Persepolis, Ark to Shine at Cannes Festival

Among this year’s list of films to be screened or premiered at Cannes, are a couple of animated projects of note. Audiences will be treated to the black and white French-produced animated film Persepolis from filmmakers Vincent Parannaud and Marjane Satrapi. The film is based on Satrapi’s two award-winning autobiographical graphic novels about a young girl coming of age during the Islamic revolution in Iran. The feature is animated by France’s 2.4.7 studio and co-produced with France 3 and the Kennedy/Marshall Company. The voice cast includes Gena Rowlands, Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroianni. Persepolis will be released in France on June 27, and Sony Pictures Classics has picked it up for distribution in the U.S. later this year.

The film is running in the main competition. Amongst its competition is an extended version of Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof (severed, for the festival, from the Grindhouse faux double bill). Also, in the short film category, auds will see the eight-minute animated film Ark by Polish animator and f/x artist Grzegorz Jonkajtys, who also works for top vfx house Caf’ FX. His credits include Hellboy, Sin City and Pan’s Labyrinth. Ark is a beautifully animated CG short which is set in dark futuristic world where humans are fleeing a terrible plague caused by a virus.

Jonkajtys’ Eastern European colleagues also find themselves in the spotlight: Cannes 2007 features two Russian films respectively from directors Andrey Zvyagintsev and Alexander Sokourov. In addition, there are offerings from Hungarian, Romanian and Serbian directors–Bela Tarr’s The Man From London, Cristian Mungiu’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days and Cannes favorite Emir Kusturica with Promise Me This.

Among the more familiar American names featured at the festival are Gus Van Saint (Paranoid Park), the Coen Brothers (No Country for Old Men), Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s Thirteen), Michael Moore (Sicko) and David Fincher (Zodiac).