Picture Tree Intl. has acquired Iranian genre crossover feature “Without Her,” and will introduce the film to buyers during the upcoming European Film Market at its Marriot Hotel located office in Berlin. The film’s trailer is debuting with Variety (below).
In Arian Vazirdaftari’s feature debut, Roya is getting ready to emigrate from Iran when she meets a quiet young woman who appears lost and doesn’t remember anything. Roya takes her in, providing her with a home and introducing her to her husband, family and friends – all the while blissfully unaware that this woman has come to replace her.
The storyline of a woman losing her identity dives into the genre tradition of Hitchcock, Polanski and De Palma, while connecting it with the tradition of social realism in Iranian cinema, Picture Tree Intl. said in a statement, with gripping performances from Iranian actors Tannaz Tabatabaei, Saber Abar and Shadi Karamroudi.
Vazirdaftari said: “Someone actually losing her identity may seem surreal at first glance, but I guess coming from a background where you’re usually blamed for who you are, it’s as vivid and realistic as it can get, especially if the society is determined to define you in its own preferred way. Our main protagonist Roya learns a simple, tragic lesson: either you alter yourself and adapt or you will be eliminated and replaced by those who do.”
“Without Her” will have its Iranian premiere at 40th Fajr Film for Festival, which staged the world premieres for acclaimed features like Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar winner “A Separation,” and Majid Majidi’s Oscar nominated “Children of Heaven,” before starting their international journeys.
Vazirdaftari’s most recent short film “Like a Good Kid” premiered in the Cinefondation Competition at the 70th Cannes Film Festival in 2018. He was a participant of the Berlinale Script Station in 2021.
“Without Her” was produced by Saeed Saadi and Houman Seyedi, a well-known Iranian actor and director, for Fadak Films.
Picture Tree Intl. will announce further projects prior to EFM and will host virtual screenings of its current lineup: Oliver Hirschbiegel’s “The Painter” (Germany), festival darling “Farha” (Jordan) by Darin J. Sallam, “70 Is Just a Number” (Finland) by Johanna Vuoksenmaa, “Till Sun Rises” (Sweden), starring Mikael Persbrandt, “Chasing the Line” (Austria) by Andreas Schmied, and “Contra” (Germany) by Sönke Wortmann.