December 1, 2007
Tehran Times Art Desk
TEHRAN -- Oscar-winner U.S. director Oliver Stone will likely travel to Tehran to hold discussions with Iranian officials on his proposal to make a biopic about President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Alireza Sajjadpur told the Mehr News Agency on Friday.
Sajjadpur is the secretary of the Islamic Society of Artists and is regularly consulted by the president’s advisors on art and cultural matters.
“Oliver Stone is still interested in making the film, and as I previously said, he has named the project ‘Ahmadinejad’s Adventures’, but to make the film he has to meet Iranian officials in person in Tehran,” he noted.
“We have announced that he has asked for permission to travel to Iran for direct negotiations and to plan the project,” he added.
“We will never enter negotiations with his representative. All talks should be face-to-face with him. He accepted the decision, and he may travel to Iran soon,” he explained.
Stone’s initial request to make the documentary was announced on June 28 by Sajjadpur, who is a supporter of Stone’s proposal.
The president’s media advisor, Mehdi Kalhor, criticized Sajjadpur’s stance on the subject and described it as interference in his work.
“I clearly declare that Mr. Mehdi Kalhor has made no protest against my comments. On the contrary, he believes that a cineaste should express his view on the president’s biopic,” Sajjadpur explained.
“He approves all of the reports announced by me about Stone’s request,” he noted.
Kalhor had rejected Stone’s first request, calling him “a part of the Great Satan”, a name first given to the United States by the founder of the Islamic Republic, the late Imam Khomeini, after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
However, Ahmadinejad initially accepted Stone’s proposal after his second request on August 28, and asked his advisors to examine the issue.
Consequently, Ahmadinejad’s art advisor, Javad Shamaqdari, who is regarded as a leading opponent of Stone’s project, set preconditions for the agreement, demanding to be informed of Stone’s storyline for the film, saying Stone would not be allowed to invent any scenarios and that he should only use incidents from the president’s real life in the film.
Afterwards, Iran’s Islamic Society of Artists was assigned to decide about Stone’s proposal, but they made no decision in their session on September 6, and Stone left the U.S. to direct “Pinkville”, a movie on the Mai Lai massacre
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