Celluloid Dreams is handling international sales for Majid Majidi’s Venice competition title “Sun Children.”

Set to world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, which today unveiled its lineup, the film tells the story of 12-year-old Ali and his three friends. Together, they work hard to survive and support their families, doing small jobs in a garage and committing petty crimes to make fast money. Everything changes, however, when Ali is entrusted to find a hidden treasure underground but must first enrol at the Sun School, a charitable institution that tries to educate street kids and child laborers.

Celluloid Dreams previously represented Majidi’s feature debut “Baduk” (1991). Majidi was the first Iranian director to receive an Academy Award nomination for “Children of Heaven” (1996).

The director said, “’Sun Children’ is the story of children who must work to support their families. To this date, there are 152 million children in this situation. International organizations are waging a desperate fight to support these young people who are subjected to abuse and deprived of their human right to education.

“The message of ‘Sun Children’ is that we are all responsible to these children, many of whom are extremely talented and all of whom are precious. It is simply not tolerable that their social and economic status consign them to a future of limited opportunities and poor prospects.”

Majidi also highlighted that the film’s main characters were previously child laborers themselves.

The Venice Film Festival runs from Sept. 2-12, marking the first major international film event to go ahead in the COVID-19 era.