Shahab Hosseini, a Cannes best actor winner in 2016 for his layered, complex performance in Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning “The Salesman,” is attached to star in “The Far Mountains,” from Mitra Tabrizian.
A nuanced coming-of-age tale with an allegorical undertow, “The Far Mountains” marks Tabrizian’s follow-up to her critically acclaimed debut feature “Gholam,” also starring Hosseini and selected by The Guardian/Observer’s Mark Kermode as Film of the Week on its release. “Gholam” was theatrically released in the U.K. and major VOD platforms internationally.
“Gholam” producer Zadoc Nava at London-based Stray Dog Films will be introducing “The Far Mountains” at Locarno’s Match Me! where it looks like one of its highlights. at the networking initiative.
Written by Tabrizian and Cyrus Massoudi, the co-scribes of “Gholam,” “The Far Mountains” turns on Ali, a 12-year-old boy living in a small town in Iran whose mother disappeared when he was very young. His father has now married.
Troubled, craving his father’s attention, he loses the injured bird he’s been diligently caring for, and sets out to exact revenge, whatever the consequences.
“The Far Mountains” has already attracted considerable industry interest. Reinier Selen at Dutch production house Rinkel Film (“Nasir” “Rafiki” ) co-produces out of the Netherlands; BAFTA-winning producer Janine Marmot (“Birdsong,” “Kelly + Victor”) executive produces.
Raphael Berdugo at Paris-based Cité Films, a classic art and crossover film sales house, has acquired international sales rights.
“This is a coming-of-age story with a difference – an allegorical tale on the current situation in Iran with little/no future for the young generation,” Tabrizian commented.
“Ali, the reckless 12-year-old has to come to terms with his mother’s disappearance!,” she said. “The film differs from the usual family drama – it focuses on the effect of the mother’s absence, rather than the reason behind it. The mother has a significant presence. But we never know why she disappeared.”
She added: “In this respect, it deviates from a more conventional narrative and departs from the ‘existential problem’ of Michelangelo Antonioni’s ‘L’Avventura’ despite the influence, where the woman also disappears without explanation. Within the context of Iran, the film raises a different question: has her disappearance been politically motivated? Many people disappeared during the Green Movement protests that erupted in Iran after the 2009 rigged election.”
Hosseini has consistently scored high praise for his performances. Owen Gleiberman wrote in his Variety review that “The Salesman” was “beautifully acted” by Hosseini and Taraneh Alidootsi, who plays his wife, “Shahab Hosseini mesmerises as an Iranian exile in London,” Kermode said of “Gholam.”
A British-Iranian artist-turned-writer-director, Tabrizian’s short films include 2019’s “The Insider,” made in collaboration with Booker Prize winner Ben Okri, and commissioned by London’s Coronet Theatre to accompany Albert Camus’ “The Outsider,” adapted for the stage by Okri. The film was also screened at The British Museum and The Smithsonian Museum in Washington.
As a photographer, Tabrizian’s solo museum shows include Tate Britain in 2008. In 2021, she received an honorary fellowship from the Royal Photographic Society for innovation and contribution to photography art.
A former documentary, commercials, and short film director, Zadoc produced Tabrizian’s previous shorts, including “The Insider.” He was included in the Berlin Talent program
in 2017 and in 2019 in Film London’s Lodestar inaugural list of 25 of London’s most promising filmmakers and creative talents.