First film The Charmer to San Sebastian

FESTIVAL. Milad Alami's psychological drama "The Charmer" is the opening film of the New Directors competition at the San Sebastian Film Festival (22-30 September). 

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Swedish-Iranian actor Ardalan Esmaili takes centre stage in Milad Alami's "The Charmer," making its world debut in San Sebastian. Photo: Jason Alami

Milad Alami's debut feature "The Charmer" will be making its world premiere at the 65th San Sebastian Film Festival, taking place 22-30 September. 

The film will be opening New Directors, a competition programme highlighting first or second films by European, Asian and Latin American filmmakers. The programme this year includes 16 titles vying for the New Directors-Kutxabank Award.

The film is an intense psychological drama about Esmail, a young Iranian man who is desperately looking to meet women who can secure his stay in Denmark. As time is running out he falls in love with one woman as another woman's husband sets out for revenge. The film deals with themes of race, class and the struggle for a better life.

Featuring in the all-dominant role as Esmail is the Swedish-Iranian actor Ardalan Esmaili. In addition, a number of Iranian actors are cast in supporting roles. Starring opposite Emaili is Soho Rezanejad, making her feature film debut, supported by veteran actors like Lars Brygmann and Susan Taslimi, who is a movie icon in Iran.

Alami wrote the script with Ingeborg Topsøe, a graduate from UK's National Film and Television School. The film is produced by Stinna Lassen for Good Company Films, with support from the Danish Film Institute's New Danish Screen talent-development scheme. International sales are handled by Alma Cinema, Paris.

Alami was born in Iran. He grew up in Sweden and moved to Denmark in 2007. He graduated from the National Film School of Denmark in 2011 and received a national Robert Award for best short film for "Mommy" (2014). He has also directed the two shorts "Mini" (2014) and "Void" (2014), the latter co-directed with the Kyrgyz director Aygul Bakanova and selected for Cannes' Directors' Fortnight. 

San Sebastian Film Festival 22-30 September 2017

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