Big World Pictures has acquired all U.S. and Canadian rights to “A Man of Integrity,” the 2017 feature from Iranian auteur Mohammad Rasoulof that won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival.
The film, the writer-director’s sixth, tells the story of a goldfish farmer with a keen sense of moral integrity named Reza, who moves to a remote village in the countryside of Northern Iran to live a simple life with his wife and young son. Those plans go awry, however, as he becomes tangled up in webs of trouble wrought by local corruption and a mysterious, powerful company that has its grips on their village.
Variety‘s review called the movie “a tense, enraging drama about corruption and injustice” that “provides a scathing critique of contemporary Iranian society.”
Rasoulof has frequently run into trouble with the Iranian government due to his work. In 2019, he was sentenced to a year in prison for “spreading propaganda” against the government via three of his films, including his socially critical “A Man of Integrity.” A ban on filmmaking left him forced to direct works secretly, underground. He was unable to attend last year’s Berlinale because he had been refused a passport and so could not leave Iran.
Despite his difficulties, Rasoulof has consistently produced a string of successes at major international festivals. His “Goodbye” premiered at Cannes in 2011 in the Un Certain Regard section, where it won the directing prize. His 2013 feature “Manuscripts Don’t Burn” also screened in the section and won the FIPRESCI Prize. Last year, his film “There is No Evil” won the Golden Bear in the main competition section of the Berlin International Film Festival.
The U.S./Canada deal for “A Man of Integrity” was struck between non-profit distributor Big World Pictures and The Match Factory.
Watch the trailer below: