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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Iran / Czech Republic / Slovakia

The Czech Republic and Slovakia co-producing Iranian mystery-thriller Absence

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- The third feature by Ali Mosaffa will probe the hidden corners where the histories of Iran and the former Czechoslovakia intersect

The Czech Republic and Slovakia co-producing Iranian mystery-thriller Absence
Absence by Ali Mosaffa

Iranian filmmaker Ali Mosaffa, a Karlovy Vary International Film Festival regular, introduced his latest project, Absence, during the festival’s virtual industry strand, KVIFF Eastern Promises. Both of Mosaffa’s two previous features bowed in the main competition at KVIFF: Portrait of a Lady Far Away (2005) and The Last Step (2012). Mosaffa wrote and is producing, starring in and directing Absence, which is described as a mystical thriller and is being made as a co-production between Iran, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

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The film’s protagonist arrives in Prague from Tehran to find out more about his father’s past as a communist expatriate in Czechoslovakia. A resident of the flat where Rouzbeh’s father lived fell out of a window, and the protagonist soon finds out that it was his half-brother, Vladimir. “As he discovers the hidden corners of Vladimir’s life and draws closer to his soul, he learns a shocking fact about his father, which is in total contrast to the hero he had admired,” reveals the synopsis.

“I have always been enchanted by stories in which someone is trying to understand someone else’s predicaments, the situation which brought about their misery and the undulations which directed them to the point of no return,” says the writer-director-producer in the director’s statement. Mosaffa noted that the film will attempt to shine a light into the hidden corners where the histories of Iran and the former Czechoslovakia intersect.

Jordi Niubó, of i/o post, who is co-producing the film on the Czech side, revealed that an initial cut of the movie is ready, although they are seeking further finances to finish the sound post-production. He estimates that Absence should be ready for release by autumn 2020, and the team is also looking for a sales agent. A host of Czech actresses star in the film, including Zuzana Stivínová, Magdalena Borová, Petra Nesvačilová, Antonie Formanová and Klára Melíšková, plus Slovakian actress Zuzana Kronerová, of Ice Mother [+see also:
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fame.

Absence is being produced by Ali Mosaffa Productions, and co-produced by Czech production outfit i/o post, Slovakia’s ARINA and Czech company Hypermarket Film. The film is being supported by Creative Europe – MEDIA, the Czech Film Fund, the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and the Prague Film Fund.

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