Beluga Blues selected by Sodec
Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, May 15, 2020 – Quebec’s Corporation for the Development of Cultural Enterprises (SODEC) announced its support yesterday for Beluga Blues, the fifth animated feature film from 10th Ave Productions. The screenplay is by Andrée Lambert; directing duties are handled by Christine Dallaire-Dupont and Nicola Lemay; art direction is supervised by Philippe Arseneau Bussières; and the film’s producer is Nancy Florence Savard. Andrée’s story can be summarized as follows: With his clan facing extinction, Katak, a young Beluga, must avoid a deadly orca as he embarks on a quest to find the whale who was his ailing grandmother’s one true love.
Quebec City author Andrée Lambert has been writing for young audiences for thirty years. Her career in animation began in 2005, working with 10th Ave Productions, when she wrote her first animated project, The Kiss Under the Mistletoe. Beluga Blues is her first feature. The inspiration for the project came to Andrée as she was sailing on the majestic Saint Lawrence River aboard her boat, named Katak. “I live beside the river all year round, and I enjoy sailing its waters in the summertime. The Saint Lawrence is a constant presence in my life, colouring every season. With Beluga Blues, I hope to show the world what a magnificent environment the Saint Lawrence is, with its extraordinary natural vistas.”
Art director and illustrator Philippe Arseneau Bussières also lives on the shores of the Saint Lawrence, spending his winters in Saint-Antoine-de-Tilly and his summers in the Magdalen Islands – so the subject is tailor-made for him. “Philippe is particularly proud to be creating the images for this animal story, which recalls his work as a book illustrator. Fil, as he’s known to his friends, was one of my first collaborators in animation. Our work together dates back twenty years. He contributed to my very first computer-assisted 3D film, The Legend of the Christmas Tree,” remarks producer-director Nancy Florence Savard, founder of 10th Ave Productions. “What I particularly enjoy about my job is watching talented people spread their wings, and seeing them attain mastery of their craft as we work together. I’m also proud that I’ve been able to create productions in a regional setting, giving artists the chance to do what they love in the place where they grew up. I’m grateful to SODEC for being at our side since the very start, helping Quebec-made 3D animation to establish itself domestically and on international markets. I extend my thanks once again to the entire SODEC team for their support.”
Christine Dallaire-Dupont has been eagerly awaiting this funding decision. Christine, a Neuville native, will be directing the film. She got her start in animation on the 156-episode TV series W, a 10th Ave production about a loveable little castaway. Now, after fifteen years in the animation field, it’s time for Christine to make the jump into directing, in the company of her longtime collaborator, Nicola Lemay. Nicola, who’s well-known for his short films, is presently working side by side with Christine to put the final touches on their first feature film, Felix and the Treasure of Morgäa, with Nicola as director and Christine as assistant director. That film will be released next spring.
As with Felix and the Treasure of Morgäa, distribution for Beluga Blues will be undertaken in Canada by Maison 4:3, and internationally by 10 th Ave Studios, in collaboration with Attraction Distribution.
Founded in 1998 by producer-director Nancy Florence Savard, and headquartered in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, 10th Ave Productions is a leader in Canadian 3D animated feature film production. The company was behind the creation of the first 100% Canadian 3D animated film, The Legend of Sarila, which came out in 2013. The company also produced the hit animated feature The Rooster of Saint-Victor, which is distributed in 98 countries by Universal Studios. Its most recent 3D production, Mission Kathmandu: The Adventures of Nelly & Simon, was
selected for more than 25 festivals, and rights have been sold in 71 countries worldwide. 10th Ave Productions is now working on its fourth animated feature, Felix and the Treasure of Morgäa, which will be released in the spring of 2021.