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Still Films Begin Pre-Production On ‘The Last Hijack’
26 Jun 2012 : By Steve Cummins
A working animation still from 'The Last Hijack'
Dublin-based Still Films have begun pre-production on the animation segments of their co-produced documentary feature, ‘The Last Hijack’

The €1.6m live action/animation hybrid about piracy in Somalia will be co-directed by Tommy Pallotta (American Prince), who is best known as the producer on US director Richard Linklater’s hybrid animation features ‘Waking Life’ and ‘A Scanner Darkly’. Pallotta will direct alongside Dutch director and producer Femke Wolting (Off The Grid)

Still Films are co-producing the feature with Holland’s Submarine Films, Belgium’s Savage Films and Razor Films from Germany. Nicky Gogan will produce for Still Films.

The 80-minute documentary will feature around 40 minutes of animation with all animated segments set to be produced by Still and carried out by Dublin-based creative studio and post-production house, Piranha Bar.

Although Pallotta is currently shooting the film’s live-action footage in Somalia, production on the animation will not begin until October. It will then continue until next May.

‘The Last Hijack’ will follow the lives of Mohamed and Muse, two Somali cousins: an experienced pirate and a desperate newcomer. Both men claim they just want to conduct one more hijack. Through their eyes, a dramatic tale about survival in the failed state Somalia, unfolds.

Piranha Bar’s creative director Gavin Kelly will head up the animation team at Piranha Bar, with the team currently finalising a new pipeline for working in 3.5D. Work on illustrations for the feature will get underway in October before the major animation work begins in January. Piranha Bar’s Sam Boyd, Simon Burke and Shane Griffin will be the lead animators on the project.

Gogan told IFTN the documentary will also have “a major transmedia aspect to the project” with viewers expected to be able to explore the story of Somali piracy from different perspectives online.

The project has received funding from the Irish Film Board who awarded it €300,000 of its €1.6m budget last April. It has also received support from the Dutch Film Fund, Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) and the CoBo Fund.

The film is produced by Femke Wolting and Bruno Felix (Submarine Netherlands) and co-produced by Bart Van Langendonck (Savage Film Belgium) , Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul, (Razor Film Germany) Nicky Gogan and Caroline Campbell (Still Films Ireland) and co-executive produced by Jacqueline Kerrin and Dominic Wright (Ripple World Pictures Ireland).

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