Oscar-winning Israeli director Guy Nattiv and Iranian actress Zar Amir Ebrahimi co-directed a movie about the tensions between the two countries. This is the first time Israeli and Iranian directors are creating a film together since the rise of the Islamic Regime in Iran.
The movie was produced by Keshet Studios - Keshet's international studios in Los Angeles. The rights to the movie were bought by WestEnd Films who will launch it at an upcoming festival in Berlin.
The film, which is temporarily titled Judo, focuses on the pressure placed on an Iranian athlete, Layla, preparing for a deciding match in a championship in which she is supposed to face off against an Israeli athlete. The regime and her coach pressure her to fake an injury, and Layla finds herself having to make difficult decisions about her future.
Ebrahimi stars in Judo
Ebrahimi, who starred in the Danish movie Holy Spider and won an award for best actress at the Cannes Film Festival, is starring in Judo.
The film was written by an Iranian screen-wright Alam Arfani.
"It is a great honor to cooperate with these creative forces of nature - Zar and Arian [Mendy who is also starring in the movie], and I will fight to give life to this important story," said Nattiv. "It's more than a movie for all of us. It's a creative statement to the world during a time when thousands of innocent Iranian citizens are paying for freedom with their lives."
"It's more than a movie for all of us."Guy Nattiv
"The story we're telling in the movie is the story of too many Iranian athletes who lost the opportunities of their lives and often had to leave their country and loved ones because of the conflict between the systems and the governments," said Ebrahimi. "This artistic and cinematic cooperation with Guy is a tribute to them."