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5 items from 2015


Santa Barbara Film Festival Kicks Off with U.S. Premiere of ‘Desert Dancer’

28 January 2015 7:30 AM, PST | Scott Feinberg | See recent Scott Feinberg news »

By Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

The 30th Santa Barbara International Film Festival kicked off on Tuesday night with the North American premiere of Richard Raymond’s feature directorial debut Desert Dancer, a drama based on the true story of a young aspiring dancer in present-day Iran, where dance is banned. (Think Rosewater meets Footloose or Dirty Dancing, in the best sense.)

More than 2,000 moviegoers packed Santa Barbara’s historic Arlington Theatre for the screening, which was attended by Raymond and his stars Reece Ritchie (who looks and dances like a young Michael Jackson), Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) and Tom Cullen (Downton Abbey) — and was very well received.

Read the rest of this entry…

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- Anjelica Oswald

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'Desert Dancer' Trailer: Freida Pinto Risks Her Life For Dance

26 January 2015 10:50 PM, PST | LatinoReview | See recent LatinoReview news »

Save The Last Dance was one of my favorite movies when I was growing up. It wasn't just because Julie Stiles looked awesome dancing in circles, but the combination of dance and a struggling environment was a powerful one*. And that's what Desert Dancer, a new film by Richard Raymond, seems to bring to the table: dance and struggle.

The setting is Iran, and the story follows Afshin Ghaffarian and some friends (one of which is Elaheh, played by Frieda Pinto) who risk their lives and form an underground dance company. This is a true story, set during the volatile climate of the 2009 presidential election, where many cultural freedoms, like dance, were threatened.

Through banned online videos, the group learn from timeless legends who cross all cultural divides, such as Michael Jackson, Gene Kelly and Rudolf Nureyev. Afshin and Elaheh also learn much from each other, most importantly how to »

- Laura Frances

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Watch The New Trailer For Desert Dancer Starring Frieda Pinto

26 January 2015 6:52 PM, PST | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Frieda Pinto and Reece Ritchie star in the first trailer for Relativity Media’s Desert Dancer. See this film when it’s released in theaters this Spring.

Set in Iran, this powerful and unbelievable true story follows the brave ambition of Afshin Ghaffarian. During the volatile climate of the 2009 presidential election, where many cultural freedoms were threatened, Afshin and some friends (including Elaheh played by Freida Pinto) risk their lives and form an underground dance company.

Through banned online videos, they learn from timeless legends who cross all cultural divides, such as Michael Jackson, Gene Kelly and Rudolf Nureyev. Afshin and Elaheh also learn much from each other, most importantly how to embrace their passion for dance and for one another.

Desert Dancer opens in select theaters on April 10, 2015, and expands into theaters nationwide on April 17th, 2015.

Learn more about Desert Dancer on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/desertdancerthemovie

Twitter: https://twitter. »

- Michelle McCue

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Santa Barbara Film Festival Brings ‘Desert Dancer’ Premiere, Jan. 27

26 January 2015 7:56 AM, PST | Monsters and Critics | See recent Monsters and Critics news »

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will kick off Opening Night with the U.S. Premiere of Relativity Studios’ Desert Dancer at the historic Arlington Theatre on Tuesday, January 27, 2015.Directed by Richard Raymond and starring Freida Pinto, Reece Ritchie, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Cullen and Marmama Corlett, Desert Dancer tells the true story of a self-taught dancer pursuing a dream in a suppressed society.“Raymond has delivered an extremely timely and thought-provoking movie about love, truth and the freedom that comes from following your passions,” stated Roger Durling, Sbiff Executive Director. “What better way to kick off our 30th anniversary!” For the […] »

- April Neale

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'McFarland, USA' will close out 30th annual Santa Barbara Film Festival

8 January 2015 9:32 AM, PST | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

A self-acknowledged "showcase for Academy Award frontrunners," the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is often overlooked for the actual films that earn it festival status. An amalgamation of international discoveries and ’merica’s circuit highlights, the Sbiff curates a week of best-of-the-best to pair with their star-praising. The 2015 edition offers another expansive selection, bookended by two films that aren’t on any radars just yet. Sbiff will open with "Desert Dancer," producer Richard Raymond’s directorial debut. Starring Reece Ritchie and Frieda Pinto, the drama follows a group of friends who wave off the harsh political climate of Iran’s 2009 presidential election in favor of forming a dance team, picking up moves from Michael Jackson, Gene Kelly and Rudolf Nureyev thanks to the magic of YouTube. The festival will close with "McFarland, USA," starring  Kevin Costner and Maria Bello. Telling the 1987 true story of a Latino high school’s underdog cross-country team, »

- Matt Patches

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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

5 items from 2015


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