#IrishFilm: Cartoon Saloon announce My Father’s Dragon and China distribution for Song of the Sea

Two pieces of good news for Kilkenny-based animation studio Cartoon Saloon coming from the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and Market. ScreenDaily is reporting that The Secret of Kells co-directors Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey will reteam for animated feature My Father’s Dragon, and also that Moore’s solo directorial film, the superb Song of the Sea, has secured a distribution deal for China.

Moore, Twomey, and Cartoon Saloon co-founder Paul Young will develop My Father’s dragon with Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn for LA-based Mockingbird Pictures. The film will be co-produced by Parallel Films.

The film is based on the series of children’s books by Ruth Gannett Stiles about a young boy, Elmer Elevator, who runs away to Wild Island to rescue a baby Dragon. The script has been adapted by Meg LeFauve (Inside Out) and John Morgan.

My Father’s Dragon has previously been adapted into a Japanese anime film titled, Elmer’s Adventures: My Father’s Dragon in 1997.

The IFTA award-winning and Oscar-nominated Song Of The Sea will be released in China by Huahua Media, having recently agreed a deal for Japan with Child Film. Getting distribution in China is notoriously difficult as the Chinese government impose a quota on foreign-based films, so this is quite a coup.

Song of the Sea follows Ben and his little sister Saoirse, the last selkie, who can transform from seals to people, and her journey to the sea, to find her voice and sing the “Song of the Sea” to save all of fairy kind from being lost forever.

Twomey is currently in production on The Breadwinner, the story of Parvana, a young girl living under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, who must disguise herself as a boy to become the breadwinner of the family when her father is unfairly imprisoned.

The film is a collaborative effort of Canada’s Aircraft Pictures, Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon and Luxembourg’s Melusine Productions in association with Jolie Pas Productions. The Breadwinner will be produced with the financial participation of Telefilm Canada and the Talent Fund, the Irish Film Board, Film Fund Luxembourg, Mimi Gitlin Productions, The Shaw Rocket Fund, Artemis Rising Foundation, The Broadcast Authority of Ireland, The Ontario Media Development Corporation, The Harold Greenberg Fund, RTE, Movie Central, The Movie Network a division of Bell Media Inc., the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit.

Moore is in development on a new animated feature called WolfWalkers, to be co-directed with Ross Stewart. The film is set during the English Civil War in the mid 1600s, and sees Cromwellian forces attempting to subdue the Irish populace by killing all of the wolves in Ireland. One little boy believes that the wolves, may not be wolves after all, but rather pagan people cursed to live as wolves.