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Filmmakers Discuss Delay in Screening ‘I am Not Salvador’

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Filmmakers Discuss Delay in Screening ‘I am Not Salvador’ Filmmakers Discuss Delay in Screening ‘I am Not Salvador’

The producers, director and distributor of the Iranian film ‘I am Not Salvador’ have expressed concern over the delay in releasing the film in local cinema.

Director Manouchehr Hadi complained about the lack of support in screening the film. “I have made four melodramas prior to this, and I am sure this new comedy will do much better at the box office; however, I do not understand why it is not being screened,” he said at a press conference at the Koroush Cineplex in western Tehran.

He pointed to the revisions made to the film to get the screening permit from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. “After omitting some scenes, the film was reedited and got the permit three months ago. Since then despite all the efforts by the distributor, its screening date is still vague, and this indeed is a pity.”

Habib Esmaili, CEO of Filmsazan (filmmakers) Company, local distributor of the film, said screening the film is to the benefit of Iran cinema and the audience.

He claimed that due to “connections between some theatre owners and film producers or distributors, cinema halls are showing films that are not really popular with the audiences, but owners insist on keeping them on screen.”

“Although ‘Salvador’ may look like a commercial film at first glance, it is not superficial and has moral messages as well,” Esmaili said.

Written by Reza Maqsudi, the story centers on an Iranian man, Naser (played by Reza Attaran), who is invited to take a trip to Brazil with his family. However, there he is mistaken by a local girl, Angel, for her ex-fiancé called Salvador; this is the beginning of a series of funny incidents.

  Other Problems

Limited number of cinema halls, especially in small towns, is also a problem, Esmaili said. “Because of shortage of theaters, many good movies like ours have not got the timely chance for screening.”

Producers Amir Parvin-Hosseini and Mansour Sohrabpour believe that the film can become a box office hit due to its plot and the beautiful Brazilian locales.

Casting top comedian Attaran, whose movies have been hits in the past years, is another factor that can draw film fans in big numbers. His three movies have raked in over $3.5 million, making him the most popular Iranian actor currently.

Besides Attaran, Iranian actors Yekta Naser, Jila Sadeghi, Mehdi Mehrabi and Sogol Mehrabi along with Brazilian actresses Carol Vidotti and Barry Fiocca are in the cast. Former Brazilian soccer star and Barcelona midfielder Rivaldo, 43, has also appeared in the film playing his own character.

A large part of the movie was shot in Brazil and only 20% in Tehran locations. “The movie will be released in Brazil and other countries after screening in Iran,” Sohrabpour said.

The film had its first preview for the media on November 25, and most of the audience hailed the movie, predicting its hit at the box office.

Cultural differences between Iran and Brazil are well depicted in the movie in a well-written script. Attaran’s character is pivotal as he performs the role of a middle-aged family man with strong religious beliefs whose reactions to what goes on around him in his visit to Brazil creates scenes that make viewers laugh hilariously several times during the film.