GKIDS Acquires Distribution Rights to Spanish Feature ‘Birdboy: The Forgotten Children’

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Goya Award-winning film directed by Alberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero to hit North American theaters Fall 2017.

by Jennifer Wolfe

NEW YORK — Independent animation distributor GKIDS has acquired the North American distribution rights for the animated feature Birdboy: The Forgotten Children. The film, known internationally by its original Spanish title Psiconautas, los niños olvidados, is directed by Alberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero, and is based on Vázquez’s graphic novel and award-winning short film, Birdboy.

The film, a darkly comic dystopian fantasy featuring adorable anthropomorphic critters, has been a hit on the festival circuit, with official selections including Annecy, BFI London, Fantasia (where it won the Satoshi Kon Award), and San Sebastian, among others. The film took home Best Animated Feature at the 2016 Goya Awards, Spain’s equivalent of the Oscars (where Vázquez separately won Best Animated Short for his film Decorado), and was one of three nominees for Best Animated Feature at the 2016 European Film Awards. Variety called the film “Remarkable… you’d be hard-pressed to find anything as original or poignant,” while Screen Anarchy called it “A magnificent achievement in animation.”

GKIDS will release the film theatrically in Fall 2017, in both its original Spanish and a new English language version.

“From the first moment we screened the film we knew we had to be involved,” said GKIDS president Dave Jesteadt. “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.”

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 3.00.29 PM

Here’s the official synopsis:
There is light and beauty, even in the darkest of worlds. Stranded on an island in a post-apocalyptic world, teenager Dinky and her friends hatch a dangerous plan to escape in the hope of finding a better life. Meanwhile, her old friend Birdboy has shut himself off from the world, pursued by the police and haunted by demon tormentors. But unbeknownst to anyone, he contains a secret inside him that could change the world forever.

Based on his own graphic novel, Alberto Vázquez’s Birdboy: The Forgotten Children is a darkly comic, mind-bending fantasy. Gorgeous graphic imagery brings to life a surreal and discordant world populated by adorable (and adorably disturbed) animated critters, searching for hope and love amid the ruin.

The film was produced by Farruco Castromán, Carlos Juárez and Luis Tosar.

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 3.03.14 PM

(Source: awn.com, GKIDS)

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