honor to be recognized as a major animation distributor by the festival each year. We are immensely proud of our feature film selections and of our nine Annecy prizes, including two Cristal awards for best movie with &lsq -

uo;Sita Sings the Blues’ and ‘Lu Over the Wall,’ said Lacombe, who pointed out that Eurozoom has been a pioneer in the distribution of Japanese animation pics in France since 2005, with more than 50 released in French theaters.

“We made the Japanese animation market grow from niche to mainstream, with its movies now gaining hundreds of thousands of admissions in France,” Lacombe asserted, adding that they actually created the market for theatrical releases of non-Ghibli Japanese animation outside of Asia.

“We had the privilege of working with the crème de la crème of Japanese animation directors, from Makoto Shinkai (“Your Name,” Suzume”) to Mamoru Hosoda (“The Girl Who Leapt Through Time,” “Summer Wars,” “Wolf Children”); Keiichi Hara (“Summer with Coo,” “Coloful,” “Miss Hokusai”); to Ayumu Watanabe (“Children of the Sea”) ; Naoko Yamada (“Liz and the Blue Bird”) and Kenji Iwaisawa (“On Gaku,” “Our Rock”),” said Lacombe.

In 2023, the company marked its highest European box office earnings for Shinkai’s “Suzume,” with 575,000 admissions.

“But Japan is not our only focus; we are also proud of our collaboration with Canada and especially with Nancy Savard from 10e Avenue Production (“Katak the Brave Beluga”) and Olivier Picard and David Pierrat from Parce Que Films (“When Adam Changes”),” noted Lacombe.

The four Eurozoom titles at this year’s Annecy Animation Festival are:

“Totto Chan The Little Girl at the Window,” (Shinnosuke Yakuwa) – Main Competition

“Fox and Hare Save the Forest,” (Mascha Halberstad) – Annecy Presents

“Look Back,” (Kiyotaka Oshiyama) – Annecy Presents

“Detective Conan The Million Dollar Pentagram,” (Chika Nagaoka) Annecy Presents

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