Majid Majidi’s 'Muhammad' with music by AR Rahman to open Montreal World Film Festival

NEW DELHI: Muhammad, the latest film by renowned Iranian director Majid Majidi will open the 39th Montreal World Film Festival with its world premiere. 


This 171-minute epic on the early years of the prophet of Islam is considered the most expensive film made in Iran, with a budget of over $50 million. The entire production took five years. Renowned Indian composer AR Rahman also contributed to the music of the film. 


MWFF president Serge Losique said, “The Festival is very proud to be able to host the premiere of this important work, a film of very high artistry aimed at a very wide audience, There have been many movies dealing with key figures of the world’s great religions, including Jesus, Moses and Buddha, but this is only the second epic screen treatment of Islam’s founder.”


Majidi will be present in Montreal along with principal members of his cast and crew.


The Festival, which is the only one in north America to be recognized by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) will take place from 27 August to 7 September.


Starring many of Iran’s top actors, the film’s crew includes international craftsmen and artists as director of photography Vittorio Storaro, editor Roberto Perpignani, special effects designer Scott E. Anderson, and makeup designer Gianetto De Ross, apart from Rahman.


By the order of Abraha, King of Habasha, one of his army commanders launches an attack on Mecca in order to destroy the Kaaba. He leads a well-equipped force comprised of thousands of soldiers, horses and elephants. As the army approaches Mecca, the elephants respond to divine order by halting and refusing to continue. Millions of small birds then release a hail of stones onto Abraha’s forces and the army is annihilated. A month later, Muhammad is born. This film depicts the pagan age with all its tyranny and oppression as seen through the eyes of Muhammad from birth to the age of 13.


A record number of short films were submitted to the Festival for this year’s edition. Over 1200 shorts including some 400 Canadian and foreign student films, were submitted prior to the festival deadline, an increase of 42 per cent over last year’s figures.


Close to 726 films from 64 countries have already been submitted.

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