Articles & Notes — August 31, 2012 at 12:33 am

Monica Bellucci & Arash Labaf wrap up “Rhino Season”

The shooting of drama “Rhino Season” from Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi has been wrapped up, according to Turkish media outlets.

The film has been shot on location in Turkey and Germany, and is scheduled for a world premiere by the end of 2012.

“Rhino Season” stars Monica Bellucci, Behrouz Vossoughi and Eurovision-2009 participant Arash Labaf.

Bellucci plays Minah, the wife of an incarcerated poet Sahel (Behrouz Vossoughi), who emigrates to Istanbul with her two children after serving a ten-year jail sentence and believing her husband to be dead. Yilmaz Erdogan (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia) plays the couple’s nemesis.

Ghobadi’s film was a surprise omission from this year’s Cannes programme. Venice could now serve as the launch pad for the acclaimed director’s drama about a couple who are unjustly incarcerated during Iran’s Islamic Revolution.

Ghobadi drew inspiration for Rhino Season from the real life events surrounding a Kurdish poet and family friend who disappeared for thirty years. Presumed dead by his friends and relatives, the man was in fact incarcerated in an Iranian prison.

“Rhino Season” was Arash Labaf’s official debut in the movies, and he said he’s glad to be have been a part of this particular project.

“Bahman Ghobadi, who is my great friend, offered me this part in his film, which is about the Iranian people. I agreed of course,” Labaf told Azerbaijani media. “This is not a commercial film, so do not expect a Hollywood blockbuster, it is a very touching historical drama.’

Arash also noted that it has been a great pleasure for him to star in a film with legendary Monica Bellucci.

“It is really a great honor. I didn’t even know until the last moment that she would be my partner on set,” Labaf said. “She taught me a lot, and supported me through the entire shoot.”

Director Bahman Ghobadi had to shoot the film outside of Iran, as he was no longer unable to make films in his home country.

Despite this fact, shooting outside Iran has proven a liberating experience for the Kurdish Iranian director.

“After my last film in Iran, “No One Knows About Persian Cats”, and after having to leave the country, I became another person. I feel like I was born again, I was given a new life. I am three years old now and live in a free world.”

It seems like Iran has become very attractive as a topic for filmmakers all over the world.

New Jersey born U.S. documentary filmmaker Scott J.T. Frank plans to make a film based on real-life events about the downing of an Iranian airliner by a U.S. warship in the Persian Gulf in 1988. Frank said his film would reflect the true events that happened in 1988. Read Frank’s interview to BZFilm here, where he talks about this project.

Ben Affleck is working on “Argo” – a film based on a true story, a Canadian Caper that took place during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979 and 1980. Affleck stars in the film, and directs it as well.

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