Premiere indie animation distributor GKIDS has acquired North American rights for the Spanish animated feature Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (Psiconautas, los niños olvidados), also known as Psychonauts internationally. The 2D animated dystopian fantasy is directed by Alberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero, and is based on Vázquez’s graphic novel turned award-winning short film, Birdboy.
The feature has been one of the darlings of the festival circuit over the past year. Since debuting at the San Sebastian Film Festival in 2015, Birdboy/Psiconautas has made the official selections for prestigious animation fests including Annecy, Ottawa, HAFF and Anima Mundi, making its North American debut at the Nashville Film Festival. The film opened in limited release in Spain earlier this year, and is due out in France this month.
Birdboy notably took the Best Animated Feature Award at this year’s Goyas — the “Spanish Oscars” where director Vázquez also took the Best Animated Short prize, for Decorado.
“From the first moment we screened the film we knew we had to be involved,” said Dave Jesteadt, President of GKIDS. “With iconic characters and a storyline that explores universal themes of hope, despair, salvation, and loss with humor and grace, Birdboy pushes the boundaries of animated storytelling in exciting new directions.”
GKIDS is planning a Fall 2017 release for both the original Spanish film and a new English-language verision.
Synopsis: Stranded on an island in a post-apocalyptic world, teenager Dinky and her friends hatch a dangerous plan to escape in the hope of finding a better life. Meanwhile, her old friend Birdboy has shut himself off from the world, pursued by the police and haunted by demon tormentors. But unbeknownst to anyone, he contains a secret inside him that could change the world forever.
The film was produced by Zircozine Animation and Basque Films, in co-production with Abrakam Estudio and La Competencia; producers are Farruco Castromán, Carlos Juárez and Luis Tosar.
You can watch a Spanish-language trailer at the official site.