Shaydathe Sundance audience winner by Iranian-Australian director Noora Niasari, closes this year’s Locarno International Film Festival.
Executive produced by Cate Blanchett, Shayda stars Holy spider actress Zar Amir Ebrahimi. Shayda will be screened on the last night of the Locarno festival on Saturday 12 August in what will be its European premiere. Locarno is also showing a second, surprising title that touches on the history of cinema, personally selected by festival president Marco Solari of Locarno.
Niasari’s powerful debut, drawn from the director’s own life, tells the inspiring story of an Iranian woman’s journey to freedom as she seeks refuge in a women’s shelter after emigrating to Australia.
Blanchett is an executive producer on the film through Dirty Films, the production company she co-runs with Andrew Upton and Coco Francini. She and Ebrahimi will go to Locarno with Niasari.
On August 12, Blanchett will also moderate a conversation between Niasari and Ebrahimi on the theme of “Iranian women and Iranian cinema” at the GranRex Cinema in Locarno.
The 76th Locarno International Film Festival will run from August 2 to 12, 2023.