LONG WAY NORTH / Tout en haut du monde
West Coast Premiere • Animation/Adventure • France, 2015
DCP • 2.35 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 81 min • In English
Directed by: Rémi Chayé
Written by: Claire Paoletti, Patricia Valeix, Fabrice de Costil
Film Editing: Benjamin Massoubre
Original Score: Jonathan Morali
Produced by: Ron Dyens (Sacrebleu Productions), Henri Magalon (Maybe Movies)
English Cast: Chloé Dunn, Vivienne Vermes, Peter Hudson, Antony Hickling, Tom Perkins, Geoffrey Greenhill, Claire Harrison-Bullett, Bibi Jacob.
International Sales: Urban Distribution International • urbandistrib.com
U.S. Distributor: Shout! Factory • shoutfactory.com
Release Date: Fall 2016
This charming animated English-voiced adventure is set in the glory days of 19th Century exploration. As a member of the Russian aristocracy, 15 year-old Sasha is expected to make her debut in polite society, to marry strategically, and to live out her life as an obedient wife. But Sasha has other plans. She was born with the wanderlust of her grandfather Oloukine, an explorer of renown who has yet to return from his expedition to the far reaches of the North Pole aboard his unsinkable ship, the Davia. Meanwhile, the Tsar’s treacherous nephew has used Oloukine’s absence to tarnish her family’s honor and Sasha is convinced that the Davia hasn’t been found because everyone is looking in the wrong place. Without a ruble of her own, Sasha sets off to territories unknown, hoping to prove her theory and to restore the family reputation, even if it leaves her marriage prospects in ruins.
Director Rémi Chayé decided to animate his first feature in 2D, a bold choice for a spectacular adventure story. This graphically simplified technique had the advantages of allowing him to focus more on color, and of helping to evoke the nostalgic worlds of two major influences: Jack London and Jules Verne. In development since 2005, the film was a labor of love for Chayé, who began as an illustrator for comics and advertising before making his way through the ranks of animation starting as a storyboarder for films like L’île de Black Mór (2004), Secret of the Kells(2009), and The Painting (2011). The idea for the film came to Chayé through TV writer Claire Paoletti, who, using Shackleton’s polar expedition as a major reference, developed the full treatment from a one-page outline. Two writers contributed to the screenplay, Patricia Valeix completed the second draft and Fabrice de Costil added the dialogue and final polish.
“This is what movies used to do, and this is why Long Way Northdeserves a wide audience.”
– Vassilis Kroustallis, Zippy Frames
“…told in an enchanting manner with equal focus on the animation as well as strong character development.”
–Jason Bechervaise, Screen Daily