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‘Katak the Brave Beluga’ Named Co-Winner of FIFEM’s The Audience Prize

The Canadian 3D animated feature earned $1M at the Canadian box office in its first 10 days; film follows the story of a young Beluga whale as he sets out to find his long-lost grandfather.

Distributor Maison 4:3 and producer 10th Ave Productions have announced that their 3D animated film set among the plants and animals of Quebec’s maritime environment, Katak the Brave Beluga, co-won The Audience Prize at the Montreal International Children’s Film Festival (FIFEM).   Additionally, the Canadian feature passed the $1 million mark at the Canadian box office after only 10 days of its theatrical release on February 24, 2023. 

The film tells the story of a young Beluga whale who is still grey, though at his age he should have turned white. Because of his late development, he must live among the females, who make things worse by overprotecting him. When his ailing grandmother confides that she wishes she could see her old true love – whom Katak has never met – one last time, Katak decides to make her wish come true and sets out on a secret journey along the shore of the St. Lawrence toward the Arctic, intent on finding his legendary grandfather. Over the course of this dangerous journey, Katak teams up with Cyrano, a neurotic sturgeon. Tracked by the river’s most fearsome predator, the notorious killer whale Jack-Knife, Katak forms an unlikely friendship with Jack-Knife’s daughter, Jack-Lynn, a vegetarian. Katak the Brave Beluga is a story of filial love, trust, independence, and the right to be different, with environmental overtones.

Written by Andrée Lambert; illustrated by Philippe Arseneau Bussières; directed by Christine Dallaire-Dupont and Nicola Lemay; and produced by Nancy Florence Savard, the English- language version of the film stars Robert Naylor; Terrence Scammel; Richard M. Dumont; Arthur Holden; Skyler Clark; Mark Camacho; Angela Galuppo; Eleanor Noble; Wyatt Bowen; Ilana Zackon; Pauline Little; Jennifer Seguin; and Ginette Reno.

The French-language version features the voices of Alexandre Bacon; Yves Jacques, Emilie Josset; Ginette Reno; Ludivine Reding; Mario Saint-Amand; Jeff Boudreault; Jérémie Desbiens; Maxime Le Flaguais; Guylaine Tremblay; Marie-Thérèse Fortin; Martin Drainville; Benoit Brière; Justine Major; Carolanne Foucher; Jacques Leblanc; Nancy Bernier; Renaud Lacelle-Bourdon; and Johanne Léveillé.

“It’s fantastic to see the public coming out to welcome new characters, to discover original stories, and to step into our world,” said Florence Savard, 10th Ave. “Thank you to families, to kids and to animation fans for sharing a moment at the movie theater with Katak the Brave Beluga. Congratulations to our two hundred collaborators listed in the production credits, as well as the promotional teams, including Maison 4:3. Thank you to our investors. We’re thrilled by your commitment to this fifth animated feature produced by 10th Ave!”  

Dallaire-Dupont said, “It warms my heart to see this outpouring of love for Katak, for the river and for Quebec on the screen. A proof of love like the audience prize at FIFEM has to be one of the loveliest rewards that one can receive as an artist-- the feeling that comes from having truly touched people’s hearts! Thank you to all those who accompanied us on Katak’s journey, and to all those who will do so in the future. Thank-you to the devoted teams and to our wonderful Quebec audiences. We couldn’t be happier!”

“It’s extraordinary!” said Lambert.  “I never would have dared to dream of an audience response that was this enthusiastic.  This is an immense wave of love transported by the river to every part of Quebec!”

Source: 10th Ave Productions

Whitney Whitener's picture

Whitney is a freelance writer focusing on VFX-driven fantasy film & TV as well as preschool animation.