TEHRAN, Iran, March 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- "Laleh", fifteen years in the making, produced by DEFC and Canadian "The Movie Drive, Inc." and directed by Iranian born, Hollywood Director-Producer Essy Niknejad, premiered March 12th right after theaters opened in Tehran to unanimous kudos, even from some who opposed this debated film. It tells the heroic true struggle of a brilliant young woman in a patriarchal society in pursuing her dream to race cars against all odds: the racing teams that threatened her, the Silicon Valley millionaire who wooed her to be his trophy wife, the mother who had hoped for a more traditional daughter, the father who encouraged her, but was conflicted as her life became imperiled. Both action and human drama.
The director, Essy Niknejad, made films in Iran before coming to Hollywood 1982, where he worked as a producer and executive for many TV series and movies. He acquired rights to Laleh Seddigh's story after her amazing race victory in 2005 and then fought Hollywood executives and later powers in Iran that opposed the film. At one point he pled his case before the Iranian parliament to continue. Financing and shooting were done in Iran and the film shows a more normal side of Iranian life than the West is used to seeing. Mr. Niknejad sacrificed all to finish: finances and loss of sight in his right eye while shooting racing sequences.
The stars, though not well known in the West, but popular in Middle-East and Hollywood include: Homayoun Ershadi ("The Kite Runner"), Nicholas Guilak ("Think Like a Man"), Niki Karimi , Iraj Nowzari, Azita Hajian. Sara Amiri, who played "Laleh," is a newcomer but a total natural to the big screen. All turn in stellar performances in this film originally shot in English (dubbed in Farsi only for Iranian audiences). Film goers remarked that this was a Hollywood style movie with an authentic Iranian tone. Art and sports can sometimes bridge cultural tensions between nations and it is the hope of the director that "Laleh" will do just that. Mr. Niknejad plans to return to L.A. at the end of March and seek worldwide distribution from a major studio for this very unique, must-see movie.
SOURCE Winter Star Entertainment