Kari Skogland to lens Iranian prison drama

'Prisoner of Tehran' based on Marina Nemat memoir

TORONTO -- Canadian Kari Skogland has signed on to direct the Miracle Pictures' drama "Prisoner of Tehran," about a 16-year-old Christian girl forced in 1982 to convert to Islam and marry a prison guard who rescued her from an Iranian firing squad.

The Canadian indie pic is based on the 2007 best-selling memoir "Prisoner of Tehran" by Marina Nemat, whose imprisonment in Tehran's infamous Evin prison and forced marriage eventually ended when her husband was assassinated by a rival faction and his family secured her release.

After a forbidden marriage in a Catholic church to her teenage sweetheart, Nemat fled to Canada in 1991, where she now lives.

Miracle Pictures producer Paul Brown expects Nemat's harrowing tale of abuse and torture after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution to resonate with movie-going audiences as repression of that country's political opposition continues to grow and western powers attempt to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Skogland is penning the screenplay for "Prisoner of Tehran" as Brown completes financing for the Canadian picture, possibly to be structured as a co-production with either a French or British partner.

Skogland's last feature, "50 Dead Men Walking," was similarly politically-charged as it captured the true-life story of a Belfast wise-guy recruited by the British police to infiltrate the Irish Republican Army.

Though set in Iran, Brown expects to shoot "Prisoner of Tehran" in either Jordan or Israel.
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