“Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light” continues to ward off the darkness.
LevelK’s Czech stop-motion animation has sold to over 40 territories, including Germany (Eksystent Distribution), France (Eurozoom /Panoranime), Spain (MODIband Projectes Culturals), Italy (Just Wanted), Portugal (Film4you), Israel (New Cinema), Slovenia (Demiurg), MENA (Empire Networks), Switzerland (Out-side the Box), Estonia (Estin Film) Sweden (Njutafilms) and Denmark (Angel Distribution).
“From the first moment we watched it, we saw its uniqueness and quality. It’s a thrill we have so many distributors onboard, believing in its core values and trusting that it can resonate across borders,” said sales executive Alexandra Cruz.
“We hope that all who watch the film will leave the cinemas with [feelings of] warmth and hope.”
Directed by Filip Pošivač, “Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light” world-premiered at Annecy, where it was awarded the Contrechamp Jury Award.
Produced by Pavla Janoušková Kubečková for nutprodukce and Jakub Viktorín for nutprodukcia, it focuses on Tony, a small boy just like the others, except for one thing: He glows. He spends his days alone at home, covered up, but then Shelly moves in. Together, they decide to find out what – or who – keeps on sucking the sunshine out of their house.
“We have been working on this project for many years and personally, I’ve always believed in it. But it’s a big surprise,” admitted Filip Pošivač, commenting on the film’s international success.
“I trusted the script and my vision. Thanks to the producers and the crew, this vision was fulfilled and hopefully even surpassed. Still, finding an audience in so many countries, able to understand the story and reacting to it just like we intended, was really lovely and just a wonderful feeling.”
Pošivač was touched by many ways in which his young viewers responded to the film, he said.
“In Italy, for example, all the screenings were very emotional – the children were so temperamental. They would loudly comment on the scenes and applaud when the most powerful moments unfolded.”
According to the director, the viewers can easily identify with its headstrong characters, dealing with trauma, rejection and pain.
“I think the film resonates so much because it basically deals with stories everyone has experienced in their lives.”
He will return to puppet animation in the future, he promised.
“I am currently developing a new feature film where I will once again deal with family relationships across generations. This time, its look will be based on my illustrations, but I would love to do it again one day. It’s a magical technology, very specific and inspiring.”
“It’s amazing that a small central European film could travel so much internationally. We are honored that we can share this story across the world,” noted producer Jakub Viktorín.
Apart from “Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light,” LevelK will treat MipJunior participants to “Adventures in the Land of Asha,” “Sea Sparkle,” “Dancing Queen,” “Rosa and the Stone Troll” and 3D animation “Mumbo Jumbo.”