Tuesday, May 18, 2021

VIS, Ricardo Siri Liniers Set to Adapt ‘Wildflowers’ as First Title in Development Deal

Marking further dynamic expansion, ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS) and Ricardo Siri Liniers, Argentina’s best known cartoonist and children’s book author-illustrator, have announced they will adapt Liniers’ latest graphic novel, Wildflowers.

The project rolls off a development deal between VIS, ViacomCBS’ global production arm, and Liniers that was announced by VIS Kids at Kidscreen Summit Virtual 2021 in February, which mentioned the “adaptation of an upcoming book.”

Wildflowers (Flores Salvajes) marks the final part of a beginning readers’ graphic novel trilogy begun by The Big Wet Balloon, Liniers’ U.S. debut in 2013, and continued by 2017’s Good Night, Planet.

All three are odes to Liniers’ own three daughters. “As soon as I took a photo of my three young daughters looking at the jungle in Yukatan, México, I began to imagine this book,” Liniers has said. The three graphic novels also pay tribute, however, to the more general joy of childhood play and its imaginative powers.

Published this April in the U.S. by Toon Books, and garnering upbeat reviews, Wildflowers is a wildly imaginative tale, spangled by magic realism and Argentine conflation of reality and fantasy. It centers on three young sisters on a magical island where the flowers can talk, and the only animal is a minute gorilla – unless dragons count as animals.

Delicately and quaintly illustrated with warm natural colors, Liniers’ naif style is countered by echoes of U.S. pop culture – here both Lost and Jurassic Park – from a cartoonist and illustrator who has described his style as “observational, dark, absurd, sweet and strange.”

Liniers’ use of water-color and ink recalls French 2D animation in his largest drawings, suggesting, as his remarks on the VIS deal, that Wildflowers may be bound for an animated makeover.

“I’m extremely excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with VIS and watch the story of Flores Salvajes develop into a completely new format with the work of great animators and talented writers,” Liniers said Monday.

“We are honored to be able to work with such a talented artist. Ricardo Liniers Siri’s work has gone beyond borders and has reached many diverse audiences,” said Federico Cuervo, Senior Vice President (SVP) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of VIS Americas. “We look forward to bringing this incredible story to life and to developing more new and exciting projects together.”

The Big Wet Balloon made the cut of Parents Magazine’s Top Ten. Good Night, Planet won the Eisner Award for best comics for beginning readers. In 2018 Liniers had his first major exhibition of original artwork in the U.S at The Society of Illustrators in New York.

VIS Kids

The Liniers’ deal marks part of VIS’ ongoing and energetic drive into kids entertainment. This saw it launch VIS Kids, overseen by the highly respected Nickelodeon exec Nina Hahn, in October 2020.

The Feb. 2021 Kidscreen creator-talent deals include three-to-five long format animation projects from Star Wars and Small Axe actor John Boyega’s UpperRoom Productions; a first-look deal with Fred Seibert‘s FredFilms (Nickelodeon’s The Fairy OddParents); and a female-fronting adventure comedy from the U.K.’s Wildseed Studios.

Other Kids & Family Projects in Latin America

Regarding Latin America and the Latino U.S., at April’s MipTV singer-songwriter Marc Anthony and J.C. Acosta, president of VIS Kids and ViacomCBS Networks International Americas, confirmed Latina social media comedy of manners Liked. It follows on a first kids project between VIS and Anthony’s Magnus Studios, the pre-school Gloria Wants to Know It All, which is also produced by Juan José Campanella’s Mundoloco Animation Studios in Buenos Aires and Miami-based Lanugo Media. Also in the works is a new series called Marcelo, Marmelo, Martelo from a Brazilian creator, as well as musical series Funknautas.    

VIS Kids has also optioned the rights for ¡Socorro!, a children’s book from the late Argentine author Elsa Bornemann.

VIS at the L.A. Virtual Screenings: Black Narratives

One of the world’s fastest growing production forces, at the L.A. Virtual Screenings VIS has announced further expansive moves. One is also inclusive: Black Narratives, a Brazil-based Latin American writing room of black writers, which Cuervo said marks just the beginning of VIS’ efforts to create more diverse content that represents cultures worldwide.

The team of writers will be led by Marton Olympio. It also includes Renata Diniz, Eliana Alves Cruz, Estevão Ribeiro and Lidiane Oliveira. Projects to be developed include series, fiction and films. The writers will also “serve as diversity and inclusion consultants, providing valuable insights that align with the market’s evolving demands,” VIS announced.

‘The First of Us’

Signaling the return of fiction series to prime time on ViacomCBS’s Telefe in Argentina, The First of Us (El Primer de Nosostros) has gone into production, starring Locked Up’s Benjamín Vicuña. The show turns on a group of friends who discover that one of their members suffers a terminal illness. That news reawakens “a profound desire to rediscover their feelings and find the real purpose of being alive,” VIS and Telefe announced.

