I recently found out about a fantastic project called the Shah Nameh (thanks to reader Sepehr) and I was very impressed by the undertaking.
Originally, the Shah Nameh or the "Book of Kings" is a 10th century epic poem written by Iranian poet Ferdosi, narrating stories of ancient Persian heroes and myths.
Project Shah Nameh, as its press release states "consists of a succession of four feature length films based on the original text by Ferdosi."
The man behind this project is Mehrdad Mojir-Shirazi, and Iranian raised in France who is self-admittedly getting in touch with his own heritage and aims to "revive a part of the Persian legacy along with its culture, lifestyle, and mysteries."
From the teaser it is apparent that the project is a mix of 3D animation with more traditional illustration techniques.
I'm digging the environment and background art. The character concept sketches also look wonderful, and I feel that a lot of their charm is lost in the 3D modelling.
Regardless, with a Persian director in charge, I feel a great deal of satisfaction in that we are finally in charge of telling our stories ourselves, allowing us to maintain historical and cultural accuracy. From the director's statement, it is apparent that his goal is to remain "faithful to the historical merits of the narrative and the Persian cultural identity (notably in terms of clothing and architecture)".
I can't wait to hear more about this and hopefully see the whole thing come out. Meanwhile, I have included some of the concept art here. To see the rest, check out the project's website.