NEW YORK/PARIS (May 25, 2022) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today they have acquired all rights in all media in North America, Latin America, Scandinavia, Middle East, Israel, India, Italy, and worldwide airlines and ships at sea in all languages to four-time Academy Award® nominee and BAFTA winner Sylvain Chomet’s (THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE, THE ILLUSIONIST, PARIS, JE T'AIME, THE OLD LADY AND THE PIGEONS) forthcoming English language film THE MAGNIFICENT LIFE OF MARCEL PAGNOL, based on the exceptional life of the legendary author Marcel Pagnol. 

Two of Chomet’s previous films, THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE and THE ILLUSIONIST, were also distributed by Sony Pictures Classics.  

Based in 1955, Chomet’s film follows 60-year-old Marcel Pagnol, one of the most prolific artists of the 20th century, with 150 million books sold worldwide and translated into more than 50 languages, a well-known and acclaimed playwright and filmmaker. When the editor-in-chief of ELLE Magazine commissions a weekly column about the acclaimed playwright and filmmaker’s childhood, he sees this as a great opportunity to go back to his artistic roots: writing. Realizing his memory is failing him and deeply affected by the disappointing results of his last two plays, Pagnol starts doubting his ability to pursue his work. That is until Little Marcel – the young boy he used to be – appears to him as if by magic. Together, they will explore Marcel Pagnol’s incredible life and bring back to life his most cherished encounters and memories.  With Chomet at the helm, this animated film will take the viewer on an adventure through France, from Paris to Pagnol’s hometown of Provence, during half a century of epic history that has built our modern world.

“THE MAGNIFICENT LIFE OF MARCEL PAGNOL completes the animated feature film trilogy started with THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE and THE ILLUSIONIST (both enormous successes and evergreen titles for Sony Pictures Classics),” said Sony Pictures Classics. “Sylvain Chomet is one of the great masters of animation in the world. It is a pleasure and privilege to be back in business with Sylvain and to expand Sylvain’s audience wider than ever.”

"It truly is an honor to launch this great international movie with Sony Pictures Classics, who recognized the universality of this extraordinary fresco and all the international potential it represents by retracing the solar and intense life of Marcel Pagnol, and through him, the timeless history of cinema. The movie marks the return of Sylvain Chomet to animation whose work is recognized all over the world for being both singular and universal at the same time," declares Aton Soumache, President and Founder of ON Classics.

"THE MAGNIFICENT LIFE OF MARCEL PAGNOL is a film about the extraordinary history of cinema and the beginning of talking movies. Pagnol is the link between film, literature and theatre. I am proud to be able to tell this extraordinary adventure, of which we are all heirs, and which Sony Pictures Classics as my partner will travel all over the world," said Sylvain Chomet.

The film, which is currently in production and due to be completed in 2024, is produced by award-winning producer of The Little Prince, ON Classics (Mediawan Group) founder and head Aton Soumache, French producers Ashargin Poiré and Valérie Puech for What the Prod, and co-produced by Lilian Eche’s Bidibul Productions, Align headed by Adrian Politowski, and in collaboration with Nicolas Pagnol from Pagnol’s Estate.

The deal was negotiated by Aton Soumache on behalf of ON Classics with Sony Pictures Classics.


Michael Barker and Tom Bernard serve as co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics—an autonomous division of Sony Pictures Entertainment they founded with Marcie Bloom in January 1992—which distributes, produces, and acquires independent films from around the world.  Barker and Bernard have released prestigious films that have won 41 Academy Awards® (37 of those at Sony Pictures Classics) and have garnered 183 Academy Award® nominations (157 at Sony Pictures Classics) including Best Picture nominations for THE FATHER, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, WHIPLASH, AMOUR, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, AN EDUCATION, CAPOTE, HOWARDS END, AND CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.   


Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition, and distribution; television production, acquisition, and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. SPE’s Motion Picture Group production organizations include Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, 3000 Pictures, Stage 6 Films, AFFIRM Films, and Sony Pictures Classics. For additional information, visit  


Cofounded by Aton Soumache, Dimitri Rassam, and Thierry Pasquet, ON kids & family is an independent European studio with global outreach in the production of animated content for kids and family, mainly television series and feature films created for diverse and international audiences. With about 500 collaborators in Paris, Montreal, Los Angeles and Luxembourg, ON kids & family unites creators and partners from all around the world. Together, they develop brands with different formats: animated series and feature films, licensing and merchandising, digital platforms and content. The Group combines innovation, technology, and international talents to bring magical and extraordinary universes to kids and families through its numerous productions, such as THE LITTLE PRINCE, MIRACULOUS, LITTLE NICK, TALL TALES or ROBIN HOOD, which attracted record-breaking audiences and are a big global success. ON kids & family also produced the animated feature film PLAYMOBIL: THE MOVIE, directed by Lino DiSalvo (Pathé Distribution). In 2019, the company, together with the acclaimed author Joann Sfar, created Joann Sfar’s Magical Society, which is dedicated to the development of the author’s universes. The first fruit of this collaboration was the release of LITTLE VAMPIRE, on October, 21st 2020. In June 2018, ON kids & family joined the Mediawan Group. 

More info on ON kids & family:


Created in late 2015 by Pierre-Antoine Capton, Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse, Mediawan is one of the main independent European studios producing audiovisual content. Mediawan brings together best-in-class talents in audiovisual creation by operating on the entire value chain: production of drama, cinema, documentary, animation and unscripted shows (Mediawan Studios) thanks to over 50 production labels in France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Finland and Senegal, but also distribution of audiovisual content (Mediawan Rights, LS Distribution and Telmondis Distribution), and publishing of channels and digital services (Mediawan Thematics). 


WHAT THE PROD founded by Ashargin Poiré and Valérie Puech, develops ambitious series and feature film projects, both fiction and documentary. Among them, the upcoming film on the life of Marcel Pagnol by the prestigious director Sylvain Chomet, the prestigious animation director (Les triplettes de Belleville, L'Illusionniste). Or the innovative documentary Alain Poiré, The king of comedy on the career of this extraordinary producer who has directed more than 300 feature films, adding up to 62 years of career and nearly 700 million tickets worldwide sold. Thanks to never-seen-before family archives in Super 8, and the mixing moments of filming and scenes of friendly life with their illustrious film friends, this project will combine snippets from his most popular films with animated sequences. A 10 x 52 minute live-action series destined to online platforms is also in progress.

WHAT THE PROD is an innovative company that explores narrative techniques, visual processes and graphic styles, surrounding itself with some of the most talented artistic collaborators to produce popular works with international potential. 

For further information: Sheri Goldberg (646) 723-3800    Bebe Lerner (323) 822-4800    Phillene Newman (323) 822-4800