[Press Release by Icon Film]

Academy Award winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) has joined an all-star line-up of Australian talent in lending his exceptional talent to voice the role of Max in the new claymation feature Mary and Max.

Mary and Max is the first film from writer/director Adam Elliot and producer Melanie Coombs since their Oscar winning animated short Harvie Krumpet, winner of the 2004 Oscar for Best Short Film – Animated.

Philip Seymour Hoffman joins an all-star Australian voice cast including Oscar Nominee Toni Collette (Little Miss Sunshine) as Mary. The film is narrated by Australian legend of stage and screen, Barry Humphries and features cameos from Eric Bana (Romulus, My Father), singer Renee Geyer, music icon Ian “Molly” Meldrum, Julie Forsyth and John Flaus—both of whom appeared in Harvie Krumpet—and introduces newcomer Bethany Whitmore as young Mary.

CEO of Icon Film Distribution Mark Gooder commented: “Mary and Max is one of our highlights for release next year. Adam and Melanie have assembled a stunning voice-cast and the addition of Phillip Seymour Hoffman is the icing on the cake. That one of the most ‘in demand’ actors in the world would agree to voice an independent Australian animation speaks volumes for the creative integrity of this project.”

Director Adam Elliot said: “Sometimes in animation when you combine a beautiful voice with wonderful images, for some odd reason they don’t marry. Not only did Philip’s voice marry, but it enlivened, invigorated and supported the suspension of disbelief so crucial in a stop-motion film.”

Mary and Max is a simple tale of pen-friendship between two very different people; Mary Dinkle, a chubby lonely eight year old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max Horovitz, a 44 year old, severely obese, Jewish man with Asperger’s Syndrome living in the chaos of New York.

Spanning 20 years and 2 continents, Mary and Max’s friendship survives much more than the average diet of life’s ups and downs. Like Harvie Krumpet, Mary and Max is innocent but not naive, as it takes us on a journey that explores friendship, autism, taxidermy, psychiatry, alcoholism, where babies come from, obesity, kleptomania, sexual difference, trust, copulating dogs, religious difference, agoraphobia and much much more.

Mary and Max was financed by Screen Australia, Adirondack Pictures and Film Victoria. It will release in cinemas across Australia on April 9, 2009 through Icon Film Distribution.


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