Felix and the Hidden Treasure will be on US screens this Friday
After England and Spain, the Canadian animated film Felix and the Hidden Treasure, the fourth animated feature from 10th Ave Productions, is appearing on screens in the USA this week. Distributor Viva Pictures is handling this week’s release. “We are excited to release the film in cinemas and drive-ins in America and show the world another great Canadian animation project,” declares Victor Elizalde, CEO of Viva Pictures. The animated feature is based on an original idea by director Nicola Lemay, written by Marc Robitaille and produced by Nancy Florence Savard of 10th Ave Productions.
“At the same time, the film is continuing to make the rounds of the festival circuit. Felix and the Hidden Treasure was just presented at the SHANGHAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (SIFF) in China. It will also be at the Busan International Kids and Youth Film Festival (BIKY) in Korea and in ten other festivals,” says Nancy Florence Savard, Canadian producer at 10th Ave, which is based in Quebec City. “We’re working with committed distributors who care about the film. We’re happy to join with them as we promote a Quebec-made story and Quebec talents around the world. That’s been the aim of our company since the very beginning.”
Since the early 2000s, 10th Ave Productions has been among the pioneering Canadian companies making 100% Quebec-produced animated films. The company’s founder, director and producer, Nancy Florence Savard, originated the first 100% Canadian-made 3D animated feature. In addition to developing the film with the authors, Savard directed The Legend of Sarila, which was a co-production between 10th Ave Productions and Carpe Diem. From 10th Ave’s earliest days, the company has been strongly committed to the emergence of 100% Canadian-made animated features, along with partners like Sodec, Téléfilm Canada, the Harold Greenberg Fund and the City of Quebec.
It was with the support of these partners that 10th Ave, headquartered in the city of Saint-Augustin-De-Desmaures, about 250 kilometers from Montreal, made its follow-up features: Rooster Doodle-Doo (2014) and Mission Kathmandu: the Adventures of Nelly and Simon (2018). In 2019, 10th Ave Productions was named Film Producer of the Year by the Quebec Association of Media Producers (AQPM). In February 2021, during Spring Break, in the midst of the pandemic, 10th Ave released its fourth 3D animated feature, Felix and the Hidden Treasure. Despite limitations on audience size due to stringent public health restrictions, the film has shown good results during the brief period since cinemas re-opened in Quebec.
10th Ave’s fourth feature, Felix and the Hidden Treasure, is based on an original idea by director Nicola Lemay (Les Yeux Noirs, Nul poisson où aller, Noël Noël, Une minute de silence, s.v.p.), whose initial concept had been to tell the story as a comic book. After producer Nancy Florence Savard proposed bringing the story to the screen as an animated film, screenwriter Marc Robitaille (Un été sans point ni coup sûr, Le Club Vinland) was brought in to write the screenplay. On this project, Savard also decided to open her own animation unit: 10th Ave Animation. With the help of five other Quebec-based studios, the production employed over two hundred people and required almost 24 months of work. Despite the challenge of Covid-19, the team was able to finish the film while working remotely.
Felix and the Hidden Treasure tells the story of twelve-year-old Felix, whose father disappeared at sea two years ago. During his mother’s absence, Felix, convinced that his father is alive, sets out to find him, helped by Tom, an elderly retired sailor; Rover, a cat who acts like a dog; and Squawk, Tom’s one-legged parrot and guide. Together, after a difficult journey, the friends arrive at Darkshadow Island, ruled by the megalomaniacal Morgäa, possessor of a priceless treasure.
This adventure film emphasizes the importance of family ties – those formed by blood, but also the family bonds what we create with people we love, people we want to stay close to throughout our lives. The story also offers a touch of philosophy, reflecting on the importance of each decade in life, and the truth that eternal youth is nothing but an illusion.
10th Ave is currently developing six additional animated features, as well as a collection of Holiday Tales and TV series for young audiences. Attraction Distribution, in collaboration with 10th Ave Studio, is handling international sales on Felix and the Hidden Treasure and the company’s following feature with assistance from the Creative Export Canada program. The first images from 10th Ave’s upcoming animated feature, Beluga Blues, will be presented at the Berlin Market in 2022, where 10th Ave hopes to be physically present – at last!