‘Guantanamo’ OK for Iran

Authorities to follow 'Road'

Iranian auds could find themselves acquainted with the Gitmo detention camp sooner than they expected — on the bigscreen that is.

Authorities in Iran have asked Prime Pictures, the Mideast distributor for “The Road to Guantanamo,” to release the film there. The move comes despite a series of decrees in recent months by the Iranian regime banning everything from Western films to music.

“They’ve made us a very good offer. It’s three times what they would usually offer,” says Hamad Atassi, president of Prime Pictures, who also repped the release of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” in Iran in 2004.

“Guantanamo” producer Andrew Eaton told Variety he was “delighted and overjoyed” with the news. The award-winning pic, co-directed by Michael Winterbottom and Matt Whitecross, follows Brit trio “The Tipton Three” from Pakistan and Afghanistan before being captured by U.S. forces and sent to Gitmo. Winterbottom actually shot a substantial part of the film in Iran.

“We rebuilt Guantanamo in Iran so they’re probably quite curious to see what that looks like,” says Eaton.

The film is awaiting official approval by the Iranian authorities, although Atassi has been given the nod the film will clear shortly. So keen is the regime for Iranian auds to see the film that it’s asked Prime for four prints.

“Usually they just ask for one print and bicycle it around between the different cinemas,” Atassi says.

“Guantanamo” is expected to open in the country in three weeks time. As for what’s up next for Eaton and Winterbottom, the duo are steering clear of the Mideast for an adaptation of “Genova” by Laurence Coriat. Pic is slated to start shooting in the summer.

“We thought some nice food and wine on the Italian Riviera would be a good change,” quips Eaton.