Code: 60689 A

TEHRAN –(Iranart)- FILMAR, a production and distribution company based in Milan, has gotten Iranian cultural authority’s green light for making a screen adaptation of William Shakespeare’s comedy masterpiece “The Merchant of Venice”.

The film, which will be directed by Saleh Deldam, the director of comedy movies “Mat Special Secretary”, “Narmak” and “Goose Kebab”, Persian media reported on Wednesday.

Alireza Sajjadpur, former director of the Culture Ministry’s Supervision and Evaluation Office, will be the producer of the project.

The film will be the first co-production between Iran and Italy.

“The Merchant of Venice” believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599 is about Antonio, a merchant in Venice who defaults on a large loan provided by a Jewish moneylender, Shylock.

Although classified as a comedy in the First Folio and sharing certain aspects with Shakespeare’s other romantic comedies, the play is most remembered for its dramatic scenes, and it is best known for Shylock and his famous “Hath not a Jew eyes?” speech on humanity.

Dozens of screen, TV and radio adaptations of the play have been made. 

The screen version directed by Michael Radford in 2004 was the first big-screen adaption of the play. The cast included Al Pacino as Shylock, Jeremy Irons as Antonio, Joseph Fiennes as Bassanio, Lynn Collins as Portia, and Zuleikha Robinson as Jessica.

Over the past few years, a number of Iranian cineastes have begun joint productions with several overseas companies after they acknowledged the need for collaboration in the international arena.

“Beyond the Clouds” by Majid Majidi, “Yeva” by Anahid Abad and “1st Born” by Ali Atshani are the latest examples of films Iranian filmmakers have made along with foreign partners.

“Beyond the Clouds” is Majidi’s first India-set movie whose story is set in Mumbai’s impoverished underclass.

He made the movie in 2017 in collaboration with the Indian companies, Zee Studios and Namah Pictures.

“Yeva”, a co-production between Iran’s Farabi Cinema Foundation and the National Cinema Center of Armenia, was shot in Armenia.

The film, which was Armenia’s submission to the 90th Academy Awards in the best foreign-language film category, narrates a melodrama set in the country.

As the first co-production between Iran and America, “1st Born” lays out its comic plot on the difficult relations between Iran and the U.S.  

The story of the comedy is also entirely set in the U.S. with an all-American cast.

Iran also pursues film projects with companies in Serbia, China, Malaysia, Japan and several other countries.

source: Tehran Times

The Merchant of Venice FILMAR
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