Marc James Roels and Emma de Swaef’s Annie Award-nominated stop-motion animated feature to be released theatrically in Los Angeles on March 1.
NEW YORK -- Independent animation distributor and producer GKIDS has acquired North American distribution rights for the animated feature This Magnificent Cake! GKIDS will release the film theatrically in Los Angeles on March 1, 2019.
Directed by the award-winning duo Marc James Roels and Emma de Swaef and produced by Belgium’s Beast Animation, This Magnificent Cake! is a mid-length stop-motion animated film set in the late 19th century in the bitter milieu of Belgium-occupied Congo. Keen to compete with other European imperial powers on the continent at the time, then-King Leopold II of Belgium proclaimed, “I do not want to miss a good chance of getting us a slice of this magnificent African cake.”
The subsequent occupation of the Congo would come to attract a contingent of servants, merchants and miscellaneous bourgeois driven by everything from insatiable greed to existential fear. From the intimate stories of these characters -- many of whom pass through a luxury hotel in the middle of the jungle -- emerges a greater narrative concerning the imperialist mentality. In a film by turns surreal, darkly comic and brutal, directors Roels and de Swaef ultimately turn their critical gaze on the colonists themselves in a work of stunning, mysterious beauty.
An official selection at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, Toronto International Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, and Animation Is Film Festival, the film received an Annie Award nomination for Best Independent Animated Feature, the Andre-Martin Award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, and the top feature animation prize at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. The all-rights deal was negotiated by GKIDS president David Jesteadt and Marcin Łuczaj of New Europe Film Sales.
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Marc James Roels and Emma De Swaef Return with ‘This Magnificent Cake’ --
“This Magnificent Cake! is like nothing I have ever seen before,” said Jesteadt. “It is a triumph of filmmaking and craftsmanship, to tell a story of such power and nuance through detailed stop-motion animation. As a critical examination of a dark legacy whose effects are still being felt today, this is a timely and provocative film that has already sparked conversations at film festivals around the globe.”
"We are very happy that Marc and Emma’s film has found a home at GKIDS, which is the best place for quality animation in the U.S.," said Jan Naszewski, CEO of New Europe Film Sales.