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.