Art And Culture

‘Shahrzad’ Series Premiered in Cologne

‘Shahrzad’ Series  Premiered in Cologne‘Shahrzad’ Series  Premiered in Cologne

A red carpet ceremony for the Iranian series ‘Shahrzad’ was held on October 10, in Cologne, Germany.

Directed by renowned filmmaker Hassan Fathi, the series has been made for the home video network and will be released simultaneously in Iran and Germany on October 12, the serial website reported.

German company EM Film Production GmbH which has cooperated in the production has purchased the right for its global distribution.

The cast and crew including producer Seyed Mohammad Emami, renowned actors Mostafa Zamani and Ali Nassirian, composer Fardin Khalatbari and singer Alireza Qorbani walked the red carpet on Saturday.

‘Shahrzad’ was premiered at the Cinedom Theater in Cologne where the first episode was shown. A large number of Iranians living in the cultural hub as well as other German cities travelled to the city to see their favorite celebrities.

Actors Mohamadreza Golzar, Masoud Rayegan and Roya Teymourian were honorary guests.

Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle conducted an interview with the cast and crew before the screening.

It was the first time that a red carpet was rolled out for an Iranian TV series in a foreign country. “We plan to find new markets for our local cultural productions which have not been officially released outside the borders,” Emami said.

Prior to the ceremony, on a suggestion by Teymourian, the cast as well as the guests threw flowers in the Rhine River to pay tribute to the late actress Homa Rousta who passed away on September 26. Rousta was in Cologne in 1992 when she acted in the film ‘From Karkheh to Rhine’ directed by Ibrahim Hatamikia.

 Love Story

A romance-crime melodrama, ‘Shahrzad’ is a love story narrated in a historical setting. The events unfold in Tehran in the early 1950s after the nationalization of Iran’s oil industry by the then prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. The story is about university students Shahrzad and Farhad who fall in love.

On the day of the 1953 coup d’état (August 19), which overthrew the democratically elected Mosaddegh, orchestrated by the UK and the US, Shahrzad leaves home to meet Farhad, quite unaware of their destiny. On that day, Farhad is arrested.

Meanwhile Bozorg Agha, a man of wealth and power who leads a mafia-like syndicate and for whom Shahrzad’s father works, chooses her to marry his son Ghobad, as a second wife.

Shahrzad is in a dilemma as she has to choose to stay with Farhad, whom she loves or submit to a forced marriage with a total stranger.

The series was shot in Ghazali Cinematic Town in the western part of Tehran. Covering an area of 10 hectares, the complex was established in 1971 by the late director Ali Hatami, partially simulating old Tehran. It comprises various state and historic buildings; streets, and places similar to more than 100 years ago decorated by Italian decorators, particularly Gianni Cortina. The exterior decoration of the structures and locations imitates that of the original ones using extant pictures. Several Iranian historical films and TV series have used the town as their location set.

Prominent actors Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti, Mahmoud Pakniat and Abolfazl Pourarab, Jamshid Hashempour, Fariba Motekhases and Houman Barqnavard are also in the cast.

Fathi, 56, is a well-known screenwriter and director who has made 15 feature films and TV series, but his best works are popular serials ‘Neighbors’ (1993), ‘Heroes Do Not Die’ (1998), ‘The 10th Night’ (2002), ‘Forbidden Fruit’ (2007) and ‘Zero Degree Turn’ (2008).

In the 26 episodes of the series, over 200 actors have played a part. Considering the professional team behind the camera plus two years spent on pre-production and four months of shooting, it is the biggest project by the private sector for the home video network.

Given the attractive story and famous figures in the cast, it is expected that ‘Shahrzad’ will appeal largely to the viewers.