Africa-themed short film program for young audiences includes the award-winning ‘Dimitri à Ubuyu,’ ‘Le Vélo de l'éléphant,’ ‘Tulkou’ and ‘Flocon de neige.’
This week, French production studio Vivement Lundi! released “Bon voyage, Dimitri,” a 44-minute Africa-themed program for young audiences comprised of four stop-motion animated films. The program includes the 26-minute Dimitri à Ubuyu, starring the eponymous bird, along with the nine-minute Le Vélo de l'éléphant (The Elephant and the Bicycle), the 11-minute Tulkou and the six minute Flocon de neige (Snowflake).
Dimitri à Ubuyu was written by Agnès Lecreux and Matthieu Chevallier, directed by Agnès Lecreux and Fabien Drouet and co‐directed by Ben Tesseur and Steven de Beul. A stop-motion animated film meant for children aged 3-6, Dimitri à Ubuyu was produced by Vivement Lundi! (France) with co-production partners Beast Animation (Belgium) and Nadasdy Film (Switzerland) for a budget of 700,000€. Completed in March of this year, the film required 10 months to produce and involved 120 people between Rennes, Mechelen and Geneva.
Since its creation 16 years ago, Vivement Lundi! has focused on stop-motion animation. From L’Homme aux Bras Ballants, winner of the special jury award at Annecy in 1998, to Dimitri à Ubuyu, awarded by the Ottawa International Animation Festival this year, the productions of the Breton company aim to maintain a “French touch” in stop motion animation and provide to challenge British and North American productions.
In 2008, to mark the company’s tenth anniversary, Vivement Lundi! teamed up with Folimage to release “Pleine Lune,” a theatrical film program of short puppet animation that included an adaptation of Pierre Corneille’s Le Cid directed by Emmannuelle Gorgiard. This year, two stop motion programs by Vivement Lundi! have found their way to French theaters. On November 19, “Bon voyage Dimitri” landed in 35 cinemas, with an additional 150 theaters to come.
On November 26 Vivement Lundi! releases Le Petit Dragon (The Little Dragon), one of three films from the Panique chez les jouets program to be screened in 60 theaters by French distributor Gebeka. Written and directed by Bruno Collet in 2009, this tribute to Bruce Lee has already screened at over 200 international festivals, winning 48 awards and playing ahead of the band Placebo for its European tour.
Vivement Lundi! has two new 26-minute films in development: a new adventure for Dimitri and Operation Christmas, an off-beat Christmas tale directed by Bruno Collet that was first introduced at Cartoon Forum 2014.