When his sister dies unexpectedly, a man leaves the priesthood to care for his young niece. Sounds like the basis for a family film, but though Princess is (mostly) animated and prominently features a pre-teen girl, it is definitely not for children. Instead, director Anders Morgenthaler presents a bleak and brutally violent vision of redemption, loss and pornography run rampant. At least, that's what it sounds like from all the reviews I've read. Princess debuted at Cannes last year before playing in the Midnight Madness section at Toronto; in November Monica noted that Tartan Films USA had announced a May 2007 release date, which obviously has come and gone. Here's hoping the release has only been delayed; Jette reported that Princess has been programmed for Fantastic Fest in September, so maybe it'll come out in the fall.

In the meantime, Morgenthaler has not been standing idle. His next film, Echo, is a drama about a police officer (Kim Bodnia of Pusher fame) who kidnaps his son after he loses custody. Things go bad when a nightmare brings back bad memories and threaten to drive the cop insane. Sounds like potentially another "child in peril" scenario. Echo has been scheduled for an early July release in Denmark, which means it might get some festival play in the US later this year. Morgenthaler has also just started production on another animated feature, The Apple and the Worm, but this one sounds like it will be suitable for the entire family. To quote the ever-helpful Danish Film Institute: "Torben is a shiny young apple with a dream: making it to the bright lights of the supermarket fruit section. But his dream is shattered one sunny morning when a worm pokes her head out of his perfect skin. Silvia is her name, and she is really very nice." Expect The Apple and the Worm in the fall of 2008.