×

Swipe Picks Up Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s ‘The President’ in U.K., Ireland

LONDON — Swipe Films has acquired the U.K. and Irish distribution rights from BAC Films Intl. to Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s “The President,” which opened the Horizons section at last year’s Venice Film Festival.

“The President” was shot in Georgia and tells the story of a revolution and the collapse of a dictatorship. It is inspired by the various uprisings that have taken place in the Middle East in recent years.

“It is a modern fable about power, reconciliation, and the hope for breaking a never-ending cycle of violence, exploring the possibility of stopping the violence after a revolution in search of freedom and democracy,” Makhmalbaf said.

In a village in the Caucasus, the President of the country is on the run with his five-year-old grandson following a coup d’etat. The two travel across the lands that the President once governed. Now, disguised as a street musician to avoid being recognized, the former dictator comes into contact with his people, and gets to know them from a different point of view.

“The President” won best film at the Chicago Film Festival, and the audience awards at Tokyo FILMeX and the Beirut Film Festival.

Makhmalbaf, who lives in exile in London and Paris, spent five years in prison in Tehran as a teenager after he was shot by a policeman while protesting against the dictatorship of the Shah of Iran.

As an innovative marketing move, Swipe is offering 100 presidents of leading U.K. organizations discounted tickets to the film on its opening weekend.

Swipe deployed a similar cross-promotional strategy on Bordeaux-set movie “You Will Be My Son,” starring Niels Arestrup. It had a seven-month long run in cinemas, perhaps helped initially by a marketing campaign offering a free glass of vintage Bordeaux to cinema-goers.

The film’s producers are Mohsen’s son, Maysam Makhmalbaf, Mike Downey, Sam Taylor and Vladimer Katcharava. Mohsen Makhmalbaf wrote the script with his wife, Marziyeh Meshkiny, and the film is edited by his daughter, Hana Makhmalbaf. The co-producing partners are Makhmalbaf Film House, 20 Steps, F&ME and Bruemmer and Herzog Filmproduktion.

The deal was negotiated by Frank Mannion of Swipe Films and Clementine Hugot on behalf of BAC Films Intl. The film will be released on August 21.

More Film

  • Michael B. JordanAFI Awards Luncheon, Los

    Michael B. Jordan's 'Just Mercy' Moves to Awards Season Slot

    Michael B. Jordan’s upcoming legal drama “Just Mercy” has been shifted forward three weeks from Jan. 17 to Dec. 25 for an Oscar-qualifying theatrical release. “Just Mercy” is based on the case of Walter McMillan, an African-American death-row prisoner who was exonerated in 1993 after being convicted five years earlier for a 1986 murder in [...]

  • Harry Styles to Play Prince Eric

    Harry Styles in Talks to Play Prince Eric in Disney's 'Little Mermaid'

    Harry Styles is going under the sea. The former One Direction frontman is in early negotiations to play Prince Eric in Disney’s live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid.” Halle Bailey will portray the Ariel, a mermaid princess who dreams of being a human, while Melissa McCarthy is playing her evil aunt Ursula. “The Little Mermaid” [...]

  • Stuber Movie

    Disney Left With a Slate of Film Flops After Fox Deal

    Is Disney having buyer’s remorse? The studio would be forgiven if it were having some regrets after absorbing 20th Century Fox, the company that once generated big box office with the likes of “Avatar,” “Life of Pi,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” After “Dark Phoenix” bombed earlier this summer, Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista’s action comedy “Stuber” [...]

  • Taika Waititi Returning to Direct 'Thor

    Taika Waititi to Direct Marvel's 'Thor 4'

    Taika Waititi is returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The filmmaker will write and direct the sequel to his 2017 blockbuster “Thor: Ragnarok.” Waititi’s take on the fourth “Thor” movie puts Warner Bros.’ long-in-development “Akira” adaptation on hold indefinitely. However, the studio hopes that “Akira” can get resume production with Waititi at the helm once [...]

  • Akira

    'Akira' Production Put on Hold by Warner Bros.

    Warner Bros. has put its long-in-development “Akira” adaptation on hold indefinitely, sources tell Variety. Sources indicate that after a brief delay, the studio has pulled the plug on production indefinitely for the classic anime adaptation, which was set to begin later this fall. “Thor: Ragnarok” helmer Taika Waititi was on board to direct, and the [...]

  • Sir Elton John, David Furnish. Sir

    New Elton John AIDS Foundation Gala to be Held in the South of France

    Elton John and David Furnish are launching a new gala for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The two will host the inaugural A Midsummer Party benefit on July 24 in the south of France at the Johnny Pigozzi’s private estate, Villa Dorane, in Cap d’Antibes. A cocktail reception will be followed by dinner, a live [...]

  • Sebastian Maniscalco Green Book

    Sebastian Maniscalco Moves Into Movies With 'Green Book' and 'The Irishman'

    As a comedian whose routines not only lampoon Italian stereotypes but demand larger-than-life performances of those cultural peccadilloes, Sebastian Maniscalco has carefully — if inadvertently — created a niche for himself as an actor. In 2018, in between selling out shows at Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden, he took his first steps [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content