Amanda Sthers, the critically acclaimed French author, filmmaker and producer, who’s at the Venice Film Festival with the feature documentary “Bonnie,” will produce “Love Birds,” an animated film with an inclusive message, aimed at family audiences.
Sthers will produce the big-budget feature through her recently launched L.A.-based outfit IDEA(L) and has teamed up with one of France’s leading animation studios, TAT, whose credits include “The Jungle Bunch” franchise.
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Based on Sthers’ idea, the English-language “Love Birds” is written by Debbie Jhoon and J. Michael Feldman, the writing duo behind “Mafia Mamma,” Catherine Hardwicke’s crime comedy with Toni Collette, which Sthers also created and is producing.
“Love Birds” revolves around a female lovebird who travels the country to find her crush. She travels with an annoying but amusing pigeon, and will discover that all forms of love exists in nature, from gay couples to single moms or stepfamilies, and maybe the one she thinks she is supposed to love may not be “the one.”
“‘Love Birds’ is inspired by a tale I would tell my children when they were younger and I expanded on it to give it a more universal scope,” says Sthers. “It’s important to give children the possibility to relate and identify with characters they see on screen and that’s what we want to do with ‘Love Birds’ — show them that in nature, you find same-sex couples, single mothers and single fathers, so that they can understand that there isn’t just one way to love,” says Sthers.
Sthers said the ambition is to create a feel-good romantic comedy for children but also for families.” She added that the main character of “Love Birds” is a Bridget Jones-type single young woman.
The author said her production vehicle IDEA(L) aims at telling original stories and use her experience as a writer and director to develop the artistic package of each project. “Being on both sides, as a creative and a producer gives me an advantage because I’m able to match the right talents, writers and co-producers,” says Sthers, who also co-produced her latest film, “Promises,” which starred Jean Reno, Kelly Reilly and Pierfrancesco Favino. The movie premiered at Roma last year and is being sold by Sky.
One of the most anticipated titles on IDEA(L)’s first slate, “Mafia Mamma” reteams Sthers with Collette with whom she worked on her movie “Madame.” Collette is co-producing the action comedy (with Christopher Simon) on top of starring as an American woman who unexpectedly inherits her grandfather position as one of the head of the Italian Mafia. Bleeker Street will release the movie domestically next Spring. Universal has bought multiple territories, including France.
Sthers said “Mafia Mamma” and “Love Birds” are examples of films that tackle important topics with humor and heart, “reminiscent of the movies we loved from the 1990s.”
IDEA(L) will also be producing documentaries, for instance “Bonnie,” directed by Simon Wallon. The buzzed-about docu sheds light on Bonnie Timmerman, the revered casting director who changed the film and TV landscape by casting diverse actors in the 80’s and 90’s. It features previously unseen audition tapes of stars such as Ben Affleck, Benicio del Toro, Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman, Chris Rock and Bruce Willis. Kinology is handling international sales.
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