Thursday, March 20, 2008


Sony Pictures Classics will release the English language version of "Persepolis,” Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s animated feature based on Satrapi’s internationally best-selling and award-winning comic book autobiography, on one hundred screens nationwide on April 11, 2007. (A list of markets the film is opening in follows below.)

The English language version of “Persepolis” features the voices of Chiara Mastroianni as Marjane, Sean Penn as Marjane’s Father Ebi, Catherine Deneuve as Marjane’s Mother Tadji, Gena Rowlands as Marjane’s Grandmother, Iggy Pop as Uncle Anouche, and Amethyste Frezignac as Young Marjane. The English language version of the film was recorded under the direction of Co-Directors Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud as the French language version of the film was being completed.

“Persepolis” was nominated for a Best Animated Feature Oscar, was France’s entry for the Best Foreign Film Oscar, shared the jury prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, showed to critical acclaim at the 2007 Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals, and closed the New York Film Festival. Sony Pictures Classics released the French language version of the film in the U.S. on December 25, 2007.

Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud co-wrote and co-directed the film, which is produced by Marc-Antoine Robert and Xavier Rigault of 2.4.7. Films, and executive produced by Kathleen Kennedy of The Kennedy/Marshall Company in co-production with France 3 Cinema, Franche Connection Animations and Diaphana Distribution; in association with Celluloid Dreams, Sony Pictures Classics, Sofica Soficinema and Sofica Europacorp.

“Persepolis” is the poignant story of a young girl in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is through the eyes of precocious and outspoken nine year old Marjane that we see a people's hopes dashed as fundamentalists take power - forcing the veil on women and imprisoning thousands. Clever and fearless, she outsmarts the “social guardians” and discovers punk, ABBA and Iron Maiden. Yet when her uncle is senselessly executed and as bombs fall around Tehran in the Iran/Iraq war, the daily fear that permeates life in Iran is palpable.

As she gets older, Marjane's boldness causes her parents to worry over her continued safety. And so, at age fourteen, they make the difficult decision to send her to school in Austria. Vulnerable and alone in a strange land, she endures the typical ordeals of a teenager. In addition, Marjane has to combat being equated with the religious fundamentalism and extremism she fled her country to escape. Over time, she gains acceptance, and even experiences love, but after high school she finds herself alone and horribly homesick.

Though it means putting on the veil and living in a tyrannical society, Marjane decides to return to Iran to be close to her family. After a difficult period of adjustment, she enters art school and marries, all the while continuing to speak out against the hypocrisy she witnesses. At age 24, she realizes that while she is deeply Iranian, she cannot live in Iran. She then makes the heartbreaking decision to leave her homeland for France, optimistic about her future, shaped indelibly by her past.

Marjane Satrapi was born in 1969 in Rasht, Iran, and currently lives in Paris. She has written several children’s books and her commentary and comics appear in newspapers and magazines around the world, including The New York Times and The New Yorker. Her most recent books are the graphic novel, Chicken with Plums and the children’s book, Monsters are Afraid of the Moon.

Vincent Paronnaud is also known as the comic book author Winshluss. He has created, often with his friend and collaborator, Cizo, several comics and short films. The Festival d’Angoulême nominated him in 2004 for Smart Monkey and for Wizz and Buzz in 2007. Their film, Raging Blues, screened at more than 30 festivals around the world and received the Prix de la Presse aux Lutins in Paris.

2.4.7. Films is a new company created by Marc-Antoine Robert and Xavier Rigault, who have both had long experience in the French film industry, particularly in production for the former and theatrical distribution for the latter. “Persepolis” is 2.4.7.films' first project. Marc-Antoine Robert and Xavier Rigault are also working on a number of other projects still in development.

Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall formed The Kennedy/Marshall Company in 1992. The Kennedy/Marshall Company's productions include "Snow Falling on Cedars," directed by Scott Hicks; "A Map of the World," starring Sigourney Weaver and Julianne Moore; "The Sixth Sense," starring Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment; "The Bourne Identity” and "The Bourne Supremacy" starring Matt Damon; M. Night Shyamalan's "Signs," "Seabiscuit," the true story based on Laura Hillenbrand's bestselling book and directed by Gary Ross; "Munich" directed by Steven Spielberg; and “Hoot,” based on the book by Carl Hiaasen.

