From the casting to the shoot location, Abbas Kiarostami leaves Iran behind for the first time. The title roles are played by French actress, Juliette Binoche, and British baritone William Shimmel. Abbas Kiarostami chose to film in the Tuscan village of San Giminiano. “I don’t think that shooting in Italy changed anything about my artistic style. I’m sure that it didn’t: even if the place and the language were different for me, the film and its characters were familiar.” (source: Trois Couleurs)
Although Certified Copy was shot abroad and with European actors, Abbas Kiarostami tells a universal story, that of a writer and a gallery owner, a couple meeting. “When I wrote this script, I wanted it to be free of any specific Eastern detail. I wanted these characters and their dialogues to be universal.” Until Certified Copy, Abbas Kiarostami had always insisted on working in his own country. He stayed in Iran even after the Islamic Revolution, when his filmmaking peers fled the country and the draconian constraints of the regime came to bear on artistic expression.