Winter Journey: A hybrid feature that combines Schubert, painted animation and Playstation games

Here's a film based on unusual IP: not a comic nor a game, but a 19th-century song cycle by Franz Schubert.

Drawing inspiration from Schubert's classic Winterreise, the hybrid feature A Winter's Journey follows a lovelorn poet in Bavaria in 1812 as he undertakes a dangerous journey across mountains, ice, and snow.

Sony Pictures Classics has taken rights to the film for North America and other key territories, as well as worldwide airlines. The distributor has occasionally released animated features in the past, including The Red Turtle and Ruben Brandt, Collector.

A Winter's Journey will combine live action with cgi and painted animation. Poland's Breakthru Films, which worked on the Oscar-nominated painted feature Loving Vincent, is involved. The director is Alex Helfrecht, who co-directed the live-action sci-fi drama The White King.

This will be the first feature made using Dreams, an intuitive game-meets-creative suite developed by BAFTA-winning, Playstation-owned Media Molecule and released on the Playstation. The software lets users design 3d assets and environments and create games and animation, then share them with others. Watch the trailer for a series produced entirely in Dreams below:

Principle photography on the live-action shoot will start in Poland in June, with a cast including John Malkovich, Jason Isaacs, Marcin Czarnik, Martina Gedeck, and Olafur Darri Olafsson.

Jörg Tittel and Philip Munger at London-based Oiffy are producing, alongside Sean Bobbitt and Hugh Welchman at Breakthru Films, Reinhard Brundig at Pandora Film in Germany, Benoit Roland's Wrong Men North in Belgium, Raphaël Berdugo and Alexis Perrin in France, and Richard Mansell. Sebastien Barrillier and Yann Duboux are executive producers.

Sony's acquisition was negotiated with France's mk2 Films, which is handling international sales on the movie. In addition to distribution rights for North America and airlines, Sony also picked up rights for Latin America, Middle East, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, India, South Africa, Southeast Asia, Japan, and Thailand.

Image at top: concept artwork for “A Winter's Journey”