Tehran Taboo (2017)
First animation in Critics’ Week
by Birgit Heidsiek, cineuropa
"Tehran taboo" is one among 7 films that have been selected to be screened in the International Critics' Week section at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.
One of the most politically charged works to compete at Critics’ Week is an animated feature, Ali Soozandeh’s “Tehran Taboo,” which delivers an uncompromising snapshot of life in Teheran, a city where basic civil liberties are banned, corruption is rampant and women are oppressed. --Variety
This animated social drama tells the stories of young people in today's Teheran, a city of prohibitions and doctrines.
Pari, a single mom, can only feed her five year old son by working as a prostitute. After a one-night-stand Babak faces the reality of having to finance a 'virginity-operation' for Donya, while Sara is living the traditional Iranian life of an obedient housewife together with her husband and his parents. When all of their lives start to collide, they will change drastically.
In his animated drama, the German-Iranian filmmaker paints a dark picture of the metropolis, a city of prohibitions, draconian dogmas and restrictive laws.
"Tehran taboo" is an upcoming animated featured film about the difficult life of 4 young people in Tehran directed by Ali Soozandeh. In their desperate search for freedom and happiness, four young people from Tehran, Iran are forced to break the taboos of a restrictive, islamic society.
The competition at Cannes Critics’ Week includes for the first time a feature animation and feature documentary: Iranian director Ali Soozandeh’s daring Tehran Taboo, an exploration of sexuality in the Iranian capital, and Emmanuel Gras’s Makala, about a young man in the Congo who is determined to offer his family a better future.
The lives of three strong-willed women and a young musician cross paths in Tehran’s schizophrenic society where sex, adultery, corruption, prostitution and drugs coexist with strict religious law. In this bustling modern metropolis, avoiding prohibition has become an everyday sport and breaking taboos can be a means of personal emancipation.
Tehran Taboo is completely filmed in a green screen and edited afterwards in post-production to give it a comic-like style. As part of the “Rotoscoping” and “Compositing” teams at Little Dream Entertainment GmbH I helped to archive the special look of the film and to create and build the different scenes and stages. The film is expected to be in cinemas in 2016.
TEHRAN TABOO (2017) by Ali Soozandeh
Animation – Rotoscopy technique
Germany/Austria / 2017 / 2:35 / 5.1 / Persian / 96’ / Completed
Tehran is a city full of restrictions and religious laws where any type of crime leads to draconic punishment. Yet, the lust for life in young women and men who seek to live freely has made it an everyday sport to avoid these strict prohibitions. Three women of different social backgrounds and a young musician will cross path. This humanist film expresses with tenderness and humor the hypocrisy and the contradictions of the system and its consequences.
For his ambitious debut feature film, Tehran Taboo, North Rhine-Westphalia-based German-Iranian filmmaker Ali Soozandeh is combining some innovative stylistic devices from animation and graphic novels. Shot entirely in a green-screen studio in Vienna with real actors, the authentic social drama will feature animated characters who take a close look behind the moral curtain of the Iranian theocracy. For this animated movie, Cologne-based CGI and animation studio Pixeltruck developed new animation techniques in order to blend real and animated actors with 3D animation and drawings made by hand.
A single mother lives with her five-year-old, mute son in a high-rise area in the middle of the metropolis. In order to pay her rent and for the divorce from her jailed husband, she works as a prostitute but pretends to be a nurse on a night shift. She shares her secret with her pregnant neighbour, a bored housewife, who takes care of her son but also hopes to find a way out of her everyday life. A young music student also lives in the same neighbourhood but gets into trouble after a one-night stand with an 18-year-old virgin.
Tehran Taboo is the first feature-film project by Cologne-based production company Little Dream Entertainment. The German-Austrian co-production is staged in partnership with Vienna-based coop 99, ZDF/Arte and ORF. It is supported by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, the Austrian Film Institute, the German Federal Film Fund, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, the Vienna Film Fund, FISA and the Hessische Filmförderung. In Germany, Tehran Taboo will be released theatrically by Camino Film.
Elmira Rafizadeh, Zahra Amir Ebrahimi, Arash Marandi, Negar Nasseri, Bilal Yasar, Morteza Tavakoli, Alireza Bayram, Klaus Ofczarek
Director / Writer Ali Soozandeh
DoP Martin Gschlacht
Costume Designer Erika Navas
Make-up Artist Wiltrud Derschmidt
Art Directior Ali Soozandeh
Set-Dresser Peter Suchy
Editors Frank Geiger, Andrea Mertens
VFX Supervisors Ali Samadi Ahadi, Christian Schiffler
Producers Frank Geiger, Ali Samadi Ahadi, Marc Fencer, Armin Hofmann, Antonin Svoboda, Bruno Wagner
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
1970 born in Shiraz, Iran
3D artist and freelancing filmmaker
+ studied at the Academy of Media Arts Teheran
+ Founder of CARTOONAMOON filmproduction
Script & direction of various short films
Animation of various feature films
Animation for the cinema documentary THE GREEN WAVE (Director: Ali Samadi Ahadi, 2010)
Animation for the cinema documentary CAMP 14 – Total Control Zone (Director: Marc Wiese, 2011)
Animation for the feature film DIE MAMBA (Director: Ali Samadi Ahadi, 2013/14)
TEHERAN TABU is his first feature film as a director
Drama | D, A - IN POST-PRODUCTIONvon / by Ali Soozandeh