Shayda, the Sundance audience winner from Iranian-Australian director Noora Niasari, will close this year’s Locarno International Film Festival.

Executive produced by Cate Blanchett, Shayda stars Holy Spider actress Zar Amir Ebrahimi. Shayda will screen on the final night of Locarno festival on Saturday, Aug. 12 in what will be its European premiere. Locarno will also screen a second, surprise title that touches on the history of cinema personally selected by Locarno festival president Marco Solari.

Niasari’s powerful debut, drawn from the director’s own life, tells the inspiring story of an Iranian woman’s journey to freedom as she finds refuge in a women’s shelter after immigrating to Australia.

Blanchett is an executive producer of the movie through Dirty Films, the production company she runs alongside Andrew Upton and Coco Francini. She and Ebrahimi will attend Locarno together with Niasari.

On Aug. 12, Blanchett will also moderate a conversation between Niasari and Ebrahimi on the theme of “Iranian women and Iranian cinema” at the GranRex Cinema in Locarno.

The 76th Locarno international film festival runs Aug. 2-12, 2023.


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