Source: Tehran Times
The director of Iran's Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC) said on Tuesday that only Hollywood actors with high moral standards would be hired for "Laleh", a controversial movie project about the first Iranian female race car driver, Laleh Seddiq.
"The actors, who will be able to guarantee an international box office success for 'Laleh' and are similar to the characters of the screenplay of the film and morally have pure and humanistic professional backgrounds, are the most favorite to be selected for the cast of the film," Safi Aqamohammadian told the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency.
He previously said that they planned to hire celebrated foreign actors such as Ben Kingsley and Sean Penn for the film.
There's an unsubstantiated rumor that Iran has entered into talks to hire George Clooney and Robert De Niro for the film.
Aqamohammadian refused to confirm the report and said, "We won't take the risk of using Hollywood actresses in the film. We will hire non-professional Turkish or Egyptian actresses."
Iran plans to make the film in response to the propaganda spread by Western media about restrictions on the social activities of females in Iran, Aqamohammadian's immediate superior Javad Shamaqdari, who is the director of the Iran Cinema Organization, previously said.
The plan has previously been discussed by U.S.-based Iranian filmmaker Asadollah Niknejad and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a meeting in New York. Niknejad gained Ahamadinejad's approval during the meeting.
According the DEFC, the film will cost about 70 billion rials (over $3.5 million), 25 billion rials ($1.3 million) of which will be provided by the DEFC and U.S. and Canadian companies will provide the rest for the production of "Laleh".
The companies will join the project due to their close relationships with Niknejad.
The plan to allocate a large sum of money for the film project was censured by Iranian media outlets and a number of cineastes.
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