Emerging French production house Onyx Films has scored a notable coup with the sale of its first animated project Renaissance to Buena Vista for US distribution.

The deal was brokered by leading independent producer Jake Eberts. Theatrical and video release in France is to be handled by Pathe Distribution, with which Eberts has a long connection.

The $15m action and suspense-themed film is aimed at an audience of adolescents and young adults and mixes digitally generated effects with retreated black and white images. Animation work is provided by leading French group Millimages.

The project is being conceived as French-UK-Luxembourg co-production, with the French side committing equity of Euros 6m.

By the end of Cannes, Onyx anticipates appointing a UK-based sales agent will provide a minimum guarantee and be instrumental in bringing on board a UK tax fund. Negotiations are being brokered Helene Sitbon through Paris-based Arsan.

Renaissance is directed by Christian Volckman, an animated films specialist whose 1999 short Maaz was nominated short films Oscars.

Onyx, headed by Anton Soumache, is currently developing La Jungle, a live-action comedy by Matthieu Delaporte, Air a first feature by Juan Solanas, urban tale La Bonne Etoile by Djibril Glissant.