The duo recently teamed on starry animated film Blazing Samurai, which features the voices of Ricky Gervais, Samuel L. Jackson, Michelle Yeoh and Mel Brooks, and which will be released stateside by Paramount this summer. Align was most recently financier and producer on Sundance comedy Good Luck To You, Leo Grande, which was picked up this week by Searchlight.
According to GFM, budget on 10 Lives comes in at $26M with delivery scheduled for Q1, 2024.
Helmed by Chris Jenkins (Duck Duck Goose), working with House of Cool (Spies in Disguise) and L’Atelier Animation (Ballerina), the film charts the story of a pampered and selfish cat who takes for granted the lives he has been dealt, only to be miraculously granted a whole new set of lives, all in the hope that he will learn to be a better cat.
Distribution pre-sales have previously closed with Wildbunch for Germany, Selmer Media for Scandinavia, The Searchers for The Benelux, Vertice Cine for Spain, Ster-Kinekor for South Africa, ECS in Middle East, Monolith in Poland, Top Film for CIS, Vertical in Eastern Europe, Myndform for Iceland, Nos Lusomundo in Portugal, Blue Lantern in Vietnam, Upstream Media in Philippines and Red Cape for Israel.
GFM Animation and 10 Lives Productions acquired rights to the feature from leading Chinese animation and VFX studio Original Force, who remain a key financial partner in the film and control Chinese distribution rights.
The film’s creative team are working to a shooting script completed in collaboration with Jenkins and Penney Cox (Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs), animation consultant to GFM Animation.
Guy Collins and Sean Feeney are producing, alongside Yann Zenou of Quad, Valérie d’Auteuil and André Rouleau of Caramel Films, Louis-Philippe Vermette of The Happy Producers, Penney Finkelman Cox, and Adrian Politowski and Martin Metz of Align.
GFM Animation’s Head of Production, Sean Feeney, commented: “We are very excited to be working once again with Align, who were a great support on Blazing Samurai. We are also working with two of the best studios in the animation space – House of Cool in Toronto, before L’Atelier Animation in Montreal commence CG animation.”
Align’s SVP of production, Martin Metz, added: “We immediately fell in love with the script and are excited to help Chris Jenkins bring such a fun and heartfelt story to life. We’re incredibly lucky to be working with such an experienced team of creatives and producers who have all brought so much to the table.”
Financial closing was overseen by Hannah Leader as attorney for 10 Lives Productions and GFM Animation, and Nessa McGill and Martin Metz for Align. Further funding was secured via Mipa, Caramel and L’Atelier through the National Bank of Canada and local investment. Media Guarantors are acting as the completion guarantor on the film.
LA, London and Brussels-based Align has also helped produce movies including Blithe Spirit, Die In A Gunfight and the upcoming Kensuke’s Kingdom.