Qatar challended by Iran with film on Prophet, Arab press

30-mln-dollar Shiite response to Sunni Qatar project

18 March, 18:51

(ANSAmed) - DOHA, MARCH 18 - A cinematic stand-off is in the making between Iran and Qatar over the Prophet Mohammad's life. Doctrinal differences between Shiite and Sunni Islam are playing a central role against a backdrop of political tensions between Tehran and Gulf nations over regional control and the Syrian crisis.

The pan-Arab press reports that an Iranian director is shooting a film on the life of Mohammad, an initiative Doha considers a challenge to its own film-in-the-making on the same issue. Directing the Iranian film is Majid Majidi, who is creating a trilogy starting from Mohammad's childhood and who has enlisted the support of photography director Vittorio Storaro, along with a sizable Italian technical-artistic team.

The project, Storaro told ANSA during a December 2011 interview, is part of the ''battle for knowledge'' of the Other and against the ''extremisms'' that would like to prevent such knowledge. Majidi's initiative, reports the pan-Arab press, enjoys 30 million dollars in investment, compared with Qatar's alleged billion dollars put into its film series on the Prophet's life. Qatar's project had been in the works since 2009 and was announced in 2012 by AlNoor Holdings after the Youtube incident involving the film The Innocence of Muslims, which sparked violent reactions throughout the Muslim world. The project was announced as an initiative to present the true face of Islam to the West.

Hollywood producer Barrie Osborne is involved in the Qatar film project, known for his work on the Lord of the Rings and The Matrix, as is the Sunni religious figure Yusuf Al-Qaradawi in the role of historical consultant. (ANSAmed).

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