Iranian film firsts continue to make the news, and this time we’ve got word of a unique collaboration with South Korea.
Producer and filmmaker Ali Noori Oskouei will combine forces with South Korea’s Suk Sun-Ju, to fund a film based on a newly finished script. Reports state that the film will focus on a “historical and mythical story revolving around the culture of the two countries.”
Although handling production duties, Oskouei is known for directing animated features, with his most recent film Release From Heaven having opened Animation Day in Cannes earlier this year. For this project, newcomer Hyeong-Joon Kim—who previously helmed the thrillers The Scent and No Mercy—is signed on to direct, and while he’s only been active over the past five years, his films have earned upwards of $16 million total in box office receipts as of this writing.
This update joins recent news about the first ever co-production between Iran and the United States, the Val Kilmer-starring 1st Born. Ali Atshani’s upcoming film appears to still be in its pre-production phase, but now counts Robert Knepper, William Baldwin, and US-based Iranian actor Armin Amiri among its cast.
News of the Iranian-Korean film project arrives during an apparent surge in the country’s international film distribution: the screening rights of 64 Iranian films have reportedly been sold around the world. The International Department of the Farabi Cinema Foundation experienced an uptick of activity during President Hassan Rouhani’s first term, and has sold the rights to distribute Iranian films on flights, on TV, in theaters, and for online streaming in different countries. Managing director Alireza Tabesh counts participation in international film festivals and an increased focus on internet presence, among other events, as possible reasons for this prosperity.