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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Germany / Netherlands / Sweden

Alexandra Schatz, Submarine and Slugger Film start production on animated feature Best Birthday Ever

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- Director Michael Ekblad’s German-Dutch-Swedish co-production is set for a 2021 theatrical release

Alexandra Schatz, Submarine and Slugger Film start production on animated feature Best Birthday Ever
Best Birthday Ever by Michael Ekblad

Award-winning Amsterdam-based studio Submarine, Alexandra Schatz Filmproduktion in Germany and Sweden’s Slugger Film have started production on a feature-length animated film entitled Best Birthday Ever, based on the best-selling picture books by German children’s author Rotraut Susanne Berner, which have been published under the title Karlchen (Little Charlie).

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Alexandra Schatz said, “The world of Karlchen by Rotraut Susanne Berner is so lovingly observed, drawn and told, and enjoys such popularity and worldwide distribution, that one can speak without exaggeration of a new children’s classic.”

“It’s a high-quality yet entertaining movie for the youngest kids, a perfect example of what we love to produce here at Submarine,” added Bruno Felix, of the Dutch production house.

Best Birthday Ever tells the story of Little Charlie, a small rabbit who lives with his loving family and pets in a house at the edge of town. Like many five-year-olds, Little Charlie goes to a nursery and plays with his friends in the neighbourhood. He is used to having his parents’ full attention – but all of this changes when his baby sister Clara is born, leading to an unexpected adventure with his best friend Monica.

“It is a great adventure in itself to direct a good and exciting movie for younger children. It’s a story we try to tell from their own unique perspective. It’s a story of disappointment, courage, acceptance, growing as an individual and understanding the needs of others,” said Michael Ekblad, of Slugger Film.

The 75-minute German-Dutch-Swedish co-production, aimed at children aged four to seven, will be released in the summer of 2021. Written by acclaimed scriptwriter Aje Andrea Brücken and directed by Slugger Films’ Michael Ekblad, the film has already secured theatrical distribution with Universum in Germany, Folkets Bio in Sweden and Periscoop in the Benelux.

Worldwide sales rights are with SC Films International, the specialist sales agent headed up by Simon Crowe. Its recent titles include Pachamama [+see also:
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White Fang [+see also:
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, Gnome Alone, and current productions The Dragonkeeper and My Father’s Secrets. “We have three great production teams producing a high-quality animated film based on an award-winning series of books. This is one for all of the younger members of the family – who doesn’t love a birthday?” commented Crowe.

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