The show will also air on Paramount+, as VIS steps up its supply of key titles to the ViacomCBS premium SVOD service. More details of this move may form one talking point at the VIS Global Screenings, which take place on June 2.

Official ViacomCBS International Studios press releases:


MIAMI – MAY 17, 2021 – VIS, a division of ViacomCBS, signed a development agreement with renowned Argentine cartoonist Ricardo Siri Liniers. The deal includes the adaptation of his book, Flores Salvajes, a three-book series that pay tribute to childhood and imagination.

"We are honored to be able to work with such a talented artist. Ricardo Liniers Siri's work has gone beyond borders and has reached many diverse audiences," said Federico Cuervo, Senior Vice President, CEO of VIS Americas. "We look forward to bring this incredible story to life and to develop more new and exciting projects together."   

"I'm extremely excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with VIS and watch the story of "Flores Salvajes" develop into a completely new format with the work of great animators and talented writers," said Ricardo Siri Liniers.

Flores Salvajes tells the story of three sisters who decide to explore a mysterious island and the wild adventures they overcome, while the smallest sister does not want to be left behind. The book was inspired by a family picture Liniers took of his three young daughters looking upon the jungle in Yucatan, Mexico, reflecting children’s fantastic imagination.

Liniers has published more than 30 books. His work as an illustrator and cartoonist ranges from film posters and wine labels to covers for The New Yorker. His original works and paintings have been showcased in San Pablo, Rio de Janeiro, Lima, and Madrid. In 2018 he had his first major exhibition of original artwork in the U.S at The Society of Illustrators in New York City. The notorious author currently resides in the United States

For more information about VIS, find out more here or our social networks Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

About ViacomCBS International Studios

Introduced in 2018, ViacomCBS International Studios is a division of ViacomCBS Networks International that includes the production of content for ViacomCBS brands and platforms, including Paramount+, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, Channel 5, Network 10, VIS, Telefe, Ananey and Porta Dos Fundos and for third parties, as well as sales and distribution of original productions, co-productions, formats sold for local adaptations and pre-packaged content. In 2020, VIS KIDS was launched to promote the expansion of the studio's global children's content pipeline. The content that ViacomCBS International Studios produces covers all genres, from childhood to action and animation for young adults and live realities, as well as soap operas, dramas, short and long-running comedy formats and feature film productions.


MIAMI, 17 DE MAYO DE 2021 – VIS, una división de ViacomCBS, anunció la firma de un acuerdo con el prestigioso historietista, ilustrador, pintor y editor argentino Ricardo Siri Liniers para adaptar su obra literaria Flores Salvajes, la serie de tres libros con los que el autor rinde un homenaje a la infancia y la imaginación.

“Es un honor para el estudio poder trabajar con un artista tan talentoso que trasciende fronteras y llega a públicos tan diversos. Estamos muy ansiosos por darle vida a esta increíble historia, además de generar nuevos proyectos en conjunto”, sostuvo Federico Cuervo, vicepresidente senior, director general de VIS Americas.

“Estoy ilusionado de ver crecer esta historia en nuevos espacios de la mano de talentosos animadores y escritores”, dijo Ricardo Siri Liniers.

El libro narra la historia de tres hermanas, que se embarcan en una aventura para explorar una isla misteriosa y la más pequeña de la familia no quiere que la dejen atrás. La inspiración para este cuento fue una fotografía que Liniers les tomó a sus tres hijas pequeñas, mirando la selva en Yucatán, México, refleja el asombro por la imaginación de los niños durante la infancia.

El autor lleva publicado más de 30 libros. Sus trabajos como ilustrador y dibujante varían desde afiches de películas y etiquetas de vinos hasta tapas para la prestigiosa revista “The New Yorker”. Además, originales de sus trabajos y pinturas se exhibieron en ciudades como San Pablo, Rio de Janeiro, Lima y Madrid. En 2018 tuvo su primer gran muestra de originales en EEUU en “The Society of Illustrators” en la ciudad de Nueva York. Actualmente reside en Estados Unidos.

Para más información sobre VIS, encuentre más información aquí o nuestras redes sociales Instagram, Facebook y Twitter.

Acerca de ViacomCBS International Studios

Introducido en 2018, ViacomCBS International Studios es una división de ViacomCBS Networks International que incluye la producción de contenidos para marcas y plataformas ViacomCBS, incluyendo Paramount+, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, Channel 5, Network 10, VIS, Telefe, Ananey y Porta Dos Fundos y para terceros, así como ventas y distribución de producciones originales, coproducciones, formatos vendidos para adaptaciones locales y contenido prefascado. En 2020, VIS KIDS se lanzó para promover la expansión de la canalización global de contenido para niños del estudio. El contenido que ViacomCBS International Studios produce, abarca todos los géneros, desde la niñez hasta la acción y animación para adultos jóvenes y realities en vivo, así como telenovelas, dramas, formatos de comedia cortos y de larga duración y producciones de largometrajes.


Original source: Variety; Additional source: Kidscreen.

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