Cinema Guild Acquires Mehrdad Oskouei’s ‘Sunless Shadows’

EXCLUSIVE: Cinema Guild has acquired all U.S. distribution rights for Mehrdad Oskouei’s documentary Sunless Shadows, which made its world premiere as the opening night film at IDFA where it won the festival’s Best Directing prize. The film is set to make its U.S. Premiere on February 6 in New York as part of MoMA’s Doc Fortnight.

Sunless Shadows is the follow up to Oskouei’s critically acclaimed 2016 pic Starless Dreams and gives another look at the lives of teenage girls in an Iranian juvenile detention center. But this time the focus is narrowed: each of the film’s principal subjects is serving time for the murder of a male family member. One by one, Oskouei invites them to go into a room alone, push the red button on the camera and address their accomplices or their victims. With this new confessional approach combined with the ever-deepening relationships he has with his subjects, Oskouei presents a picture of the disenfranchised in this aggressively male-dominated society and of the prison that is their shelter from it.

“Since Starless Dreams, Mehrdad’s rapport with his subjects has deepened and his approach has only gotten sharper,” said Cinema Guild President Peter Kelly. “The result is a film that is both warm and haunting, both a picture of a society self-destructing and a community surviving against all odds.”

The deal was negotiated by Peter Kelly of Cinema Guild with Nasrine Médard de Chardon of Dreamlab Films.

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