Iranian director seeks to shoot film on the Prophet in INDIA

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November 8, 2012

Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi wants to shoot his film on Prophet Mohammad in Rajasthan, but will the government clear it, given the sensitivity of the subject?

Iranian Filmmaker: Majid Majidi

November 8, 2012

Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi wants to shoot his film on Prophet Mohammad in Rajasthan, but will the government clear it, given the sensitivity of the subject?

Iranian Filmmaker: Majid Majidi

Majid Majidi, the acclaimed Iranian filmmaker who has directed films like Children Of Heaven, Rain and The Song Of Sparrows, had sought permission to shoot for his next film, based on the life of the Prophet Mohammad, in India.

"The request was for a war sequence. It came last month, from a Mumbai-based production house. And the permission sought was for shooting in Rajasthan – at the Mansagar Lake in Jaipur and the Mehrangarh Fort and its nearby areas in Jodhpur," reveals a source in the I&B ministry. But if insiders are to be believed, Majidi might not be granted permission easily.

Majidi, who has explained how his film is different from previous films on the Prophet, was quoted on his website as saying, "We have been working for four years for this film. The world knows Islam with terror. Therefore, I wanted to make a film to show the real face of Islam. There are films that have been made before. They did not show the face of Prophet Mohammad out of respect. But there is nothing like this in the religion. Only his face is not visible. He will appear physically, but we will not see his face."

Majidi also said it was a big project whose set had been created showing the Iran, Medina and Mecca of 400 years ago. Half the filming has been done and the film will release in two years, says his website. "We have held talks with ulamas in Iran and Turkey. They are positive about it," he was quoted as saying.

"The film is on a sensitive subject, and we want to avoid any untoward incidents. The ministry is considering all pros and cons, but might not give a go-ahead finally. However, there will have to be consultations with the Home and External Affairs ministries, and a final call can be taken only after that," reveals an I&B Ministry source.

"Any movie based on religious issues is sensitive, and we will have to ensure religious sentiments are not hurt in the process of promoting the country. It is believed that the ministry will ask for a letter of support from other countries, and from the filmmaker as well," he adds.

On an official note, I&B secretary Uday Kumar Varma confirmed that Majidi had indeed applied, but said that it would be premature to assume either a rejection or an acceptance of his request. "There are multiple ministries involved in the process – I&B, MHA, MEA – as well as an evaluation process. It's rather premature at this stage to assume a decision either way, and believe it to be the government's will. We'll revert as soon as the internal process is done", he told TOI.


Courtesy: TOI