Babak Anvari’s Farsi-language thriller “Under the Shadow” has been selected by BAFTA as the United Kingdom’s Foreign Language Academy Award entry for 2016, Variety has learned exclusively.
The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, will be released by Vertigo Releasing in the U.K. on Sept. 23 and by XYZ Films and Vertical in the U.S. on Oct. 7. Vertical Entertainment and XYZ Films are releasing the film theatrically in North America and globally on digital platforms.
“Under the Shadow” is written and directed by British-Iranian Anvari and stars Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi and Bobby Naderi. The film is produced by Lucan Toh, Oliver Roskill and Emily Leo of Wigwam Films.
Set in 1988 as the Iran-Iraq war rumbles into its eighth year, the bombing and the country’s bloody revolution slowly tear a mother and daughter apart. As they struggle to stay together in the midst of these modern terrors, a mysterious evil stalks through their apartment, threatening their grip on reality.
Justin Chang said in his Variety review, “Those cracks in the ceiling are hiding a lot more than dry rot in ‘Under the Shadow,’ a satisfyingly tense and atmospheric thriller set in a haunted Tehran apartment during the terrifying final days of the Iran-Iraq War.
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Submissions for the Academy Awards’ foreign language section close in early October. The nominations for the 89th Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 24.