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Town Called Panic, A

Original title: Panique au Village
German title: Town Called Panic, A *
Luxembourg, Belgium, France, 2009

Director: Aubier, Stéphane & Patar, Vincent
Production company: La Parti Prod. & Coproduction Office
Age recommendation: 5 years and up

“Oh non! Mon Dieu!” The feature version of A Town Called Panic (Panique au village), the demented Belgian television animation sensation of the same name, has arrived! The first stop-motion animated feature selected to Cannes, A Town Called Panic brings to life a topsy-turvy world populated by cheap plastic figurines of cowboys, Indians, farmers, police officers, horses, cows and pigs.

When an attempt to surprise their pal Horse with a homemade brick barbecue for his birthday goes terribly awry, Cowboy and Indian must find a way to deal with the fifty million bricks they mistakenly ordered. Unfortunately, their effort to hide the bricks results in their house being destroyed. Trying to rebuild it, the oddball trio contends with an avalanche of bizarre obstacles: a voyage to the centre of the Earth; a giant snowball-throwing mechanical penguin; parachuting cows; pointy-headed sea creatures from a parallel underwater world; giant waffles; and madcap music lessons for barnyard animals taught by the comely red-maned horse Madame Longray. Even Père Noël makes an appearance!

A Town Called Panic was originally a television series made up of frenetic short episodes. The creators and directors, Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar, employ a unique visual style that runs at a chaotic pace and is filled with profound silliness.The Panic crew are no strangers to Midnight Madness. One of the film's producers, Vincent Tavier, produced Calvaire(04) and co-wrote and acted in the notorious Midnight Madness hit Man Bites Dog (92). And Benoît Poelvoorde, who played that film's serial-killer anti-hero, voices the shouty neighbouring farmer Steven here.

Playfully charged with Belgian surrealism and a rock 'n' roll sensibility, A Town Called Panic feels as though Jacques Tati led the crew of Monty Python's Flying Circus to hijack the world of Pingu. The resulting mayhem sounds like a grade-school French teacher, jacked on amphetamines, reading a storybook while huffing helium from a balloon.

Colin Geddes, Toronto International Film Festival 2009

Marketing strategies:
Based on a successful TV series.

Cannes 2009, Sitges 2009 (awarded), Toronto 2009, Ciné-Jeune de l'Aisne 2009, Haugesund 2009, Cinekid Amsterdam 2009, Oulu 2009, Montreal 2010, Frankfurt 2010, Buster Copenhagen 2010, Kinodiseea Bucharest 2010, Leeds 2011

Website: www.paniqueauvillage.com

World sales address/es:
Co-Production Office (F)

Sold to:
Frenetic (CH)
Gébéka (F)
Sherlock (ESP)
Zero em Comportamento (PT)