Cinema Management Group has reported brisk sales on Kensuke’s Kingdom featuring Cillian Murphy on the back of wins at the British Animation Awards for best picture, best screenplay and best original music.

Blue Fox Entertainment has acquired the film for North America; Modern Films for the UK & Ireland; Movies Inspired for Italy Periscoop for Benelux; Arthouse Traffic for Ukraine; New Horizon for Poland; Playarte for Brazil; and Cinetopia for Chile, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia. Encore Inflight acquired worldwide airline rights.

Based on the best-selling novel by Michael Morpurgo (War Horse) and adapted for screen by Frank Cottrell-Boyce (The Railway Man, Hilary and Jackie), Kensuke’s Kingdom spotlights the epic adventure of Michael, a young boy shipwrecked on a remote island who must adapt to life alone.

Over time, Michael feels another presence and learns that his new world is home to both unimaginable danger and beauty. Neil Boyle and Kirk Hendry co-directed.

Besides Murphy the voice cast features Sally Hawkins, Raffey Cassidy, Aaron MacGregor, and Ken Watanabe.

“We couldn’t be happier that our production has enticed such a-list distributors to get behind a theatrical release for Kensuke’s Kingdom,” said Lupus Films producer Camilla Deakin. “We are very excited to be working together towards theatrical releases as of August in Latin America, the end of summer in the UK, and early fall in the United States and Canada.”

Deakin and Lupus co-founder Ruth Fielding are producing alongside Stephan Roelants of Melusine Productions, Working Title co-founder of Sarah Radclyffe, Barnaby Spurrier, Align co-founder and CEO Adrian Politowski, and former SVP Martin Metz, and Jean Labadie and Anne-Laure Labadie of Le Pacte.

The film is presented by BFI, Film Fund Luxembourg and Align and is a Lupus Films production in association with Kensuke’s Kingdom, Jigsaw Films, Melusine Productions, Le Pacte and Bumpybox, with the support of Ffilm Cymru Wales and Welsh Government via Creative Wales. The BFI and Ffilm Cymru Wales were awarded National Lottery funding.

Executive producers are Nadia Khamlichi, Nessa McGill, Sierra Garcia, Bill Godfrey, Nick Miller, Tim Morris, Courtney Pledger, Sam Wright, Stephen Kelliher, Natascha Wharton, Kim Warner, and Bizzy Day.

“Michael’s journey in the film is going from being a little urban child who is not connected to the environment to then transforming and understanding how the environment works and why it needs protecting,” said Boyle.

In Cannes, CMG will also be presenting Panda Bear In Africa from Katuni and A-Films; Buffalo Kids from 4 Cats Pictures (Mummies) with a voice cast featuring Gemma Arterton, Sean Bean, Stephen Graham and Alisha Weir; Kayara from Peru’s Tunche Film and We Love Animation in Spain; and Brazilian-Indian Co-production Noah’s Ark featuring Alice Braga, Rodrigo Santoro and Marcelo Adnet.

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