Benelux distributor Lumiere is to take the plunge into international sales, it was announced this week at Cartoon Movie in Lyon.
The first film Lumiere will handle internationally is animated feature Phantom Boy from the team behind the Oscar nominated A Cat In Paris, Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli.
Phantom Boy is co-produced by Lumiere’s production arm Lunamine, headed by Annemie Degryse. It will be released at the end of 2014. By handling worldwide sales, Lumiere aims to take a stronger control of the international marketing of the project.
The film is about an 11-year-old boy in a hospital who has a magical ability to fly and who uses his powers to help a wheelchair-bound police officer track down a gangster. The film will be made using both traditional 2D animation on paper and computer work.
The second title Lumiere will represent for international sales is Peter Monsaert’s Offline. The film, currently in post-production, is billed as a Moscow, Belgium-style drama. It is about a recently released prisoner trying to adjust to civilian life. The film, in post-production, should be ready for Cannes.
“On one side, we have a big organisation so we can do it,” Jan de Clercq, head of Lumiere, told ScreenDaily. He said that Lumiere’s head of acquisitions Esther Bannanberg (who has extensive experience of film sales from her time at Fortissimo) will advise the new sales operation on its strategy. “It (sales) is her old profession and so she likes that.” However, with Phantom Boy, Annemie Degryse will spearhead the sales drive.
De Clercq said it was yet to be decided who will run Lumiere’s new sales arm on a permanent basis.
Lumiere is now a fully integrated company. It has its own cinema screens (in Bruges), it produces, it releases films and TV series.