0452 GMT May 20, 2019
Directed by renowned filmmaker Hassan Fathi, the series has been made for home video network and was released concurrently in Iran and Germany on October 12, the serial's website shahrzadseries.com reported.
German company EM Film Production GmbH which cooperated in the production has purchased the right for its global distribution.
The cast and crew including producer Mohammad Emami, renowned actors Mostafa Zamani and Ali Nassirian, composer Fardin Khalatbari and singer Alireza Qorbani walked the red carpet on Saturday.
'Shahrzad' premiered at the Cinedom Theater in Cologne with the screening of the first episode. A large number of Iranians living in Cologne as well as other German cities went to see their favorite celebrities.
Actors Mohammadreza Golzar, Masoud Rayegan and Roya Teymourian were the honorary guests.
Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle conducted an interview with the cast and crew before the screening.
It was the first time that a red carpet was rolled out for an Iranian TV series in a foreign country. "We plan to find new markets for our local cultural productions which have not been officially released outside the borders," Emami said.
Prior to the ceremony, on the suggestion of Teymourian, the cast as well as the guests threw flowers in the Rhine River to pay tribute to the late actress Homa Rousta who passed away on September 26. Rousta was in Cologne in 1992 for her role in 'From Karkheh to Rhine' directed by Ebrahim Hatamikia.
A romance-crime melodrama, 'Shahrzad' is a love story narrated in a historical setting. The events unfold in Tehran in the early 1950s after the nationalization of Iran's oil industry by the then prime minister Mohammad Mosaddeq. The story is about university students Shahrzad and Farhad who fall in love.
On the day of the 1953 coup d’état (August 19), which overthrew the democratically elected government of Mosaddeq, orchestrated by the UK and the US, Shahrzad leaves home to meet Farhad, quite unaware of their destiny. On that day, Farhad is arrested.
Meanwhile Bozorg Aqa, a man of wealth and power who leads a mafia-like syndicate and for whom Shahrzad's father works, chooses her to marry his son Qobad, as a second wife.
Shahrzad is in a dilemma as she has to choose to stay with Farhad, whom she loves or submit to a forced marriage with a total stranger.
The series was shot in Ghazali Cinematic Town in the western part of Tehran. Covering an area of 10 hectares, the complex was established in 1971 by the late director Ali Hatami, partially simulating old Tehran. It comprises various state and historic buildings; streets, and places similar to more than 100 years ago decorated by Italian decorators, particularly Gianni Cortina. The exterior decoration of the structures and locations imitates that of the original ones using extant pictures. Several Iranian historical films and TV series have used the town as their location set.
The cast of the 26-episode series includes over 200 artists. Considering the professional team behind the camera plus two years spent on pre-production and four months of shooting, it is the biggest project by the private sector for the home video network.