GKIDS, celebrating its 15th anniversary as a producer and distributor of award-winning and artist-driven animation from around the world, announced today it has acquired the North American distribution rights for the French feature Mars Express.
The debut film from Jérémie Perin was an official selection at this year’s Cannes and Annecy film festivals, and has its US Premiere at the upcoming Animation is Film Festival in Los Angeles. Combining 2D and 3D animation, the film is an adrenaline-fueled stylish, smart and futuristic film noir.
Director Jérémie Perin previously served as producer and director on various series, such as CO2, Nini Patalo, and Socks, and most recently wrote and directed the lauded “Lastman” series, based on the French comic of the same name.
GKIDS will release Mars Express theatrically in its original French language and a new English dub in 2024, following a domestic release in France this November.
The acquisition marks a new collaboration between GKIDS and Jérémie Perin, following GKIDS’ local distribution of The Rabbi’s Cat, which Perin collaborated on the development of. The deal was negotiated between Rodney Uhler of GKIDS and Olivier Barbier of MK2 Films.
“Mars Express is a film we have been excited about for years, since we saw the very first footage,” said GKIDS president David Jesteadt. “This is a timely and provocative story set in one of the greatest animated sci-fi worlds I’ve seen, and we are thrilled to help bring it to North American audiences.”
“MK2 Films is thrilled to initiate this collaboration with GKIDS, one of the best independent distributors for animation in North America. Mars Express couldn’t dream of finding a better home and support from a team fully dedicated to art,” said MK2 Films Head of Acquisition Olivier Barbier.
The film is set in 2200, where private detective Aline Ruby and her android partner Carlos Rivera are hired by a wealthy businessman to track down a notorious hacker.
On Mars, they descend deep into the underbelly of the planet’s capital city where they uncover a darker story of brain farms, corruption, and a missing girl who holds a secret about the robots that threatens to change the face of the universe.
GKIDS is the producer and distributor of artist-driven and award-winning animation from around the world. The company has scored an astounding 12 Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations with The Secret of Kells in 2010, A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita in 2012, Ernest & Celestine in 2014, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea in 2015, Boy and the World and When Marnie Was There in 2016, My Life as a Zucchini in 2017, The Breadwinner in 2018, Mirai in 2019, and Wolfwalkers in 2021.
GKIDS handles North American distribution for the famed Studio Ghibli library of films, one of the world’s most coveted animation collections with titles Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and others; as well as critically-acclaimed television series NEON Genesis Evangelion.
Also, GKIDS is the founder and host of Animation Is Film, the annual LA-based film festival which embraces the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form, and is a vocal advocate for filmmakers who push the boundaries of the medium to its fullest range of artistic expressions.
Mirko Parlevliet has been reporting on the entertainment industry since 1998 and founded Vital Thrills in 2018 to cover the latest streaming, movie, TV, and video game news. Mirko previously created the websites ComingSoon, Spider-Man Hype!, SuperHeroHype and ShockTillYouDrop.