Berlin: Iranian Competition Title ‘A Dragon Arrives!’ Lands Italian Deal Before Official Screening

'Dragon' deal for Italy marks pic's first international sale

Italian arthouse distributor Academy Two has snapped up Italo rights to Iranian director Mani Haghighi’s “A Dragon Arrives!” from German sales company The Match Factory ahead of the quirky black comedy’s competition screening today (Feb. 19) at the Berlin Film Festival.

The “Dragon” deal for Italy marks the pic’s first international sale.

Farsi-language pic follows three adventurous young men who run into danger due to their non authorised investigation into the legend of a seismological phenomenon in an ancient graveyard on a mysterious island.

The “Dragon” storyline comprises multiple narrators, flashbacks, and flight-of-fancy dramatizations of past events, all of which contribute to drive the narrative while also keeping the viewer “at an indiscernible distance from certainty,” according to its press notes.

Haghighi is known for 2006 absurdist comedy “Men at Work,” which was based on an idea by Abbas Kiarostami. He more recently helmed tragicomedy “Modest Reception,” which screened in the Berlin fest’s Forum section in 2012.

Iranian films historically play well in Berlin. Last year Jafar Panahi’s “Taxi” won the Golden Bear.

Academy Two is headed by Italian industry veteran Vania Traxler. The small but prestigious Rome-based distribbery’s recent releases include revered Russian auteur Alexander Sokurov’s “Francofonia.”

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