Luc Jacquet has announced in Sundance what his next film will beafter his worldwide documentary smash March Of The Penguins - a narrative-documentaryhybrid with the working title The Fox And The Child.
Filming on the Euros11m project is scheduled to run from March2006 to March 2007 in France, Italy and Romania in time for delivery inDecember 2007.
Wild Bunch is handling salesand sales chief Carole Baraton was in Park City to commence pre-sales on theproject, which is guaranteed to be a major draw at next month's Berlin market.
Bonne Pioche's Yves Darondeau, Christophe Lioud and Emmanuel Priouare producing, as they did on March Of The Penguins.
Introducing the project to buyers via a satellite link from Paris - a presentational technique rarely seen at Sundance - Jacquet said the project is based on a story he wrote six years ago.
"I have a lot of passion for this story as it is based onchildhood memories," said Jacquet, who is also co-writing the screenplay."It's about a little girl on her way to school who encounters a fox. Shegets access to this forbidden world and it's like falling in love."
Casting is underway to find an actress to play the young girl. Anadult female narrator will recount the story in the persona of the grown-upgirl as she reflects on events many years later.
"I want to tell the story from the point of view of the girland the fox," Jacquet said, and to this end two separate crews will filmthe project. One will capture wildlife footage of wild foxes in their habitats,while the other will work with the actress and tamed foxes and focus on thenarrative side of the story.
The December 2007 delivery date means that The Fox & TheChild may herald areturn by Jacquet to Sundance in 2008. March Of The Penguins was one of the discoveries of thefestival here last year under its original French title, La Marche DeL'Empereur.
The picture went on to become a worldwide hit and grossed morethan $77.4m at the North American box office through Warner IndependentPictures (WiP), making it the second biggest documentary of all time behind Fahrenheit9/11 and the biggestever French release in North America.
WiP chief MarkGill was one of a posse of buyers seen "investigating" the project atthe presentation, along with representatives from Fox Searchlight, Sony PicturesClassics, and Focus Features.