Filmax Scoops Spanish Animated Pirate Pic ‘The Treasure of Barracuda’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Barcelona-based production, sales, and distribution company Filmax has secured global sales rights to the upcoming kids and family animated feature “The Treasure of Barracuda,” and is presenting the film to potential buyers at the Marché du Film.

Having pitched at several international animation project events, “The Treasure of Barracuda” is one of the buzziest Spanish titles on the market right now. Just last year, the production received €500,000 ($545,700) in financial backing from the 2023 Eurimages Project Evaluation Sessions.

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Based on the adventure novel of the same name by Llanos Campos, the film tells the story of a young girl named Sparks who disguises herself as a boy and boards a pirate ship loaded with fearsome pirates. Although the swarthy crew has an abundance of muscles and ego, not one of the buccaneers knows how to read. But young Sparks does, making her an invaluable asset when hunting treasure.

“The Treasure of Barracuda” is the third feature from director Adrià Garcia, but his first in animation since the visually stunning “Nocturna” in 2007, which played in the main competition at Annecy and won the 2008 Spanish Academy Goya Award for best animated feature. Screenwriter Amèlia Mora (“Snowflake”) and the novel’s author Llanos Campos are collaborating on the script.

Barcelona’s Inicia Films, Valencia’s Hampa Studio and Belgium’s Belvision are co-producing the film, which impressed as a project at 2021’s Cannes’ Marché du Film Animation Day and was a standout at 2022’s Weird Market in Spain.

Producer Valérie Delpierre at Inicia says: “In ‘The Treasure of Barracuda,’ we have combined narrative, aesthetics, and characters to reach a children’s audience with an emotive and thrilling story. In this 2D aesthetic world created by the talented Adria Garcia and the whole team, a brave girl defies the norms as the sole reader in a universe dominated by men. With captivating character design, her adventurous spirit leads her to explore new horizons, overcoming obstacles and uncovering secrets in a story brimming with magic and courage.”

Ivan Diaz, head of international at Filmax, is equally excited about the project: “This year, the company is really focusing on animation, with some really great projects. We’re delighted to have ‘The Treasure of Barracuda’ in our line-up and to be working with Adria Garcia again after handling his previous film, ‘Nocturna.’ This animated project has style, quality and a whole lot of personality. After all, who hasn’t dreamt of hopping on board a pirate ship at some point in their life? As we embark on this adventure, we couldn’t ask for a better leader than our protagonist, a little girl called Spark.”

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