Global Screen boards animation ‘Niko – Beyond The Northern Lights’ – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Global Screen has acquired international sales rights to the animated feature Niko – Beyond The Northern Lights, the third instalment of the popular children’s classic about a flying reindeer, and released a first image of the rebooted character.

The new feature comes more than a decade after the first two films in the franchise Niko & The Way To The Stars (2009) and Niko – Little Brother, Big Trouble (2012) proved hits with audiences worldwide.

The first film garnered more than 750,000 admissions in Germany alone and both titles sold to 120 territories.

The new feature is a major European feature animation co-production reuniting Hannu Tuomainen and Antti Haikala at Finnish company Animaker, with co-producers Emely Christians at Germany’’s Ulysses Films, (The Amazing Maurice, Two By Two: Overboard!), Moe Honan at Ireland’s Moetion Films (Two By Two: Overboard!) and Anders Mastrup at Danish company A. Film Production (Checkered Ninja 2).

The third instalment follows the titular Niko as he tries to become a member of Santa’s top flying reindeer team but is beaten to the post by a talented reindeer girl. He then has to decide between trust and loyalty.

Niko – Beyond the Northern Lights is directed by Kari Juusonen, who was also responsible for the previous two successful Niko films, together with co-director Jørgen Lerdam. Juusonen, Tuomainen and Marteinn Thorisson wrote the screenplay.

“I am so happy that we can now continue the Niko trilogy and bring a new exciting, heart-warming and loving story to the screen,” said Christians. “Having Global Screen on our side is fantastic, we trust each other and have built up a unique cooperation over the last few years. Sending our reindeer all over the world together again gives me great pleasure!” 

Tuomainen added: “It is a great pleasure and a privilege to tell one more story about the beloved reindeer boy Niko and to work with so many of the same talented people with whom the previous successful films were made.”

Alice Buquoy, SVP International Sales & Acquisitions at Global Screen, a brand of Telepool, said the international success of the previous two films bode well for the third feature in the franchise.

“After having sold the first two Niko movies to practically every territory around the globe, we firmly believe that this new heartwarming story will also be a hit with buyers around the world,” she said. “We are very pleased that our Niko, who is now a pre-teen, will be joined by a female company in the third part.”

Telepool will release the film theatrically in Germany.

The film has received backing from the Finnish Film Foundation, the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), MOIN Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, the German Federal Film Board (FFA), Eurimages, Business Finland, Screen Ireland, the Danish Film Institute, Section 481, the Estonian Film Institute, Telepool, Nordisk Film, BAC Films,  MTV-CMore, RTÉ, DR,  and Global Screen.

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