Stay connected

Adventure travel film ‘Karun’ comes to Frome

Two British filmmakers are hoping to reverse long-held prejudices against the Islamic Republic of Iran with a new adventure film KARUN, portraying their unusual journey through the country.

‘Karun: Misadventures On Iran’s Longest River’ was released worldwide digitally via the project’s website: on Monday 16th November and had its premiere at the Royal Geographical Society in London on Saturday 14th November.

The film will be shown at the Westway Cinema in Frome on Sunday 29th November.

Tom Allen of Northamptonshire, and Leon McCarron of County Derry travelled by human powered means through the mountainous south-western region of Iran, finishing their six-week journey at the Iraq border near the Persian Gulf.

In stark contrast with the typical portrayal of the Middle Eastern nation, both Tom and Leon were overwhelmed by the welcome they received from local Iranians they met, reinforcing the country’s long-standing reputation among intrepid travellers for hospitality.

Rather than use public transport or join a guided tour, they decided to travel independently, travelling by foot, bicycle and inflatable kayak, and using the course of Iran’s longest river – the Karun – to inform their route.

The duo raised more than £25,000 to produce the film in a successful crowdfunding campaign, as well as finding volunteers to translate the film into 16 languages. The filmmakers will also be making Karun freely available for non-profit community screenings, both in the UK and internationally, with several events already scheduled over the coming months.

Tom said, “This was my first real adventure in Iran, whose wife was born in Tehran, but even being married to an Iranian, I wasn’t prepared for the extent to which the country’s reputation would prove true. Almost every night we were invited to stay with local people. The experience was really humbling.”

Leon said, “Our aim is to tell the honest story of our adventure, and to show what the experience of travelling in Iran is really like, as well as to entertain the audience. I think a lot of people would be surprised by the way the journey unfolded.”

Tom added, “We’re not alone in our view of Iran as an underrated and misunderstood place to visit. There’s a real sense of frustration both among Iranians and foreigners who’ve travelled there about the way the country is represented in the news. A growing number of people want to do something about it.”

Leon said, “Our hope is that people will see an opportunity to share an entertaining and enlightening tale of adventure with those around them, and at the same time help bring about the kind of opinion shift we’d like to see.

“This story is one of many heart-warming travel tales coming out of the country right now. And the crowdfunding model has enabled us to offer free screenings of the finished film. It began as a simple adventure, but it’s now grown into a project for the greater good.”

‘Karun: Misadventures On Iran’s Longest River’ will be screened at the Westway  on Sunday 29th November. visit