Volume. 12231

Director withdraws from “Welcome to Tehran” project over official bureaucracy
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Mehdi Naderi in an undated photo
Mehdi Naderi in an undated photo
TEHRAN -- Director Mehdi Naderi has withdrawn from “Welcome to Tehran” over Iranian cultural officials’ denial to qualify foreign actors for the film project, which was to explore problems tourists face due to Iran sanctions.
“I will explain the details about my withdrawal from the project in an open letter I plan to send to the president,” he told the Persian service of FNA on Monday.
“I will tell him what became of Mehdi Naderi, who made ‘Farewell Baghdad’, which forced him to pull out of the project that he wanted to make,” he added.
“I put considerable effort in the project for four years and I wanted to show the world that the people of Tehran were not those who were shown in ‘Argo’. I wanted to show the streets of my city as they are in the reality not in the way Ben Affleck showed in his film,” he explained.
Naderi previously said that two A-list actors from Switzerland were selected for the cast for “Welcome to Tehran”, which is a real-life drama about a European woman and her daughter in Tehran.
He also said that the efforts he made to obtain the approval of Iranian officials for the work of the Swiss actors were in vain and the unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles have brought the film project to a halt.
The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance must approve the qualifications of foreign members of a cast who are hired for a film project in Iran.
Naderi’s war drama “Farewell Baghdad” represented Iran at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Films category in 2011.

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