Actress to star in Ghobadi's 'Persian Cat' follow-up

ROME — Monica Bellucci is set to topline “Rhinos Season,” Iranian helmer Bahman Ghobadi’s follow-up to arthouse hit “No One Knows About Persian Cats.”

Confirming her commitment, Bellucci described “Rhinos” as “a political film” spanning from before the revolution in Iran to the present, “but also a great love story in which I will play an Iranian woman,” she told leading Italo daily La Republica.

Shooting is expected to start in Turkish locations in March. Exiled 1960s-70s’ Iranian megastar Behrouz Vossoughi, who made more than 90 movies in Iran before moving to Los Angeles after the Shah was deposed in 1979, is also attached.

While other production details are still sketchy, Turkish producer Menderes Demir (“I Saw The Sun”) will serve as the pic’s production manager.

Ghobadi, long a fixture on the fest circuit, made a splash quite recently with “Persian Cats,” which is centered on Tehran’s underground music scene. It scooped the Special Jury Prize in the Cannes fest’s Un Certain Regard section in 2009 and was released Stateside last year by IFC.

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