Critically-acclaimed animated film now available for Fall 2008/Winter 2009 theatrical booking in a new, high-quality English language version on 35mm and digital. For all booking inquiries and screener requests, contact Dave Jesteadt (firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-528-0500).
Azur and Asmar is an incredibly unique film whose visual beauty and artistic pedigree (French animation master Michel Ocelot's previous film, Kirikou and the Sorceress, was hailed as a "film of the year," and Azur and Asmar has already garnered incredible reviews from playing the Cannes Film Festival) ensures the interest of arthouse and upscale crowds, while the film's animated swashbuckling adventure can easily appeal to mainstream family audiences looking for something new and exciting. The film has been compared to classics like Spirited Away and other Hayao Miyazaki films, as well as Pan's Labyrinth, Persepolis, and Triplets of Belleville.
Azur and Asmar
Directed by Michel Ocelot
Running time: 99 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG
Language: In English with some Arabic
WATCH THE TRAILER:
Link to YouTube trailer
Download .mov QuickTime file of trailer (please host locally on your site!)
Azur and Asmar is the story of two boys raised as brothers. Blonde, blue-eyed, white skinned Azur and black-haired, brown-eyed, dark-skinned Asmar are lovingly cared for by Asmar's gentle mother, who tells them magical stories of her faraway homeland and of beautiful, imprisoned Fairy Djinn waiting to be set free. Time passes, and one day Azur's father, the master of the house, provokes a brutal separation. Azur is sent away to study, while Asmar and his mother are driven out, homeless and penniless.
Years later, as a young adult, Azur remains haunted by memories of the sunny land of his nanny, and sets sail south across the high seas to find the country of his dreams. Arriving as an immigrant in a strange land, Azur is rejected by everyone he meets on account of his "unlucky" blue eyes, until finally he resolves never to open those eyes again. The once-beautiful child clad in gold is reduced to a blind beggar. Yet, blind though he is, little by little and step by step, he discovers a beautiful and mysterious country. Meanwhile, back in her homeland, Azur's nanny has become a wealthy merchant and Asmar has grown into a dashing horseman. Reunited but now as adversaries, the two brothers set off on a dangerous quest to find and free the Fairy of the Djinns.
“The year's most beautiful animated film! Impossibly gorgeous... the sheer storybook rapture swept me away!”
– Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com
"Is it too early to declare the year's most beautiful animated film? It's hard to imagine a more transporting cinematic experience coming our way than Azur & Asmar." "Any aficionado of animation—of vibrantly realized storytelling, in any genre—will be seduced by a wealth of sights and sounds!" "In any given year, a filmgoer consumes a lot of animated porridge. And then, occasionally, along comes a delicacy on the order of Azur & Asmar... it’s a feast!”
– Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
– Nathan Lee, New York Times
“FIVE STARS! Absolutely gorgeous! As the film foreshadows how religious fundamentalism crushed both this art and scientific
research, Ocelot honors both light and enlightenment.”
– Elisabeth Vincentelli, Time Out New York
“So gloriously bright, audiences with sensitive eyes may need shades.”
“Cinema whose every frame could be hung on an art gallery wall. The pictorial style, jeweled and incandescent, has no peer or comparison in modern cinema… think of illuminated manuscripts, Quattrocento art, Douanier Rousseau or Carl Fabergé—or, if possible, all at once.”
– Financial Times
“The next great animated fairy tale!" “Employing a masterful command of color and composition, Ocelot crafts a gorgeous work of animation.” “As in boldly distinctive animated films like Chomet's Triplets of Bellville, Arias' Tekkonkinkreet or Satrapi's Persepolis, Ocelot recasts the world in image of his story.”
– Scott Green, Ain't It Cool News
– Hollywood Reporter
"FOUR STARS! As timeless as Sheherazade, with a 21st century message of racial tolerance, and spectacularly colorful animation, Azur and Asmar is a nearly flawless piece of family entertainment!"
- Susan Dunne, Hartford Courant
“A flawless sense of wonder!”
– Film Review
“Four stars! A visual masterpiece!”
– Empire Magazine
“Sets a new bar for digital animation! Closer to a handsome storybook than a mainstream CGI film, lending the narrative a
significant degree of visual enchantment.”
– Doug Cummings, Film Journey
“A visual feast! An engrossing fable that links themes of racial and cultural barriers, immigration, prejudice and superstition
with a resplendently rendered fairy tale. ”
– Brett Rogers, Frames Per Second Magazine
"Sheer magic for all ages!" "The work of a master... the artwork and design is stunning, unlike anything you have seen in western animation before, a riotous shock of color and geometry designed to showcase both the beauty of nature and the classic patterns of Arabic design and tile work."
“Captivating...a true feast for the eyes!" “Though Azur and Asmar's adventures unfold in the Middle Ages, they reflect with great intelligence and sensitivity upon issues confronting today's globe: the conflicts that emerge from differences of class, sex, race and religion, and more particularly the divisions between the West and Islam. In his magical, awe-inspiring tale, Ocelot imagines a utopia where such differences might be both acknowledged and embraced in a dance of colour."
- Eye For Film
“Ocelot's masterwork! A true eye opener, the tale Azur and Asmar tells matches the visuals in more ways than one could ever hope for."
– Steve Fritz, Newsarama
The preview images are 72 dpi and Web ready. Almost alllinked images are 300 dpi resolution and suitable for printing. Please right click on each download link and select "Save Link As". For other press materials, including screeners, press kit, interviews and other needs, please contact Dave Jesteadt (email@example.com, 212-528-0500). Thank you!
Click here to download the exhibitors brochure in PDF format
Click here to download the press kit featuring interviews and credits
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