The Last Fiction, the most ambitious and technically advanced animation feature ever produced in Iran, will premiere this month at the Annecy animation festival in France. The movie’s first full trailer premieres exclusively at Cartoon Brew.

The hybrid 2d/3d film is based on the classic thousand-year-old Persian poem The Shahnameh (The Book of Kings) by Ferdowsi, which is considered to be the Iran’s national epic, and liberally mixes myth and factual history to tell the creation story of the pre-Islamic Persian empire.

The Last Fiction presents the story of upstart ruler Zahak’s treacherous rise to the throne in ancient Persia, and naive Afaridoun, the young hero who saves the kingdom and people from the darkness. Zahak, who makes a Faustian pact to control the throne, is now haunted by his evil deeds, and his nightmares hold a prophecy of how a young man he wronged in the past will rise up against him. Afaridoun, however, must first conquer his own inner demons before he can battle Zahak’s dark forces and restore peace to the kingdom.

Written and directed by Ashkan Rahgozar, 32, the founder of the Hoorakhsh studios in Tehran, Iran, The Last Fiction is a gamechanger for the Iranian feature animation industry. Production standards are more advanced than any feature that has ever come out of the country.

The lack of institutional support for an animation industry in Iran makes this independently-financed production all the more impressive. Though money isn’t flowing into the industry yet, Last Fiction is a showcase of the pool of creative talent in Iran, among the region’s strongest and most developed.

Major actors from Iran’s robust live-action film industry all wanted to participate in The Last Fiction, and Rahgozar cast over a dozen well-known local actors, including Leila Hatami, Parviz Parastui, Hamed Behdad, Hassan Pourshirazi, and Bita Farahi.

The film slotted top creative figures in other key roles, including a score by composer Christoph Rezai and songs by singer Shahran Nazeri. Filmmakers tell Cartoon Brew that the music production and post-production efforts are the largest ever in Iranian animation history.

Last Fiction plans a theatrical release in Iranian cinemas this fall, followed by international rollout.

Hoorakhsh producers are attending Annecy. They welcome all meetings with international sales agents, and plan to make a final decision on who will represent the film after the festival.

An English-subtitled version of the film is currently being prepared for international distribution.

To learn more about the film, visit

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