“Deep Sea,” an innovative Chinese-made animation film that has played the international festival circuit throughout this year, will release in North American theaters later this month.
Theatrical rights were acquired by Viva Films from Netherlands-China sales outfit Fortissimo Films. Viva plans an outing on Nov. 24 with Chinese and English-dubbed versions and a PG13 certificate.
The fantasy adventure tells the story of Shenxiu, a girl who has felt a deep sadness since being abandoned by her mother. While on a family cruise, she falls into the sea and breaks into the Deep Sea restaurant where she meets inventive underwater chef Nanhe and embarks on a journey between dreams and reality.
“Deep Sea” is a 3D animation directed by Tian Xiaopeng (“Monkey King: Hero is Back”) and produced by YI Qiao (“Nezha”) through October Pictures and Coloroom. Tian and his team developed a CG technique based around particles, creating 3D images from abstract Chinese ink paintings.
The film opened commercially in China in January in time for the Chinese New Yerar holiday peak season and grossed some $133 million. It then played at the Berlin Film Festival and went on to other dates at the Neuchatel, Melbourne and London festivals.
In North America it premiered at the Tribeca festival before also playing at the Philadelphia and Fantasia (Montreal) events.
Fortissimo previously licensed the film for release in France (through distributor KMBO), Italy (Lucky Red), Germany (Leonine Studios), Turkey, UAE (Sky Entertainment), and Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia (Aike Limited).
Watch the North American trailer here.