While Kurdish director Bahman Ghobadi has practiced rather unconventional narratives and aesthetics, starting from his 2000 debut “A Time For Drunken Horses” through to his 2009 look into underground Persian rock, “No One Knows About Persian Cats,” his films have nonetheless remained central to Iran’s borders. However, following a fruitful early meeting with Martin Scorsese that led to his latest feature “Rhino Season” finding production and release this year (“presented by” the legendary filmmaker no less), it seems Ghobadi’s next project will be even more intertwined.
Marked as Ghobadi’s first step toward continued relationships with European and American filmmaking parties, the director has announced Scorsese will produce and help develop his New York-set film, entitled “60 Seconds Of Us.” There will remain some portions of ’60 Seconds’ set in Iran, with the narrative itself centered around “the conflict between Iranians and Kurds,” but clearly this shows a new global step for Ghobadi, and Scorsese’s close involvement with the script will likely pay off nicely in the NY-featuring sections.
Ghobadi is currently deemed persona non grata by the Islamic Republic for his criticisms against the current regime (there’s little doubt his bold filmmaking played a part), and so location scouting has been moved instead to Southern Turkey. Meanwhile, “Rhino Season,” which stars Monica Bellucci and is based on the life of political poet Sadegh Kamangar, recently screened at Korea’s Busan International Film Festival. The film faces no clear release in Iran at the present moment, but Ghobadi hopes distribution will happen in Iraqi Kurdistan, upon the completion of twelve cinemas next year.
What that means for us stateside is unclear for the moment, but you can be sure that with Ghobadi’s track record, alongside his current involvement with Scorsese, “60 Seconds Of Us” won’t remain long in the darkness as it rolls into pre-production soon. [THR]