Official Press Release
Fort Lee, NJ -- Apr 20, 2005 -- Archaia Studios Press (ASP) is pleased to announce that the film rights to Artesia have been acquired by celophaine, inc., the production company of writer/director Hidetoshi Oneda. A script for an Artesia prequel tentatively titled "The Barrow" has been completed; the film is in development.
Oneda, an American who has been working as an art and commercial director in Japan for more than a decade, recently finished the short film "La Belle Dame Sans Merci," which is making its premiere at the Inspiration Film Festival in Los Angeles.
"I've known Hide [pronounced Hee Day, short for Hidetoshi] for a long time, and we'd always discussed the possibility of working together on film projects," said Mark Smylie, creator of Artesia. "Making a full-fledged adaptation of the first Artesia storyline was always going to pose a logistical and financial challenge, and so Hide and I came up with the idea of a more modestly budgeted 'prequel' as a way of introducing her world and its ethos. 'The Barrow' follows Artesia's brother Stjepan, with whom readers of the comic will be familiar with as an agent for the High King, as he follows a map appearing on a woman's body to the barrow of the Last Worm King."
Smylie continued: "One of my primary concerns about a film adaptation of Artesia had always been being able to remain involved in the scripts and the production of the film, which all too often comics creators lose out on, and my experience of collaborating with Hide on the script for 'La Belle Dame' and then on the script for the prequel has convinced me that I can put those concerns to rest. I'm confident that he will be able to make a fantastic film of 'The Barrow' and Artesia, and look forward to working with him on both."
Oneda said, "Mark's work has intrigued me from the beginning and turning his vision into a motion picture will be a challenge. Though it is meant to generate interest for 'Artesia', 'The Barrow' is by no means merely a less-expensive dress rehearsal. In many ways it is a very different film. The challenge here is to take the mythological and geopolitical complexity of The Known World and fit a low budget film story into it without losing the richness and layers of the universe he has created. The process of creating the screenplay for 'The Barrow' with Mark and his brother John was extremely rewarding; I am very pleased with the result and confident we can find production partners. Mark has placed enormous confidence in me and success with 'The Barrow' will ensure that our prime goal of doing Artesia right gets accomplished."
Oneda's short film, "La Belle Dame Sans Merci", is based on the romantic poem of John Keats and tells the story of the sole survivor of a shipwreck who encounters an old Knight in a forest, from whom he hears a tragic story of love and failure involving a mysterious elfin Lady. Natassia Malthe, who starred opposite Jennifer Garner in the "Elektra" film as Typhoid Mary, plays the Lady in question. Veteran actor Jack Donnor (Stigmata, Exorcism, Mission: Impossible) fills the role of the old Knight, while Lucas Babin (School of Rock, Angel) portrays his younger incarnation, and newcomer Jon Mycroft takes the role of the Navigator and narrator of the film. It was shot on location in the beautiful Jiuzhaigou National Park in Sichuan Province, China, and in state parks in California. "La Belle Dame" is premiering at the first annual Inspiration Film Festival in Los Angeles on April 23rd as part of the 9th annual LOHAS Conference. A trailer of the film can be viewed on the official website at http://www.celophaine.com/lbdsm/lbdsm_top.html.
ABOUT ARCHAIA STUDIOS PRESS
Mark Smylie founded Archaia Studios Press (ASP) in 2002 as the home for his epic fantasy comic book, Artesia.Artesia ($24.95, ISBN: 1-932386-00-9), winner of ForeWord Magazine's Best Graphic Novel of 2003, and its sequels -- Artesia Afield ($24.95, ISBN: 1-932386-02-5) and Artesia Afire ($24.95, ISBN: 1-932386-08-4), now nominated for ForeWord's Best Graphic Novel of 2004 -- are available at finer bookstores and comic book shops everywhere. A roleplaying game called Artesia: Adventures in The Known World (June 2005, ISBN: 1-932386-10-6, $34.95, full-color) will be out soon. The next installment in the Artesia series, Artesia Besieged, is slated for a winter 2005/2006 release. More information can be found at http://www.archaiasp.com.
celophaine (always with a lower case "c") is the independent film production company created by writer/director Hidetoshi Oneda. Oneda has worked in advertising for a decade, first as an art director and eventually a creative director at Dentsu, Japan's largest ad agency. Since 2000 he has directed dozens of commercials and corporate videos. He has also served as a jury member at the Cannes International Advertising Festival. In 2002 he left Dentsu to pursue writing and directing full time. Visit the website at http://www.celophaine.com.