5 items from 2015
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.
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- Anjelica Oswald
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.
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- Michelle McCue
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
The 30th edition of the Santa Barbara Film Festival will offer 23 world premieres and 53 U.S. premieres, as well as an extensive slate of tributes and panels as well as the first annual Variety Artisans Awards.
The festival, running Jan. 27 to Feb. 7, opens with the U.S. premiere of “Desert Dancer,” starring Freida Pinto. The closing-night film is Disney’s inspirational sports drama “McFarland, USA,” starring Kevin Costner and Maria Bello.
The Variety Artisans Awards will take place on Feb. 3 at the Arlington Theater, with awards editor Tim Gray moderating a tribute to honorees including “Gone Girl” composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross; “Into the Woods” cinematographer Dion Beebe; “Boyhood” editor Sandra Adair; “Foxcatcher” hair and makeup artists Bill Corso and Kathrine Gordon; “Mr. Turner” production designer Suzie Davies; “Lego Movie” songwriters Shawn Patterson and Tegan & Sara; “Interstellar” sound mixers and editors Richard King and Mark Weingarten; “The Theory of Everything »
- Variety Staff
Classic beauty Aditi Rao Hydari has recently found herself amongst the top 100 beautiful faces in the world. Tc Candler, creator of the Annual Independent Critics 100 Most Beautiful Faces List included three Indian beauties including Deepika Padukone, Freida Pinto and Aditi Rao Hydari. The list is adorned with names likes Kerry Washington, Olivia Wilde and Nina Dobrev while India was not far behind.
Looks like this young Audrey Hepburn has a lot to celebrate about as this year closes – 5 eclectic films lines up for release and now this coveted listing. 2015 is all set for this gorgeous gal we say!
- Press Releases
5 items from 2015
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