English and French-language versions of ‘Zarafa’ will play at New York’s IFC Center on July 3rd, to be followed by expansion into theaters across North America.
Independent animation distributor GKIDS announced that it will be releasing English and French-language versions of animated feature Zarafa on July 3rd at the IFC Center in New York, to be followed by expansion into theaters across North America.
Inspired by the true story of the first giraffe to visit France, the 78-minute long Zarafa is a sumptuously animated and stirring adventure, and a throwback to a bygone era of hand-drawn animation and epic storytelling set among sweeping CinemaScope vistas of parched desert, wind-swept mountains and open skies.
Here’s the synopsis:
Under the cover of darkness a small boy, Maki, loosens the shackles that bind him and escapes into the desert night. Pursued by slavers across the moon-lit savannah, Maki meets Zarafa, a baby giraffe -- and an orphan, just like him -- as well as the nomad Hassan, Prince of the Desert. Hassan takes them to Alexandria for an audience with the Pasha of Egypt, who orders him to deliver the exotic animal as a gift to King Charles of France. And so Maki, Zarafa and Hassan take off in a hot-air balloon to cross the Mediterranean, setting off an adventure across Northern Africa, the bustling port of Marseilles, and over the snow-capped peaks of the Alps, arriving at last in Paris. But all the while, Maki is determined to find a way to return Zarafa to his rightful home.
With a screenplay written by Remi Bezancon (A Happy Event), Alexander Abela, Jean-Francois Halin and Vanessa Portal, Zarafa is directed by Bezancon and The Triplets of Belleville supervising animator Jean-Christophe Lie. The 2D animated feature was produced by Prima Linea Productions, Pathe Production, France 3 Cinema, Chaocorp and Scope Pictures.