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'Amarro' director turns to ani with a rare 3-D Mexican film

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Carlos Carrera, who directed Mexico's all-time boxoffice champ, "The Crime of Father Amarro," is teaming with animator Enrique Navarrete on a 3-D-animated feature that will be made for a fraction of what it would cost in the U.S.

The duo will co-direct "Ana," which centers on the journey of a 9-year-old girl seeking her father's help to save her troubled mother. Navarrete has worked as an animator on such films as "Madagascar," "Shrek 2" and "Antz."

Mexican producers are showing more interest in animated films these days. For two straight years, a feature-length toon has ranked among the year's top 10 boxoffice earners.

Because of budget limitations, animated pictures here have been done primarily in 2-D, but "Ana" will be made entirely in 3-D with a budget of just $3.2 million.

Carrera directed, wrote and animated "The Hero," which won the Golden Palm for best short film at the Festival de Cannes in 1994, as well as "Amarro," which starred Gael Garcia Bernal.

Lo Coloco producer Pablo Baksht and Carrera believe they came across an extraordinary script from newcomer Daniel Emil.

"I've been reading scripts for 25 years now, and I've never seen one like this," said Baksht, who worked with Alfonso Cuaron at Mexican shingle Anhelo.

Other production companies on board include Lulu Producciones (the producer of Fernando Eimbcke's "Duck Season"), ADN Films, Navarrete's animation studio Los Hijos de su Madre, Mexican film fund Fidecine and veteran producer Dulce Kuri.

German layout artist Marec Fritzinger, who has collaborated on "Tarzan" and "Hercules," will head art direction.

Production on "Ana" is set to begin this year. Baksht said he is shooting for a 2011 release date.