The highly innovative Chinese animated film “Deep Sea,” which has been making waves on the international festival circuit throughout the year, is set to make a splash in North American theaters later this month.
Viva Films secured the theatrical rights from Netherlands-China sales entity Fortissimo Films for the release scheduled on Nov. 24. The North American debut will feature both Chinese and English-dubbed versions, accompanied by a PG13 certificate.
At the heart of this fantasy adventure is Shenxiu, a girl haunted by profound sadness after being abandoned by her mother. During a family cruise, she accidentally plunges into the sea and discovers the enchanting Deep Sea restaurant, where she encounters Nanhe, an imaginative underwater chef. Together, they embark on a journey blurring the lines between dreams and reality.
Directed by Tian Xiaopeng, known for “Monkey King: Hero is Back,” and produced by YI Qiao of October Pictures and Coloroom, “Deep Sea” employs a groundbreaking 3D animation technique. The team, led by Tian, pioneered a CG method based on particles, translating abstract Chinese ink paintings into mesmerizing 3D visuals.
Originally released in China in January, coinciding with the Chinese New Year holiday season, the film achieved remarkable success with a gross of $133 million. Its global journey included screenings at prestigious events such as the Berlin Film Festival, as well as appearances at the Neuchatel, Melbourne, and London festivals.
Having premiered at the Tribeca festival in North America, “Deep Sea” also captivated audiences at the Philadelphia and Fantasia (Montreal) events. Fortissimo Films, the Netherlands-China sales outfit, had previously licensed the film for distribution in several countries, including France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, UAE, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia.