EXCLUSIVE: After its stateside theatrical release of the IFC Midnight’s The Night in January, the Kourosh Ahari-directed thriller is set to have its theatrical premiere in Iran on February 24. Mammoth Pictures and Ayat Film Company’s release of the pic marks a historic moment as it is the first U.S.-produced film to have a wide theatrical release in Iran since the country’s revolution 40 years ago.
The Night is the feature directorial debut of Kourosh Ahari and stars Iranian actor Shahab Hosseini (Cannes 2016 Best Actor Winner Oscar-winning The Salesman), Niousha Jafarian (Here and Now) and George Maguire (The Pursuit of Happyness). The film also marks Hosseini’s debut performance in a US-based production.
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The psychological thriller is cut from the same cloth of The Shining and follows an exhausted married couple, Babak (Hosseini), Neda (Jafarian) and their baby who take shelter in the grand, but eerie Hotel Normandie after a night out with friends. Throughout a seemingly endless night, mysterious disturbances ruin their night’s rest as Babak and Neda soon realize they’re locked-in with a malevolent force that hungers for the dark secrets they’ve kept from one another.
The February 24 release in Iran is perfect timing as it is ahead of Iran’s New Year (“Nowruz”) which takes place on March 20. It is one of the busiest moviegoing seasons in Iran.
The Night is produced by Alex Bretow and Kourosh Ahari for Mammoth Pictures; Jeffrey Allard (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2003 & 2006) for Indie Entertainment, Cheryl Staurulakis (The Night Watchmen) for Orama Filmworks, Armin Amiri for Supernova8 Films and Mohammad Dormanesh for Ayat Film Company. Oscar winner Terry George (Hotel Rwanda) is consulting producer.
George Rush (Sorry to Bother You), Behnam Bebahani, Leo Staurulakis, Ryan Clarkson, David Spisak, Chris Johns, Derek Benham, Robert Spears, Charles Freiberg and P.K. Patel serve as rsexecutive produce. The Night is from production company Mammoth Pictures, in association with 7Skies Entertainment, Indie Entertainment, Orama Filmworks, Leveller Media and Supernova8 Films.
Hosseini and Ahari are repped by McKuin Frankel Whitehead.
Take a look at the first look at the Iranian movie poster for The Night below.