Animated Sean Connery film to debut in Sonoma

Connery with Tessa and Sascha Hartmann, the creative team behind “Sir Billi.”

The Sonoma International Film Festival has scored the U.S. premiere of “Sir Billi,” an animated film with Sir Sean Connery voicing the lead role.

Connery plays a skateboarding grandfather and veterinarian trying to save the last beaver in Scotland with the help of his goat Gordon, voiced by Alan Cumming. The film is the first full-length animated feature to be produced entirely in Scotland.

“We are thrilled to host the U.S. premiere of ‘Sir Billi’ featuring the powerfully dynamic voice of Sir Sean Connery,” said Kevin McNeely, director of the April 11-15 festival.

Sascha Hartmann directed the CGI film from a screenplay written by his wife Tessa Hartmann. The husband and wife duo will appear with the film in Sonoma for its first American showing.

“We chose Sonoma because it’s a festival with a difference, where the personal approach by the organizers gives one a feeling of passion and consideration,” said Tessa Hartmann. “Every independent film they select is important.”

McNeely calls “Sir Billi” a highly entertaining, family-oriented film that sizzles with fun, non-stop action and “an awesome title track sung by Dame Shirley Bassey, which was composed by Sascha. Bring on the Scots!”

Connery, an Oscar winner for “The Untouchables,” came out of retirement to take the part. He also served as the film’s executive producer.

“I am thrilled with the final cut,” Connery said.

Academy Award nominated Scottish composer Patrick Doyle, (“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” “Sense and Sensibility”), created the film’s music score and also lends his voice as a key character in the film.

Festival passes are available now and individual film tickets will be available for purchase after April 2. Find out more at 206.4484 or Sonomafilmfest.org.

Academy Award nominated Scottish composer Patrick Doyle, (“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” “Sense and Sensibility”), created the film’s music score and also lends his voice as a key character in the film.

Tickets and passes can be purchased by visiting SonomaFilmFest.org or calling the box office at 206.4484.


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