Annecy MIFA 2024: Fortiche Production revealed “Penelope of Sparta” project

The title is the company’s first move into original production and first ever feature film.

13 JUN 2024

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Fortiche Production, the animation studio behind the series “Arcane”, has announced that it is in the early stages of development on an all-new project, titled “Penelope of Sparta”, the company’s first move into original production and first ever feature film. The announcement was made by Jérôme Combe, Co-Founder and president of Fortiche Production, during its first Studio Focus session at Annecy International Animation Festival.

Targeting a 13+ audience, “Penelope of Sparta” is a sci-fi coming-of-age story that charts the untold origin story of the heroine from Homer’s “The Odyssey”. In a world inspired by ancient Greece, seventeen year-old Penelope attends an elite high school with the other famous heirs of the Athenian Empire; Achilles, Helen, Circe, Agamemnon and, of course, Odysseus. These teen royals are competitive at everything they do, including how they have fun, before they return to rule their kingdoms. But Penelope isn’t like the rest of them; she’s a dutiful daughter on a secret mission given to her by her father, the King of Sparta – a mission to free her people from Athens’ imperialist grasp. For Penelope, high school isn’t a party, it’s war. What starts as a coming-of-age high school dramedy, shifts to an epic adventure as these teens from opposite worlds must learn to trust each other in order to save their friends from an insidious threat.

Jérôme Combe commented: “We are equal parts excited and nervous to be sharing a very first look at ‘Penelope of Sparta’ during a festival that is right at the heart of the global animation community. It has long been our ambition to work on a feature film that breaks down the wall between animation and live action, and we strongly believe that ‘Penelope of Sparta’ has the ingredients to do just that. We really hope the audience at Annecy and potential partners feel as enthusiastic about it as we are.”

As part of its early development priorities, Fortiche has partnered with Parrot Analytics to ensure a strong basis for the development of “Penelope of Sparta”. Insights gathered have shown substantial growth in global demand for both Greek mythology and science fiction genres, with increases of 113% and 31% respectively, in particular among the 15-24 year-old audience segment.

Combe added: “Our early testing shows there is a good appetite among our core young adult audience for content that blends sci-fi and Greek mythology elements, as well as significant growth in global demand for these genres. 'The Odyssey' can be considered one of the oldest intellectual properties in entertainment history, but the story of young Penelope has never been told and these insights offer very encouraging ground to build our project upon.”

Set to be produced and directed by Fortiche, and with “Arcane” scriptwriter Amanda Overton on board, “Penelope of Sparta” will utilize the studio's unique graphic signature -mixing 2D with a painted visual made in 3D- that has proven appeal among animation fans worldwide and garnered multiple critical acclaim. The film marks the first step in Fortiche’s strategic shift from creative service studio to original content producer, focused on adult and young adult audiences.