“Sun Children” star Ruhollah Zamani cast in war drama “The Bakeri Martyrs” 

February 26, 2021 - 18:50

TEHRAN – Ruhollah Zamani, the lead actor of Majid Majidi’s acclaimed drama “Sun Children”, has been cast in the war docudrama series “The Bakeri Martyrs”.

This news was released by Variety last Tuesday with an image depicting Zamani in a scene from the series about the life story of Mehdi Bakeri, the chief of IRGC 31st Shura Division, and his brothers Ali and Hamid.

Mehdi commanded IRGC 31st Shura Division in several major operations during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war and was martyred along with Hamid in the war. Ali, their older brother, was earlier killed by the SAVAK intelligence services in 1972.  

Hadi Hejazifar is the director of the series, which is being made at Sima Films, a film production studio affiliated with IRIB.

Majidi selected Zamani and other child actors for his movie from over 3,000 auditions held over a four-month period at a school for child workers in Tehran.

Ruhollah won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for best young actor at the Venice Film Festival in 2020 for his role in “Sun Children”, which has been shortlisted for the 2021 Oscars.

“It’s so gratifying for me to see Ruhollah continue as an actor,” Majidi told Variety.

“He’s a lot like the boy in ‘Sun Children’ — resourceful, brave and full of initiative. I know he will thrive because he now has the opportunity,” he added.

Like other child stars of “Sun Children”, including Shamila Shirzad and her brother Abolfazl, Ruhollah had never acted before.

“He was pure, filled with raw energy, determined to give more than expected,” Majidi said about Ruhollah.

“Casting the main character was the hardest task. But Ruhollah surpassed all the others because he had such an intensity, such a desire to get the lead — much like the character in the movie, so determined to find the treasure and save his mother,” he added.

With the “Sun Children” team’s assistance, Ruhollah has enrolled in an acting school, which he will attend once the pandemic is over.

Photo: Ruhollah Zamani (C) acts in a scene from “The Bakeri Martyrs” by director/actor Had Hejazifar. (Ali Nikraftar)   

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