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Dariush Arjmand at the ceremony. In the background, the late Ali Moallem (R) and Masoud Jafari-Jozani are seen in the poster of the project.
Dariush Arjmand at the ceremony. In the background, the late Ali Moallem (R) and Masoud Jafari-Jozani are seen in the poster of the project.

Special Town for Iranian Epic Movie 'Cyrus the Great' in Shiraz

Cyrus is best remembered for his great tolerance and noble attitude towards the nations he conquered; he is also famous for the declaration of the first Charter of Human Rights known as Cyrus Cylinder

Special Town for Iranian Epic Movie 'Cyrus the Great' in Shiraz

A town will be built in Shiraz, Fars Province, which will serve as the location to shoot the huge movie project ‘Cyrus the Great,’ said veteran actor Dariush Arjmand, 72, on Monday.
At a ceremony at Cinema Museum in northern Tehran to officially announce the start the project, Arjmand said the work on the design of the new town as well as the clothes and accessories to be used in the production, has been completed, ISNA reported.
Screenwriter and filmmaker Masoud Jafari-Jozani, 67, has written the script and is preparing to make the historical epic movie about Cyrus (580-529 BC), king of Persia and the founder of the Achaemenid Empire (550-330 BC), the first Persian Empire in western and Central Asia.
The script is the result of years of extensive research by the veteran filmmaker, who has a master’s degree in cinema from the San Francisco State University. In his feature films and TV series including ‘In the Wind’s Eye’ (2008-2009), he generally deals with heroic subjects with a historical and epic tone.
The late film producer Ali Moallem (1962-2017) was to produce the project but he passed away in March. At the ceremony, his wife, Azar Memarian, said that many years before the (Hollywood) movie ‘300’ was made, Moallem strived to introduce the history of Iran (especially the period when Cyrus was king) to the world’s people.
“When the series ‘In the Wind’s Eye’, was being broadcast, he (Moallem) became certain that the only one who could lead the project was Jafari-Jozani,” Memarian said.
In the past years, Hollywood has made two historical films about the ancient Persians. ‘300’ (2006) and ‘300: Rise of an Empire’ (2014)  both are fictionalized retellings of the Battle of Thermopylae, fought between an alliance of Greek city-states, led by King Leonidas of Sparta, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I, the fourth king of the Achaemenid dynasty.
The films were criticized for historical errors, existence of demon-like and other fictional creatures as part of the Persian army, depicting Persians as decadent and evil and the fictionalized portrayal of Persian King Xerxes I, all wee examples of the film’s wrong and doctored versions of Iranian civilization  and culture.
While in reality, it was different. The Achaemenid dynasty is notable for its successful model of a centralized, bureaucratic administration, building infrastructure such as roads and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories and development of civil services.
  Tolerant and Noble
Cyrus is best remembered for his great tolerance and noble attitude towards the nations he conquered. He is also famous for the declaration of the first Charter of Human Rights known as Cyrus Cylinder.
“Jafari-Jozani knows both Iran and world cinema very well. He is familiar with the psychology of drama and is also well aware of the value of dialogues, so he will not boast about Cyrus in a way to humiliate the rest of the world, and I promise you that he will make such a film that we will make us all feel proud,” graphics expert Akbar Alemi, 71, said at the event.
Previously, it was announced that the project may use foreign actors in the lead roles. “(Moallem’s) idea of using a renowned foreign actor in the film was to benefit from the actor’s fame to attract global audiences and present our (true and rich) history to the world,” Memarian explained.
Speaking on the same issue, veteran actor Ali Nassirian, 82, noted “it is no good to cast foreign actors for a national project.”
“I know we may lack the (required) tools and technology but it is better that Iranians act in our (historical) films because they are capable and deserve to do so,” Nassirian added. “The film will be made for the global audiences all over the world.”
Pointing to the location site, director Jafari-Jozani said, “The town will remain for other filmmakers who wish to make movies on ancient times.”
The second edition of the book ‘Cyrus the Great’, which is Jafari-Jozani’s film script, was also presented at the ceremony. Published by Trita Publications, the first edition was issued last year.

 

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