Jon Stewart took time off from The Daily Show to direct Rosewater and now Open Road Films has just announced they’ve acquired Stewart’s directorial debut for U.S. distribution. Rosewater, which Stewart also adapted for the screen, will get a fall 2014 theatrical release and it’ll be screening for international sales buyers at Cannes.
Rosewater starring Gael Garcia Bernal is based on the NYT bestseller Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival by BBC journalist Maziar Bahari.
“This is an exciting, prestigious project and we could not be happier to partner with Jon Stewart, Scott Rudin, Gigi Pritzker and the rest of the OddLot team,” said Tom Ortenberg, CEO of Open Road Films. “We look forward to a successful release of this compelling film.”
Rosewater follows the Tehran-born Bahari, a 42-year-old broadcast journalist with Canadian citizenship living in London. In June 2009, Bahari returned to Iran to interview Mir-Hossein Moussavi, who was the prime challenger to controversial incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As Moussavi’s supporters rose up to protest Ahmadinejad’s victory declaration hours before the polls closed on election day, Bahari endured great personal risk by submitting camera footage of the unfolding street riots to the BBC. Bahari was soon arrested by Revolutionary Guard police, led by a man identifying himself only as “Rosewater,” who proceeded to torture and interrogate the journalist over the next 118 days.
In October 2009, with Bahari’s wife leading an international campaign from London to have her husband freed, and Western media outlets including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart continuing to keep the story alive, Iranian authorities released Bahari on $300,000 bail and the promise he would act as a spy for the government.
Source: Open Road Films
-By Rebecca Murray
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