The animated film Mary and Max has been selected to open the 25th Sundance Film Festival. The stop-motion pic is the first feature from Adam Elliot, the Australian filmmaker behind the Oscar-winning 2003 short Harvie Krumpet. Featuring the voices of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Toni Collette, Mary and Max is financed by Screen Australia, Adirondack Pictures and Film Victoria, with Icon Int’l handling international sales efforts.
Produced by Melanie Coombs, Mary and Max revolves around a pen-pal friendship between a chubby and lonely eight-year-old girl in Melbourne, Australia, and an obese, 44-year-old Jewish man living with Asperger’s Syndrome in New York. Spanning 20 years and two continents, the unlikely friendship survives much more than the average diet of life’s ups and downs. Hoffman provides the voice of Max and Collette is Mary. The voice cast also includes Eric Bana and Barry Humphries (Dame Edna).
Landing the opening spot at Sundance is a major coup for an animated feature, especially an independently produced project. Mary and Max is the first of its kind to receive the honor, which bodes well for its chances on the road to the Oscars next year. Check out the film’s website at www.maryandmax.com.