Muhammad film premiere delayed for 24 hours due to tech glitch

The multi-million-dollar film Muhammad depicts events before the birth of the Prophet and up to his teenage years. The production took more than seven years to complete and stars top Iranian actors.
The multi-million-dollar film Muhammad depicts events before the birth of the Prophet and up to his teenage years. The production took more than seven years to complete and stars top Iranian actors.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

TEHERAN • The eagerly awaited premiere of Iran's multi-million-dollar film Muhammad, about the childhood of the Prophet, was postponed yesterday for 24 hours due to technical problems, a spokesman said.

The huge production cost an estimated US$40 million (S$56 million) and took more than seven years to complete.

The 171-minute film, which stars many top Iranian actors, was due to show in around 140 theatres throughout Iran yesterday, the day before it opened at the Montreal Film Festival.

But it will now be screened in Teheran today, just as in Canada, a spokesman for the film said.

Iranian media reported that the film's audio track was incompatible with the existing sound systems in Iranian cinemas, forcing the postponement to make time for changes.

Iranian media reported that the film's audio track was incompatible with the existing sound systems in Iranian cinemas, forcing the postponement to make time for changes.

The film's producer and distributor Mohammad Reza Saberi told ISNA news agency: "Those who have purchased tickets in advance can use their tickets from Thursday until next Wednesday."

Muhammad is the first part of a trilogy on the Prophet's life. It depicts events before his birth and up to his teenage years, before he became a prophet, which according to the Quran was when he was 40.

While Iran has denounced cartoons of Prophet Muhammad like those published by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Shi'ite Muslims are generally more relaxed than Sunnis about depictions of religious figures.

While many planned showings of Muhammad in Shi'ite-majority Iran have already sold out, in the Sunni Muslim world, the production has triggered controversy.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2015, with the headline 'Muhammad film premiere delayed for 24 hours due to tech glitch'. Print Edition | Subscribe