The animated film The Magnificent Life of Marcel Pagnol by writer-director Sylvain Chomet has been purchased by Sony Pictures Classics for distribution in North America, Latin America, Scandinavia, the Middle East, Israel, India, and Italy, as well as on aeroplanes and ships around the world. Chomet’s previous two English-language features, “The Triplets of Belleville” and “The Illusionist,” were both distributed by SPC, which led to this contract.
One of the most productive painters of the 20th century, 60-year-old Marcel Pagnol is the subject of the latest film from a four-time Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner. Pagnol was an accomplished author, playwright, and director before his untimely death in 1974; his works have been translated into more than 50 languages and sold over 150 million copies around the world.
After years of focusing on acting and directing, the acclaimed writer and director is thrilled when Elle Magazine’s editor-in-chief commissions a weekly essay on his boyhood. After the failure of his past two plays and the realisation that his memory is failing him, Pagnol begins to doubt his capacity to continue working. Until, that is, Little Marcel, the youngster he once was, suddenly materialises before him.
The group will delve into Marcel Pagnol’s extraordinary life and reanimate the author’s most memorable interactions. From the city of lights to Pagnol’s native Provence, the audience will be whisked away on an odyssey through France spanning the fifty years of epic history that shaped our modern world.
Filming is underway on The Magnificent Life. As of now, we anticipate a 2024 completion. Aton Soumache, founder and CEO of ON Classics, is producing alongside Ashargin Poiré and Valérie Puech of What the Prod, as well as Bidibul Productions of Lilian Eche and Align of Adrian Politowski, with Nicolas Pagnol of Pagnol’s Estate serving as executive producer.
“THE MAGNIFICENT LIFE OF MARCEL PAGNOL” is a documentary film about the groundbreaking origins of talking pictures and cinema itself. “Pagnol connects the dots between the moving image and the written and performed word,” Chomet once remarked. It is with great pleasure that I can say, “Sony Pictures Classics is my partner, and together we will take this remarkable voyage around the world.”
Sony Pictures Classics “recognised the universality of this extraordinary fresco and all the international potential it represents in tracing the solar and intense life of Marcel Pagnol and, through him, the timeless history of cinema,” said Soumache, referring to the studio’s involvement in the film’s release. The film is Sylvain Chomet’s return to the medium of animation; his previous films have won acclaim for their unique style and appeal.
Sony Pictures Classics has said that “THE MAGNIFICENT LIFE OF MARCEL PAGNOL completes the animated feature picture trilogy begun with THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE and THE ILLUSIONIST” “Sylvain Chomet is widely regarded as a major figure in the history of animation. To work with Sylvain again and to help him reach a larger audience than ever before is an honour and a privilege.
Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, along with Marcie Bloom, established Sony Pictures Classics in January 1992 as a separate branch of Sony Pictures Entertainment to distribute, produce, and acquire foreign and domestic independent films. Soumache arranged the arrangement with Sony Pictures Classics for ON Classics to distribute The Magnificent Life of Marcel Pagnol.
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