Art And Culture

‘Muhammad’ Set for Screening in August

‘Muhammad’ Set for Screening in August‘Muhammad’ Set for Screening in August

Majid Majidi’s latest work ‘Muhammad’ an epic movie on the early life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), till the age of 13, is slated for release on August 26.

Based on decisions made by the Screening Council of the Iran Cinema Organization, the movie will open in theatres across the country on August 26, concurrent with the birth anniversary of Imam Reza (AS), the eighth Imam of Shia Muslims, IRNA reported.

Over 100 cinema halls are being equipped with the latest technologies suitable for screening the film which has used state-of-the-art audio visual techniques in its production.

Produced by Mohammad-Mehdi Heidarian, the 171-minute film cost $30 million, making it the most expensive film in the history of Iran cinema.

Starring many top Iranian actors such as Alireza Shojanuri, Mehdi Pakdel, Sareh Bayat, Mina Sadati, Mohsen Tanabandeh, Dariush Farhang, Hedayat Hashemi and Negar Abedi, the film’s crew includes renowned international figures.

With director of photography Vittorio Storaro (‘Apocalypse Now’, ‘The Last Emperor’), editor Roberto Perpignani (‘Caesar Must Die’), special effects designer Scott E. Anderson (‘Babel’) and makeup designer Gianetto De Rossi (‘1900’) behind the camera, expectations are high from the movie.

This is only the second film produced on the prophet of Islam. Prior to this, ‘The Message’ directed by Syrian American filmmaker Moustapha Akkad, chronicled the life and times of the holy prophet. Released in Arabic (1976) and English (1977), it serves as an introduction to early Islamic history.

‘Muhammad’, shot in Iran and South Africa, took five years to complete. Although most of it is shot in different cities in Iran, for specific scenes the production team visited South Africa.

The movie starts with the attack of Abraha, King of Habasha (today Ethiopia), to Mecca (in Saudi Arabia) in order to destroy the Kaaba in 570. Many elephants were needed for shooting this scene as Abraha led a well-equipped force of thousands of soldiers, horses and elephants. South African city of Bela-Bela is the location where the scene was shot.

The rest of the movie which shows the city of Mecca was built on sets outside the city of Qom, near Tehran. The location will be used for the next episodes of the movie. Planned as a trilogy, the episodes will cover the rest of the prophet’s life.

For its world premiere, ‘Muhammad’ will open the 39th Montreal World Film Festival (MWFF), slated from August 27 to September 7.