Happy Sunday, everyone!
Dirty Films is going to be producing another movie which is the directorial debut Iranian/Australian writer and director Noora Niasari. It will be led by Iranian actress Zar Amir-Ebrahimi.
Being sold in Cannes by HanWay Films, Niasari’s directorial debut follows a young Iranian mother who finds refuge in an Australian women’s shelter with her six-year-old daughter.
Iranian actress Zar Amir-Ebrahimi (Tehran Taboo, Morgen sind wir frei) is set to star in Shayda, the directorial debut of Iranian/Australian writer/director Noora Niasari. HanWay Films has come on board to handle international sales and distribution, while UTA Independent Film Group is representing the U.S. sale.
Shayda follows a young Iranian mother (Amir-Ebrahimi) and her six-year-old daughter who find refuge in an Australian women’s shelter during the two weeks of Iranian New Year (Nowrooz), which is celebrated as a time of renewal and re-birth. Aided by the strong community of women at the refuge, they seek their freedom in this new world of possibilities, only to find themselves facing the violence they tried so hard to escape.
Shayda is produced by Vincent Sheehan (The Hunter, Jasper Jones, Animal Kingdom, Lore) through his new production venture Origma 45. Cate Blanchett, Andrew Upton and Coco Francini at Dirty Films (Apples, Carol, Little Fish) are executive producers.
“We first encountered Noora’s talent watching her short films, The Phoenix and Tâm. We were blown away by her precise, emotionally-driven filmmaking and her capacity to draw out gripping performances,” said Dirty Films in a statement. “We are excited to be working alongside Vincent again to help Noora fulfil her bold and distinct vision for Shayda.”
Melbourne-based Niasari is well known for her award-winning short films including Waterfall which screened at the 66th Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) where it was nominated for best short film, Tâm and feature documentary Casa Antúnez.
Heads of production on the film will include cinematographer and Niasari’s closest collaborator, Sherwin Akbarzadeh (Stories From Oz). Osamah Sami (Ali’s Wedding), Leah Purcell (The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson), Mojean Aria (The Enforcer), Jillian Nguyen (Expired) and Rina Mousavi (Alexander) will star alongside Amir-Ebrahimi. Production will commence on July 11 in Australia.
“We are delighted to be part of an incredible team supporting Noora Niasari’s feature debut,” said HanWay Films managing director Gabrielle Stewart. “Noora has written a beautiful piece that reflects much of her own experience of moving to Australia as a child. There is an intimacy to her storytelling that brings to life what it is to honor the traditions of the culture you have left behind as a mother raising her young child, whilst together bravely embracing a whole new one.”