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Farhadi opens Cannes 2017, Talks to buyers about new film with Cruz and Bardem (video)

May 18, 2017

Independent Aggregator of Iran-related News/Events, Kodoom.com: The 70th Cannes Film Festival opened yesterday with a low-key ceremony led by Italian star Monica Bellucci. Seventeen-year-old actress and model Lily-Rose Depp, daughter of actress-singer Vanessa Paradis and actor father Johnny Depp, opened the festival along with Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, whose film The Salesman last year won the Palm for Best Actor.

Farhadi described the Cannes Film Festival, where some five films from Iran are playing in different sections, as a "place where cultures speak to one another."

Farhadi also finally received his Oscar for best foreign language film, nearly three months after boycotting the Academy Awards ceremony. Farhadi had boycotted the ceremony in February over President Donald Trump's proposed travel ban on people from several majority-Muslim countries, including Iran.

According to Screen Daily, Farhadi is in Cannes also to talk to buyers about his upcoming, currently untitled Spanish-language psychological thriller. Argentine superstar Ricardo Darin has joined Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem in the hotly anticipated project, which is due to shoot in Madrid from mid-August.

Farhadi, Cruz and Bardem

The $12-13m project is now being made as a French-Spanish-Italian co-production with French producer Alexandre Mallet-Guy (producer of Farhadi’s The Past and The Salesman) of Memento Films joined by Che producer Álvaro Longoria of Spanish stalwarts Morena Films and Andrea Occhipinti of Italian indie giant Lucky Red, which handled the release of The Salesman in Italy.

It will also be made in co-production with France 3 Cinema and supported by Canal Plus and France Télévision. The Iranian auteur has written the script in Farsi and it has been translated into Spanish.

Memento Films International is handling sales and will launch the film in earnest in Cannes with the team aiming for it to be ready in time for Cannes 2018.

Farhadi has assembled an impressive crew for what is expected to be his most commercial film to date, including composer Alberto Iglesias (The Constant Gardener), DoP Jose Luis Alcaine (Talk To Her), production designer Clara Notari (Wild Tales) and costume designer Sonia Grande (The Lost City Of Z).

Farhadi is both admired (by liberals and reformists) and hated (by conservatives) in his homeland, Iran. His new images in Cannes 2017 with scantily clad Depp and other actresses (such as Bella Hadid, pictured and filmed here) may generate a new wave of criticism inside Iran's conservative islamic circles.

In March, Farhadi's disparaging remarks to Israeli Paper about Ahmadinejad and Netanyahu also angered conservative radicals in Iran and Israel.

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