Monster Picks up Jasper Morello

Monster Distributes has acquired international distribution rights to Anthony Lucas’ Annecy Grand Prix-winning animated short, The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello, and plans to showcase the film at MIPCOM Jr. As part of Monster’s catalog, the short joins Adam Elliot’s Harvie Krumpet, which also took top honors at Annecy and went on to win the 2004 Oscar.

Clocking in at 26 minutes, Jasper Morello features a unique style of silhouette animation developed by Lucas and is the first of a proposed trilogy of shorts chronicling the remarkable voyages of Jasper Morello, Aeronaut of the Third Royal Cartographers. Inspired by the works of Edgar Alan Poe and Jules Verne, the gothic horror mystery yarn is set in a world of iron dirigibles and steam powered computers, and tells the story of a disgraced aerial navigator who flees his plague-ridden home on a desperate voyage to redeem himself.

The film is produced by Susie Campbell and Julia Lucas from a script by two-time Augie Award winner Mark Shirrefs. Voices were provided by Joel Edgerton (Star Wars: Episode III–Revenge of the Sith, King Arthur), Helmut Bakaitis (The Matrix Reloaded), Tommy Dysart (The Real Thing) and Jude Beaumont (MDA).

Funded by the AFC, Film Vic and SBS Independent, Jasper Morello took top honors at the Canadian Film Centre’s Worldwide Short Film Festival, receiving The C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures Award for Best Animated Short Film. It was also named Best Animation at Flickerfest 2005, the Sydney Film Festival Dendy and Toronto worldwide shorts.

Other Monster Distributes properties include Brown Bag’s Oscar-nominated Give up yer Aul Sins and Rory Bresnihan’s award-winning stop-motion special, Ape. The company’s MIPCOM Jr. slate will also include Jungle Beat, Kids Ten Commandments and Bugtime Adventures, as well as the new interactive animated series PICME and I’m an Animal. These properties will be available at the Noga Hilton during MIPCOM Jr. and will be located in The Marketplace (H4.35) during MIPCOM. For more information, go to www.monsterdistributes.com.