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‘Unicorn Wars’ Producer Abano Producións Teams With Colombia’s Letrario on New Animated Feature ‘Mu-Ki-Ra’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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Colombian producer Letrario and Spain’s Abano Producións have unveiled a new 2D animated feature co-production, “Mu-Ki-Ra,” which will be spotlighted at the 2024 Cannes’ Marché du Film Animation Day.

“Mu-Ki-Ra” was created by Colombian actress and screenwriter Estefanía Piñeres Duque, who co-wrote the screenplay with María Barro Guntín and is directing.

Part of the Annecy Animation Showcase at Cannes Animation Day, the film has some strong production power backing it. Galicia’s Abano Producións recently produced Spanish auteur Alberto Vázquez’s feature “Unicorn Wars,” and Letrario has an impressive catalog of live-action and animated works, including Piñeres’ 2020 short film “Color-ido,” which was an official selection at Pixelatl, AniMaze, and Rotterdam.

Several of the film’s Spanish-language voice cast roles have been filled by actors Maria Fernanda Marín, Isa Mosquera, Carmenza Gómez, and Witsey Mena.

“Mu-Ki-Ra” takes place in a land haunted by monsters made of vegetation. There, Cleo, a thirteen-year-old girl, will face a horrible nightmare when her younger brother Martín is devoured by one of the native beasts. With the help of a magical old woman, Cleo attempts to track down Mukira, the monster who took her brother, and bring the boy home.

Asked about where her idea for the film came from, Piñeres told Variety, “Our film is inspired by Latin American childhood experiences, which are often immersed in complex environments. It wishes to be a celebration of their light and a reflection upon their darkness.”

The director says her goal with the project is “to create a tale that has its own voice, representing its background but also to find a way to comment on it through its music and visual universe rather than just portraying it. Hopefully, it will connect with children who live in similar contexts through hope.”

Aesthetically, Piñeres says the film’s vibrant and energetic look was inspired by “the works of Brecht Evens and techniques of the Emberá and Kuna peoples, and other Latin American craftsmanship.”

“Mu-Ki-Ra” is currently in production and scheduled for delivery in 2025.