Sonny Liew's novel an animated film?

Producers have won a chance to pitch adaptation of The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye at French animation festival

An animated film adaptation of Sonny Liew's graphic novel The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye (left) is a step closer to the screen, after its producers last week won a chance to pitch it at a major French animation festival.

The adaptation was one of six South-east Asian projects pitched at the Animation Du Monde workshop in Manila last week. Last Friday, it won the opportunity to move on to the Annecy International Animation Film Market in June.

Film-maker Jerrold Chong, 27, who has been working on the adaptation for a year, said this would give the team the chance to pitch to hundreds of film distributors, production companies and other potential investors.

The project's producer Fran Borgia, 38, said: "It's indeed great to have received such an award. It does make things a little easier for us now as the project has gotten the right exposure.

"We are still in the midst of securing the right writers and director to join us on this adventure. We are aiming to go into production only in 2021 as we need at least two years to develop the right project and get the proper financing and support."

The Annecy festival began in 1960 and is held annually in Annecy, a town in the south-east of France. Animation Du Monde is a series of pitch sessions it started in 2015 to open doors for emerging animators from around the world.

Liew's 2015 graphic novel retells Singapore's political history through the eyes of a fictional comic artist.

It has won numerous accolades, including three Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.


Liew said he is sharing ideas with the producers, but is otherwise letting others have the reins for the project.

"I tend to see adaptations as things in themselves, a reinterpretation," he said. "(I am) happy to let them and other film-makers take the lead since they know the medium better."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2019, with the headline 'Sonny Liew's novel an animated film?'. Print Edition | Subscribe