The international trailer has been debuted for Jafar Panahi’s “No Bears,” which has its world premiere on Sept. 9 in competition at Venice Film Festival, before moving to Toronto Film Festival and New York Film Festival. Celluloid Dreams, which is handling world sales, has revealed territory deals with several distributors. Last month, Panahi was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment by the Iranian judiciary.
The political thriller/drama portrays two parallel stories of love. In both, the lovers are troubled by hidden, inevitable obstacles, the force of superstition and the mechanics of power.
Celluloid Dreams has closed deals with the following distributors: Picturehouse Entertainment (U.K.), Arp Selection (France), Academy Two (Italy), La Aventura (Spain), Golden Scene (Hong Kong/Macau), Impact Films (India), Midas Filmes (Portugal), Panda Film (Austria), September Films (Benelux), and PT Falcon (Indonesia).
The cast includes Panahi, Naser Hashemi, Vahid Mobaseri, Bakhtiyar Panjei, Mina Kavani and Reza Heydari. The director of photography was Amin Jafari, and the editor was Amir Etminan. Panahi produces for JP Production.
Panahi’s feature film debut, “The White Balloon” (1995), premiered in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, and won the Caméra d’Or. He won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival for “The Mirror” (1997), the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival for “The Circle” (2000), the Un Certain Regard award for “Crimson Gold” at Cannes (2003), and the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for “Offside” (2006).
In 2010, Panahi was sentenced to a six-year jail sentence and a 20-year ban on directing any movies, writing screenplays, and giving any form of interview with Iranian or foreign media. He served two months before being granted a conditional release that was revocable.
While awaiting the result of an appeal he made “This Is Not a Film,” a documentary feature in the form of a video diary. It was smuggled out of Iran in a flash drive hidden inside a cake and shown at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
In 2013, the Berlin Film Festival showed “Closed Curtain” by Panahi and Kambuzia Partovi in competition, and they won the Silver Bear for best script. “Taxi” premiered in competition at the Berlin Film Festival in 2015, and won the Golden Bear. His last film, “3 Faces” (2018) was awarded best screenplay in Cannes.