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Sean Stone's film in Iran centers on Rumi


Source: Tehran Times; photos by Hemmat Khahi, ISNA

U.S. filmmaker Sean Stone (R) and Reel Knights Productions CEO Mellissa Carter attend a press conference in Tehran on September 8, 2011 to explain about their travel to Iran.
(photo by Albolfazl Salmanzadeh, Mehr News Agency)

TEHRAN -- Actor and documentary filmmaker Sean Stone, son of Oscar-winner director Oliver Stone, said that his project focuses on Iranian mystic and poet Molana Jalal ad-Din Rumi (1207-1273).

Accompanied by Mellissa Carter, Reel Knights film and television development and production studio chief executive officer, Stone attended a Tehran press conference on Thursday to give some details about his project. Reel Knights are cosponsors in Stone's production.

His conference at Tehran's Milad Tower was canceled and replaced by a conference for the Asian Games Archery Competition, however, the conference was held at the office of Iranian filmmaker Ali Shah-Hatami here on Thursday, Persian news agencies reported on Thursday.

Stone has traveled to Iran searching for suitable locations for his film which he explained as a project focusing on Rumi and Persian mysticism and he said that he needs to study Persian culture to get a proper feel for its civilities, rituals and traditions.

Nader Talebzadeh "The Messiah" director was presenter of the program and the translator as well.

Stone said that his father has no plans to travel to Iran. He continued that Iran is one of the major filmmaking centers in Asia and it has good filmmakers, "I would like to introduce Persian culture and civilization to the West," he said.

He added that most of the films he has watched about Iran speak against the culture of Iran, but he does not care much for these types of productions, and that he prefers to find out about Persian culture himself.

Stone further added that he doesn't know much about the cinema of Iran and if he plans to make a film in Iran, he needs to do more research to make a movie with his own views and thoughts.

He said that Iran is a complex country with a great civilization and Iranian people have religious traditions.

A graduate of history from Princeton University, Stone also noted that he is interested in the Pre-Islamic history of Iran and that he has cooperated with his dad on the project "Alexander" (2004). However, Iranians have found Stone's action biopic "Alexander" (2004) offensive due to his depiction of ancient Persians as idiots and buffoons.

Stone also noted that he is familiar with religious and Islamic culture and that he has a Muslim friend from Lebanon.

On the atmosphere dominating in the United States for filmmaking, he explained that no filmmaker would be jailed for his ideas and that he does not expect to be interrogated for his journey to Iran. Filmmaking in the United States doesn't need a production license; it only requires a budget and cameras.

Shah-Hatami, also present at the program, stressed that there have been many efforts to help introduce the cinema of Iran as it really deserves, and provide the opening for international screening of Iranian movies.

"We need to make the world familiar with Iranian cinema and help boost joint productions. The first step was to invite Stone to help us introduce our Persian history, culture and civilization," Shah-Hatami added.

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