Argonauts Productions publishes biopic on feminist poet who “set Iran on fire” – Rome MIA Market (EXCLUSIVE)
Greek company Argonauts Productions has embarked on “Forough: A Lonely Woman”, a biopic about iconoclastic Persian poet Forough Farrokhzad by BAFTA-nominated director Tina Gharavi (“I am Nasrine”), before its presentation at the market co-production forum MIA from Rome. .
The film follows the short and controversial life of Farrokhzad, a feminist icon who in the 1950s and 1960s found a way to tell her story in an Iranian society not yet ready for the uncomfortable truths of female desire and ambition. .
Gharavi described the modernist poet as “our Sylvia Plath” and compared it to another artist and feminist icon, calling Farrokhzad “important. [to Iranian culture] like Frida Kahlo is in Mexico.
“Like her, she was a revolutionary,” she says. “Culturally, Forough was that luminary, an independent woman, very advanced for her time, an exquisite poet.” Farrokhzad challenged the traditional norms and structures of Persian poetry while leading an openly promiscuous life, writing about his affair with a married man and scandalizing Iranian society. “It was just radical,” Gharavi said. “She set Iran on fire.”
“Forough: A Lonely Woman” is produced by London-based Poisson Rouge Pictures, whose recent credits include “Scarborough,” which won a BIFA nomination for actress Jessica Barden, and the French comedy-drama “Demain Tout Begins. “(Two Is a Family), with” Lupine “star Omar Sy. The film is co-written by Gharavi and Micsha Sadeghi.
At MIA this week, Gharavi and producer Christopher Granier-Deferre will be looking for a sales agent and co-producers to close around 40% of the film’s budget. “We are really looking for [partners] to join this latest impetus to set up the financing plan, and we hope to meet these partners in Rome and do a nice biopic, ”said Gharavi.
Elena Priovolou of Argonauts Productions, who recently co-produced David Cronenberg’s sci-fi thriller “Crimes of the Future” with Serendipity Point Films, said she was immediately drawn to the topical feature film. “We learned the story of Forough from Tina Gharavi and immediately felt it was an important story to tell,” she said. “Our world needs to understand the power that resides in a female soul and now is the perfect time for that.”
Partnership with Argonauts provides production access to Greece’s attractive 40% cash back, as well as a film location that served as a compelling replacement for the Iranian capital in the Apple Plus TV series ‘Tehran’ .
It’s a necessary step that allows creators to tell Farrokhzad’s story the way it deserves to be told, Gharavi said. “We would honor the fact that she talks about sex. She writes about sex. This is not a part you can take away from Forough’s work. It would be contrary to what it was, ”said the director. “She was talking about things that weren’t said or that were difficult to talk about, and I don’t think you can do that in Iranian society right now.”
Although Farrokhzad led a short and troubled life, dying in a car crash when she was only 32 years old, Gharavi said her impact was long lasting; young women visit the tomb of the late poet to date. She also made her mark as a filmmaker with the short documentary “The House Is Black”, an empathetic portrayal of life in a leper colony that is widely regarded as a forerunner of the Iranian New Wave.
It is the uncompromising nature of Farrokhzad’s “naked ambition”, said Gharavi, which compelled her to make “A Lonely Woman,” recalling that “from day one, women have learned not to really to think that they can be equal to or, dare I say, before men.
“The woman I see in Forough is someone who doesn’t want to compromise, doesn’t want to be second best, doesn’t really care that she’s a woman, so why shouldn’t she be there? ‘to be up there in the canon of Persian literature,’ said the director.
Gharavi credited his own father, who “didn’t use sex as an excuse,” for instilling the same lesson in him from an early age. “There’s always been this kind of feeling that for me, as an Iranian woman, I could be equal or better than men, and gender shouldn’t be something that paralyzes you at all,” he said. she declared. “And I think it was the story that reminds me of Forough that I really liked and needed to be told.”
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