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"Outcasts" eyes Iranian New Year box office

TEHRAN, March 5 (Mehr News Agency) -- Director Massud Dehnamaki's controversial flick "The Outcasts" is expected to top box office from March 21 to April 1, called Noruz, when Iranians celebrate the New Year.

Dehnamaki's Sacred Defense (1980-88 Iran Iraq war) genre comedy is estimated to sell about 10.5 billion rials (over $1.5 million) in early spring, the Union of Theaters Owners spokesman said on Sunday.

"Outcasts will probably be welcomed by moviegoers more than any other films scheduled to hit the silver screen during Noruz, he added.

Dehnamaki at Fajr Film Festival

The film was praised by audience but only got nominations in the Best Costume Design and Best Special Effects categories of this year's Fajr International Film Festival.

Dehnamaki's refusal to accept the Crystal Simorgh for the Audience Favorite Film during the award presentation ceremony on February 11 created a media frenzy in Iran.

The comedy, which was also written by Dehnamaki, tells the story of Majid Suzuki, a hooligan from southern Tehran who falls in love with Narges, the daughter of Mirza, a pious man. Majid must reform himself to marry Narges. So he decides to head for the battlefront during the Iran-Iraq war and his protégés also follow him.

Prominent Iranian comic figure Akbar Abdi, Amin Hayaii, Kambiz Dirbaz, Mohammadreza Sharifinia (also a casting director), Seyyed Javad Hashemi, Qassem Zare', Merila Zarei, Niusha Zeyghami, and Negar Foruzandeh are the main cast.

... Payvand News - 3/5/07 ... --

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