I am happy to say 'Baskerville' will be my next project.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) September 10, 2009
'In The Wind's Eye', a feature film based on a 52 hour epic Iranian television series that took four years to produce, 'Dar Chashme Baad,' has just wrapped production in Los Angeles. It is the first Iranian production granted visas to film in the US since the 1979 revolution, which Director Masoud Jafari Jozani cites as a result of the Obama administration's "open hand" stance towards the Muslim world.
"Thanks to President Obama's more open stance towards Iran, we were able to secure twelve work visas for our cast and crew. This would have been unheard of a year ago," said Jozani. In 2000, Jozani had the financing in place from Iranian and American investors for 'Baskerville,' the story of a young Princeton graduate who travels to Iran in 1905 to teach and becomes caught up in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution. A third of the film was to be shot in the US; however, there were conflicts that prevented the film from happening. "Now that we were able to successfully film 'In the Wind's Eye' in Los Angeles," says Jozani, "I am happy to say 'Baskerville' will be my next project."
Cinema Libre Studio, an independent production/distribution company in Los Angeles, known for championing socio-political films, has partnered with Jozani's production company, Jozan Film Production for 'In the Wind's Eye'. "It is a great honor to work with a director as talented as Mr. Jozani," says Cinema Libre founder, Philippe Diaz. "We are also proud to be part of this historic thawing-out between Iran and the US and hope that Mr. Jozani's experience here will serve as a model and that we will be able to co-produce his next project, 'Baskerville.'"
'In the Wind's Eye', the conclusion to the television series which recently began airing in Iran with the first eight episodes earning over sixty million viewers, was filmed first in Iran and recently completed four weeks of production in the United States. Following three generations of Iranians from 1920 through 1981, with an overall budget of $12 million, the project will be the longest running and most expensive production in that country's film industry's history. Jozani, one of Iran's premiere filmmakers, has written and directed each episode of the series, as well as the screenplay for the feature film, which will be released in theatres in Iran upon completion.
Taking place in 1981, 'In the Wind's Eye' is the story of Bijan, a middle-aged brain surgeon and professor who has lived and worked in Los Angeles since leaving Iran in 1945. His life has been conflict free until he receives a letter from a woman claiming to be his wife, whom he thought killed by the Soviet Army during World War II. Enclosed within the letter is a black and white photo of the woman and a little boy. Thrown into turmoil, he must choose between his life in America with his fiancée Holly, or return to a Tehran on the brink of an invasion by Sadaam Hussein's army, to search for this woman and child.
Actors and crew who have traveled from Iran include, stars Parsa Pirouzfar as 'Bijan' (Ziafat, Protest), Kambiz Dirbaz as his brother, 'Nadir' (Duel, In the Name of The Father), and Laleh Eskandari as Nadir's wife, 'Fakhrosadat'(Gerdab, To Each His Own Cinema). The American actress Angel Rhoades (Mother's Day on Walton's Mountain) plays the role of 'Holly,' Bijan's psychologist girlfriend. Visas were also issued to the world renowned cinematographer, Amir Karimi and production designer, Majid Mirfakhraei.
A pioneer of Iranian post-revolution cinema, Jozani received an M.A. in Cinema from San Francisco State University in 1977. He directed his first film, 'Frosty Roads' (Jadehay Sard) in 1985 which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival screening six times to sold out audiences. The film was considered an important bridge from Iranian cinema to the western world. His second film, 'Stony Lion' (Shir Sangi), was invited to screen at nineteen international festivals including Berlin, Montreal, Karlovy Vary, Hong Kong and Hawaii.
Jozani has subsequently written and directed several feature films ('Shadow of the Imagination,' 'Once Upon a Time,' 'A Man, A Bear,' 'The Heart & The Dagger,' and 'Coming of Age") which have been invited to festivals, won awards and were released in theatres. In 1985, upon returning to Tehran, Jozani started teaching at Tehran University (School of Arts) also serving as a post-graduate mentor to many of Iran's top young filmmakers. He has written plays, short stories and made experimental short films using claymation as well as helping to found the Iranian Film Directors' Association and the Iranian Film Producers and Distributors Association. Collectively his works have dealt with the heroic challenges that individuals face in their regular lives, oftentimes with historical and epic tones and finds the works of Hafiz and Rumi, Persian poets, to be an important source of inspiration. In 2006, Jozani was recognized as a Distinguished National Artist and Filmmaker by his country.
Cinema Libre Studio is organizing a retrospective of two of his films to screen in Los Angeles in October.
About Cinema Libre Studio:
Cinema Libre Studio has been a leader in the distribution of social issue films. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company is a haven for independent filmmakers offering one-stop shopping for production, distribution and foreign sales. The six-year old company is best known for distributing controversial documentaries and independent features such as: 'Outfoxed,' 'Uncovered,' 'Raising Flagg' starring Alan Arkin, and Jean-Jacques Beineix's 'Betty Blue: The Director's Cut.' The company will release nationwide in US theatres this November, 'The End of Poverty?,' a feature length documentary narrated by Martin Sheen which premiered during the Cannes Film Festival and has been selected to 25+ international film festivals. For more information, please visit http://www.cinemalibrestudio.com.