×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sundance: Netflix Acquires Iranian Horror Movie ‘Under the Shadow’ (EXCLUSIVE)

As the Sundance Film Festival kicks off on Thursday afternoon, Netflix has acquired another high-profile project, nabbing worldwide streaming rights to the Iranian horror movie “Under the Shadow,” Variety has learned.

The movie, which premieres on Friday night as part of the “Midnight” section, is among this year’s most buzzed about indies at Sundance, drawing comparisons to the 2014 hit “The Babadook.” Set in 1988 Iran, during the bloodshed of the Iran-Iraq War, Shideh (Narges Rashidi) and her daughter Dorsa (Avin Manshadi) start to believe their family home is haunted by “djinn”—evil spirits that are trying to steal their most prized belongings, including a treasured cloth doll.

“Under the Shadow” is written and directed by first-time filmmaker Babak Anvari, who is poised to be one of the big discoveries out of Sundance. It is in Farsi. The movie will debut globally on Netflix later this year, shortly after a theatrical or alternative-platform release. (The film’s theatrical rights have yet to be announced.)

The movie is produced by Lucan Toh, Oliver Roskill and Emily Leo of Wigwam Films.

Although talent and buyers are just arriving to Park City, Utah, Netflix has already been very active with Sundance titles, scooping up “Tallulah” (a comedy starring Ellen Page and Allison Janney) and “Fundamentals of Caring” (headlined by Paul Rudd). Netflix is making an aggressive play in the original movie business, which started with the release of its inaugural drama “Beasts of No Nation” last fall and continued with Adam Sandler’s “The Ridiculous 6” last month. Future projects include “War Machine” with Brad Pitt, a sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and “Pee Wee’s Big Holiday,” which revives Paul Reubens’ Pee Wee Herman character.

“Under the Shadow” will premiere at Sundance on Friday at 11:59 p.m. at the Egyptian Theatre, followed by two showings on Saturday (noon at Library Center Theatre and 11:59 p.m. at Tower Theatre in Salt Lake City). XYZ Films is selling the rights to the film and brokered the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.

More Film

  • Osopez Pitches Toon Adult comedy 'Pleasefixers'

    Animation!: Costa Rica's Osopez Pitches 'The Pleasefixers'

    Costa Rican animation studio Osopez is developing 3D CGI black comedy series “The Pleasefixers,” its most ambitious project to date, which has been selected for pitching at Ventana Sur’s 3rd Animation! showcase. Co-created by Osopez’s Ariel Arburola and Carlos Redondo, the 12-episode, 23-minute TV show targets young adults and adults, aged 18-34. “Pleasefixers” follows a [...]

  • ‘The Goalkeeper’s’ Gory Patiño Teams With

    ‘The Goalkeeper’s’ Gory Patiño Teams with Luis Reneo on ‘Pseudo’

    Bolivia’s Gory Patiño, writer-director for his country’s Academy Award submission “The Goalkeeper” – also the highest grossing Bolivian film in 15 years – and his frequent filmmaking partner, Spain’s Luis Reneo, are participating in this year’s Ventana Sur films in progress section with their socio-political thriller “Pseudo.” The project was also selected as a finalist [...]

  • Roy Ashton

    Ventana Sur: The Gersh Agency’s Roy Ashton Talks Pitching 101

    BUENOS AIRES — Roy Ashton, responsible for packaging and selling projects to markets and operators such as Amazon for Hollywood’s The Gersh Agency, spoke to a standing-room-only crowd about the process of pitching successfully to the U.S. market ahead of a script workshop he attended Tuesday afternoon. Ashton emphasized the draw of storytelling on an international [...]

  • Ainbo

    Ventana Sur: CMG Pre-Sells ‘Ainbo’ to Over Half the World (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — Marking what looks very much like a new record for animation in Latin America, Edward Noeltner’s Cinema Management Group, the sales company behind Oscar-nominated “Loving Vincent,” has pre-sold “Ainbo – Spirit of the Amazon” to over half the planet. “Ainbo” was picked up by CMG in January 2017 off the first edition [...]

  • Breaking Glass Picks Up Romantic Drama

    Ventana Sur: Breaking Glass Picks up Threesome Drama ‘We Are Three’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Breaking Glass Pictures has clinched North American rights to Argentine helmer-scribe Marcelo Briem Stamm’s ménage-a-trois drama “We Are Three,” (“Somos Tr3s”), which it first spotted at the Buenos Aires’ 2017 Ventana Sur. Breaking Glass CEO Rich Wolff and Ida Martins of Media Luna New Films closed the deal at this year’s Ventana Sur. The film’s [...]

  • Chile’s Powerful Producers Assn. Aims For

    Ventana Sur: Chile’s Producers Look to Take Industry to Next Level

    BUENOS AIRES — Oscar-winning Chilean producer Juan de Dios Larraín (“A Fantastic Woman”), Sebastián Freund, co-creator of Chile’s biggest ever B.O. hit, “Stefan vs. Kramer,” and Gabriela Sandoval, co-director of Sanfic, Chile’s biggest film event, Sanfic festival, are joining forces to haul Chile’s much vaunted cinema into the 21st century. They will be joined by [...]

  • Portugal’s Pepe Rapazote to lead Leonardo

    Ventana Sur: Portugal’s Pepe Rapazote Toplines Argentine Leonardo Brzezicki’s ‘Almost in Love’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Portuguese actor Pêpê Rapazote (“Narcos,” “Shameless”) is toplining Argentine helmer-scribe Leonardo Brzezicki’s second feature, “Almost in Love.” The father-daughter drama is the third collaboration between Argentine shingle Ruda Cine and Rodrigo Teixeira’s RT Features of Brazil, a co-producer of such stellar titles as “Call Me by Your Name,” “Little Men,” “Patti Cake$” and “Frances Ha.” Derk-Jan [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content