‘Holy Spider’ Star Zar Amir Ebrahimi, ‘Golda’ Director Guy Nattiv Team on Iran-Defying Film ‘Untitled Judo,’ WestEnd to Launch Sales at EFM Most Popular Must Read Sign Up for Variety Newsletters More From Our Brands

West End Films has acquired world rights to the political thriller “Untitled Judo” and will introduce it to buyers at the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin.

The film, which is currently in post-production, stars Guy Natio (Oscar winner for the short “Skin”) and Zar Amir Ibrahimi, Cannes Best Actress winner for “Holy Spider” and Ilham Irfan (co-starring for “The is written as “the matter of sacrifice”).

It stars Arienne Mandi (“The L Word: Generation Q”) and Amir Ibrahimi in the lead roles, along with Jaime Ray Newman (“Dopesick”), Nadine Marshall (“The Silent Twins”) and Mehdi Bajstani (“Holy Spider”). “) are .

The film follows Iranian female judoka Leila (Mandi) and her coach Maryam (Ebrahimi), who aim to win Iran’s first gold medal at the Judo World Championships. In the middle of the competition, they receive an ultimatum from the Islamic Republic ordering Layla to suffer a fake injury and lose. With her and her family’s freedom at stake, Leila faces an impossible choice: claim injury and comply with the Iranian government as Maryam begs her to do, or refuse both. Do and fight to sleep.

“Untitled Judo” is the first feature film co-directed by an Iranian and an Israeli filmmaker — at a time when the Iranian government is criminalizing any contact with Israelis, and state violence against women. has been enhanced.

Natio said: “’Untitled Judo’ is more than a film for all of us. This is a creative statement to the world as thousands of innocent Iranian people are giving their lives for freedom.

Nattiv will be in Berlin to present his new feature “Golda,” starring Helen Mirren about Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, which will have its world premiere as a Berlinale special gala.

Amir Ebrahimi said: “The story we are hearing in this film is the story of many Iranian athletes who have lost the opportunities of a lifetime, sometimes forced to leave their country and loved ones because of conflict between regimes and governments. This artistic and cinematographic collaboration with Guy is a tribute to him that transcends blind hatred and obsession with mutual destruction.

Irfani added: “As an Iranian woman who has experienced the suffocation of life in Iran and has a deep understanding of its problems, I wanted to bring to light the challenges faced by women in Iran. Many of us People are forced to leave their homes and loved ones in search of freedom and peace. Despite being separated by distance, this film reminds us that there is strength in unity and resistance. Grateful for the opportunity to be a voice and bring their stories to the world.

“Untitled Judo” is acquired under WestEnd’s brand WeLove, which aims to develop and produce content specifically for women and promote female talent. The range will jointly represent North America with West End.

West End managing director Maya Amsalim said: “Given the current political and social context in Iran, the story could not be more timely, and we strongly believe that the film will appeal to audiences around the world.”

The film is produced by Eddie Ezroni (“Save Yourself!”) and Mandy Tager Brocki (“A Late Quartet”) of Cachet Studios along with Natio and Jaime Ray Newman of New Native Pictures. Cachet Studios produces in association with White Lodge Productions, New Native Pictures, Maven Pictures, West End Films, Tail Runner and Sirke Studios.

Tager Brocki said: “Here at Cachet Studios, we’re drawn to compelling stories that are entertaining, but also have meaning and are about important issues – stories with the potential for positive change.”

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