French animation production and distribution company Dandelooo has signed a distribution agreement with Tobo Media (Canada) for the heart-warming, 2D hour-long animated winter special The Great White North.
The deal gives Dandelooo exclusive worldwide distribution rights, excluding French-speaking territories to The Great White North, the sequel to the mini-series and special Dounia.
The 2D special directed by André Kadi, produced by Tobo Media & Du Coup Productions (Canada), created by Marya Zarif and targeted at six- to nine-year-olds, follows the journey of seven-year-old Dounia and her grandparents who forced to leave Syria, finally find a new home and new friends in picturesque Canada. They slowly acquaint themselves with the essence of Canada, a country that has welcomed them with its ever-changing seasons, its diverse cuisine, and its many languages.
Three distinct cultures get to know each other: Dounia’s Syrian culture, Rosalie’s Quebecer culture, and Miguizou’s indigenous culture. Dounia must also live with the trauma of war and the absence of her father. When he is finally released from a prison in Aleppo, he begins his search to reunite with his daughter. Thanks to Kukum, Miguizou’s wise grandmother, Dounia learns to call her father with all her heart, which ultimately leads him to finding his daughter.
In a commitment to authenticity and respect, actors from each culture depicted on screen were chosen and indigenous advisors were involved in the development and validation of the special’s scripts and visuals including dwellings, legends and clothing, for example. In addition, to effectively portray the challenges of integration into a new culture, the production enlisted the services of immigrant screenwriters Marya Zarif, Halima Elkhatabi and Luis Molinié.
Commenting on the agreement, Dandelooo producer & head of international Emmanuèle Petry, said, “The Great White North is a beautiful resilience story about integrating into a new home. Today the terrifying news about wars and populations fleeing their countries, creates anxiety in most children, so we are proud to show an optimistic take on how some people can overcome these terrible challenges in this wonderful second special. Dounia is a magnificent and soothing symbol of hope and triumph for kids around the world.”