Prior to establishing The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Frank produced “Raiders of the Lost Ark” while Kathleen produced “E.T.” They then co-founded Amblin Entertainment with Steven Spielberg in 1982 and produced films such as “Poltergeist,” "The Color Purple," the "Back to the Future” trilogy, "The Bridges of Madison County," "Twister,” and "Jurassic Park: The Lost World." In addition, Kathleen served as executive producer on "Schindler's List," and produced "A.I.: Artificial Intelligence." Recent Kennedy/Marshall projects include, “The Bourne Ultimatum,” the third in the Bourne series of movies and "Benjamin Button," based on a F. Scott Fitzgerald short story.



Independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch’s new film, the tentatively titled The Limits of Control, has confirmed the addition of ten actors to its cast. Mr. Jarmusch started shooting the picture, to which Focus Features has worldwide rights, in Madrid, Spain earlier this month.

Joining previously announced lead actor Isaach De Bankolé, in his fourth collaboration with Mr. Jarmusch, are Hiam Abbass, whose films include Munich and Paradise Now; Gael García Bernal, of Focus’ Academy Award-winning The Motorcycle Diaries; Paz De La Huerta, whose independent feature work includes the upcoming The Guitar, with Mr. De Bankolé; Alex Descas, who starred opposite Mr. De Bankolé in the “No Problem” segment of Mr. Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes; two-time Academy Award nominee John Hurt; Youki Kudoh, who starred in Mr. Jarmusch’s Mystery Train; Bill Murray, who starred in Mr. Jarmusch’s most recent film, Broken Flowers, which was also handled worldwide by Focus; Jean-François Stévenin, whose films include Brotherhood of the Wolf and The Man on the Train; Tilda Swinton, also a Broken Flowers cast member, and currently an Academy Award nominee for her performance in Michael Clayton; and Luis Tosar, whose films include Miami Vice, in which Mr. De Bankolé also appeared. Focus is co-financing the film with Entertainment Farm.

In addition to Broken Flowers, Mr. Jarmusch’s films include Permanent Vacation, Stranger Than Paradise, Down by Law, Mystery Train, Night on Earth, Dead Man, Year of the Horse, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, Coffee and Cigarettes, and the short film “INT. TRAILER. NIGHT.”

The new film is the story of a mysterious loner (to be played by Mr. De Bankolé), a stranger, whose activities remain meticulously outside the law. He is in the process of completing a job, yet he trusts no one, and his objectives are not initially divulged. The film is set in the striking and varied landscapes of contemporary Spain (both urban and otherwise).

Mr. Schamus said, “These acclaimed actors span an international spectrum of talent, and are sterling additions to this exciting new project. We have had the pleasure of collaborating with several of them previously, and eagerly anticipate their work with Jim.”

Stacey Smith, who has worked with Mr. Jarmusch for over a decade, and Gretchen McGowan (who co-produced the filmmaker’s Coffee and Cigarettes) are producing the new film. Award-winning cinematographer Christopher Doyle (In the Mood for Love) is the film’s director of photography; Eugenio Caballero, an Academy Award winner last year for his art direction of Pan’s Labryinth, is the film’s production designer. The filmmaker’s longtime collaborator Jay Rabinowitz will edit the feature. Jon Kilik (Babel) is executive-producing the film, continuing his association with Mr. Jarmusch.

President of production John Lyons and senior vice president, international production and post-production Allison Silver are overseeing the project on behalf of Focus.

Focus Features ( is a motion picture production, financing, and worldwide distribution company committed to bringing moviegoers the most original stories from the world’s most innovative filmmakers.

In addition to Mr. Jarmusch’s new film, current and upcoming Focus Features releases include Joe Wright’s Atonement, nominated for 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture; Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges, starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Ralph Fiennes, which world-premiered as the Opening-Night film of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival; Bharat Nalluri’s Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, starring Frances McDormand and Amy Adams; Andrew Fleming’s irreverent comedy Hamlet 2, starring Steve Coogan; Shane Acker’s animated fantasy epic 9, starring Elijah Wood and Jennifer Connelly; Henry Selick’s stop-motion animated feature Coraline, starring Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher; Cary Fukunaga’s immigrant thriller Sin Nombre; Joel and Ethan Coen’s Burn After Reading, starring George Clooney, John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, and Brad Pitt; Gus Van Sant’s Milk, starring Sean Penn as Harvey Milk; and a contemporary comedy to be directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes.