quicklaunch about project 300

Project 300 is an artistic collaboration aimed at showing the forgotten face of ancient Persia and modern day Iran. Click here to find out more.

Nov 10

The Shah Nameh project pilot

posted by legofish at 02:35 PM

Well, it's been a while since we first talked about the French Shah Nameh animation project, undertaken by Cyrus Productions. I was checking their site and noticed that there is now a pilot up. It looks quite amazing. I contacted them to ask about the status of the project, but unfortunately - like last time - there was no response from them. Maybe it's because I don't speak French!

In any case, here is the video pilot (click here if the popup doesn't work), and some nice new stills.

I certainly hope the project isn't dead.

Watch the Shâh Nâmeh Pilot

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Aug 07

Artist Spotlight: Jila Peacock

1 comments posted by legofish at 12:00 PM


I just came across this news yesterday, while looking for inspiration on combining Persian calligraphy with animal shapes. The news itself is a couple of years old: back in 2006, an illustrated book of 10 Hafez poems had won the British Book Design & Production Awards in the literary category, thanks to the beautiful work of a talented British-Iranian artist Jila Peacock.

I can't wait to see the book for myself (I couldn't find it on amazon.ca), but judging from the snapshots I saw online and on Peacock's website the design is pretty stunning. Peacock has used the words in each poem (written in curvy and organic calligraphic style) to create outlines of shapes that symbolize the poem itself ; a deer, a lion, a peacock. This is no doubt a laborious task, but the results are beautiful and I'm glad that Peacock's efforts were recognized and rewarded.

You can see more of these shapes, as well as other artwork by Jila Peacock by visiting her website.

Incidentally, the same calligraphic series have been a subject of an animated film called "Tonge of the Hidden". I could only find this short clip of it online. Imagine peacock's creatures come to life on screen, a fantasia-esque series of moving pictures. I wish we could see more of this online, it seems to be very interesting. The director by the way is David Anderson.

If you are in Rhode Island, you can catch the film this Saturday at the Rhode Islan Film Festival.

Mar 26

Shah Nameh: The Animated Project

22 comments posted by legofish at 10:06 PM

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.

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Jan 16

Persepolis Interview

3 comments posted by legofish at 11:06 AM

I saw Persepolis over the weekend. While I have mixed feelings about how it works as a movie, from an artistic point of view it was beautiful. Shabnam Rezaei of Persian Mirror has recently sat down with Marjan Satrapi (creator and co-director of Persepolis) for an interview which is definitely worth a read.