“The Last Fiction” director Ashkan Rahgozar on Fantasia festival panel
Art and Experience:
Ashkan Rahgozar, director of Iranian epic “The Last Fiction”, has been selected for the jury of the Fantasia International Film Festival, which will take place in Montreal, Canada from August 5 to 25.
Rahgozar along with jury president Hefang Wei from France and Indian writer Kalp Sanghvi will select the winners of the Satoshi Kon Award for Excellence in Animation.
The Iranian films “Jebeer” directed by Reyhaneh Mirhashemi and “Prophet” by Reza Gamini will also be screened at the festival.
The short animated movie “Jebeer” produced by Rahgozar is about a wildlife ranger who is patrolling a protective area while his soul is intertwined with nature and all the creatures he is protecting. He runs freely and lives with the animals, surrounded by beauty. But, as fate would have it, he is confronted with some poachers.
Rahgozar’s new project at Fantasia
The festival also is promoting Rahgozar’s new project “Juliet & the King”, which is under production at his Tehran-based studio Hoorakhsh.
The animation features an early cultural relation between Iran and the West during the nineteenth century when Nasser ad-Din Shah, the long-serving monarch of the Qajar dynasty, gets an invitation to visit France.
He loves Europe and he always takes the chance to visit there. While visiting a Romeo-Juliet play in Paris, the actress catches his eyes. He falls in love with her so deeply that he asks her to perform the same play in Tehran, so he could impress her and win her heart.
Julie, the actress, decides to take this chance. With the help of her friend Jamal, she goes to perform in Iran, anticipating progress in her career. But she suddenly finds herself among jealous court ladies, and the center of the king’s attention.
The film, which is scheduled to premiere in 2023, portrays Qajar kings’ passion for traveling to Europe in the 19th century, focusing on the cultural relations between Iran and France.
“Iran is a great and beautiful country with great history and amazing people who have a great culture,” Rahgozar told Cartoon Brew in an interview published last week.
“I want to point out that there are lots of beautiful things that people around the world can learn from and remind each other about,” he added.
The musical will feature 11 original songs by Iranian songwriter Meysam Yusefi and composer Behnam Jalilian.
Rahgozar is currently working on his second animation feature “The Dragon’s Treasure” with Mystic House Production Ltd. based in the Canadian city of Toronto.
The animation tells a story in which the heroes embark on a magical journey to find a great treasure.
His first animated feature “The Last Fiction” became the first Iranian animation to qualify for an Oscar in 2020.