Iranian born film director Ali Atshani’s upcoming comedy 1st Born has wrapped up filming in Los Angeles. In addition to the star power of director Atshani, the films cast includes Val Kilmer (Batman Forever), Denise Richards (Starship Troopers, Wild Things), Robert Knepper (Hitman and TV’s Prison Break), Armin Amiri (The Wrestler) and Heroes alumni Greg Grunberg and Taylor Cole. The roster of actors assembled for the feature film has been impressive, and even more so upon learning that Oscar nominee/Golden Globe winner Tom Berenger will be playing the role of President Donald Trump.
1st Born is the first true co-production between Iran and Hollywood, making use of cast and crew from both countries. The movie is being produced by LA Independent Film and Entertainment with Iranian born Sam Khoze leading the diverse team. Joining Khoze is the film’s director Edwin Avaness and associate producer Pourya Naserbakht.
According to the movie’s official description, “1st Born is a comedy film about a young newlywed couple; Iranian born Ben and American Kate who are living the American dream in sunny California. When their first pregnancy has complications, it takes the whole family to come together, which is no small feat. Ben’s father Hamid Is a virulent anti-American Iranian politician while Kate’s father Biden (played by Kilmer) is an equally anti-Iranian U.S. politician. However, after a series of hijinks and mishaps, the whole extended family must learn to put their differences aside and find common ground to come together for the sake of Ben and Kate and their baby. This comedy shows that blood is thicker than water, or in this case political and cultural differences, and highlights that despite our differences and prejudices we really aren’t that different after all.”
Atshani has established himself as a top filmmaker in Iran, helming films such as The President’s Cell Phone, Wishbone, Banana Peel, Mr. Alef and Negar’s Role. His 2016 film Paradise was a co-production between Iran and Germany.
With the film itself being a historic partnership between the United States and Iran, many hope that it will represent a new line of dialogue and collaboration between the two countries. Responding to Trump’s recent hardline speech about Iran, Atshani said: “I watched Mr. Trump’s interview…I wish you could see parts of the film we made in your country, Mr President!”
A release date for 1st Born has yet to be announced.
Subscribe to The Iranian newsletter
Sign up for our daily newsletter to get the top news stories delivered to your inbox.