Cannes to get glimpse of Pathe's 'Illusionist'

First footage of Sylvain Chomet animation

CANNES -- French-owned, British-based production, finance, sales and distribution company Pathe will unveil the much-anticipated first footage from the Sylvain Chomet animation "The Illusionist" at the Marche du Film.

Chomet, who wrote and is directing the adaptation of original and previously unproduced material by Jacques Tati, began working on the movie in June 2006. Pathe said it plans to release the $22 million budgeted film in France and the U.K. in 2009 and Pathe International is handling worldwide sales.

Producers are Bob Last and Sally Chomet, with Philippe Carcassonne and Jake Eberts executive producing the picture, which is financed by Pathe and France 3, in association with Canal Plus. It is a Studio Django (U.K.) and Cine B (France) co-production.

The film fuses traditional 2-D character techniques and CGI.

It details the story of a dying breed of stage entertainer whose thunder is being stolen by emerging rock stars. Forced to accept increasingly obscure assignments in fringe theaters, garden parties and bars, he meets a young fan who changes his life forever.