10:27am PT by Carolyn Giardina
GKIDS Acquires Animated Feature 'Birdboy: The Forgotten Children'
Indie animation distributor GKIDS has acquired North American distribution rights for the animated feature Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (Psiconautas, los niños olvidados), directed by Alberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero and based on Vázquez’s graphic novel and short film, Birdboy. A fall release in its original Spanish and new English-language version is planned.
A darkly comic dystopian fantasy featuring anthropomorphic critters, the film took home best animated feature at the 2016 Goya Awards and was a nominee for best animated feature at the 2016 European Film Awards.
In the story, Dinky and her friends are stranded on an island in a post-apocalyptic world as they plan an escape in the hope of finding a better life. Meanwhile, her old friend Birdboy has a secret that could change the world.
“With iconic characters and a storyline that explores universal themes of hope, despair, salvation and loss with humor and grace, Birdboy pushes the boundaries of animated storytelling in exciting new directions," GKIDS president Dave Jesteadt said in a statement.
The film was produced by Farruco Castromán, Carlos Juárez and Luis Tosar.
GKIDS has emerged as a force in animation, earning a remarkable nine best animated feature Oscar nominations since 2009, second only to Disney/Pixar. As a result, it generated attention when the the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that it was revamping the nomination process for the animated feature category for next year's Oscars.
The distributor hasn’t fully revealed its 2017 slate yet, but it also includes My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea by cartoonist Dash Shaw, which opened April 14; and The Breadwinner, which is slated to bow in the fall and is based on Deborah Ellis’ young adult novel about a girl living under the Taliban regime.