Golshifteh Farahani (pirates of the Caribbean, About Elly, Paterson) and Zar Amir-Ebrahami (Palme d’Or winner in 2022 for Holy spider) — two of the most recognized and in-demand Iranian stars working outside Iran today — teamed up for the film adaptation of Azar Nafisi’s bestselling Iranian novel Reading Lolita in Tehran.
The two lead a cast in the drama — from award-winning director Eran Riklis (Lemon Tree, The Syrian Bride, Dancing Arabs) and written by Marjorie David — with Mina Cavan (Red rose, No bears). WestEnd Films will start selling the film in Cannes.
Translated into 32 languages around the world and set after the revolution in Iran when extremism emerged, Reading Lolita in Tehran tells the autobiographical story of a bold and inspired teacher, who secretly gathered seven of her most devoted female students to read banned Western classics as their world as they knew it closed in on them. As the Islamic Republic rose to power, morality squads conducted random raids on Tehran and as fundamentalists seized the universities, the women in Nafisi’s living room, whose rights had been systematically stripped, risked everything to find a safe place to take off their veils. do and speak. their thoughts. Despite the great danger they were in, they found hope as their stories intertwined with the novels they were reading. Of Lolita, The Great Gatsby, Daisy Miller And Pride and prejudice they talked about their own dreams and wondered if the only way to achieve freedom was to leave the home they still love.
“Reading Lolita in Tehranwith its depiction of human relationships as well as political and global affairs, it struck a deep emotional chord with me,” said Riklis. “I was fully aware of the potential complexity of telling such an intimate story of women in Iran. But I also knew it was a beautiful and emotional challenge, based on a universal view of human struggle, wherever and whenever. I knew that my approach to storytelling, an approach of respect, emotion, dignity, love and responsibility, will always win and overcome all obstacles. Azar’s world has now become part of my world and I am convinced that her story needs to be told, now more than ever.”
Shot in Italy and now in post production, Reading Lolita in Tehran is an Italian-Israeli co-production produced by United King Films, Topia Communications, Eran Riklis Productions, Minerva Pictures and Rosamont with RAI Cinema. Producers include Michael Sharfshtein, Marica Stocchi, Moshe Edery, Santo Versace, Gianluca Curti and Riklis.
“Eran Riklis brings a uniquely sensitive touch to exploring the complex lives of these women under political and personal siege,” said Maya Amsellem, Managing Director of WestEnd Films.
Reading Lolita in Tehran marks WestEnd’s second feature film starring Amir-Ebrahami. Earlier this year, it was announced that the company would sell the political thriller Untitled Judo, which Amir-Ebrahami will co-direct with Israeli filmmaker Guy Nattiv.