EXCLUSIVE: British-Iranian helmer Babak Anvari’s Under The Shadow premiered to strong reviews in the Midnight section of Sundance on Friday. Streaming rights to the Farsi-language horror pic were acquired by Netflix earlier this week and now Vertical Entertainment and XYZ Films have partnered to give the film a global day-and-date release on digital and VOD platforms, alongside a targeted theatrical release in select territories. Vertical and XYZ will together coordinate the release with Netflix taking the film worldwide shortly after the theatrical and transactional debut.
Written and directed by Anvari, Under The Shadow stars Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi and Bobby Naderi. Set in 1988 Tehran during the Iran-Iraq war, the story sees a mother and daughter struggle to stay together amid the bombing campaigns and bloody revolution while a mysterious evil stalks through their apartment, threatening their grip on reality. Lucan Toh, Oliver Roskill and Emily Leo of Wigwam Films are producers.
As Vertical pushes further into global releases, this is its latest collaboration with XYZ following December’s He Never Died and the upcoming Terminus and Indonesian action title Headshot.
Vertical’s Rich Goldberg says, “We’ve once again found ourselves in awe of XYZ’s tastemaker approach to film and are thrilled to be partnering with them on a film we find to be unique not only in the genre itself, but also in its social message. We’re excited to be collaborating with the team at Wigwam Films who have been instrumental in identifying the route to market for this film.”
“This distribution alliance with Vertical and Netflix will ensure that Under The Shadow has a chance to be seen by the largest audience worldwide for years to come,” says XYZ’s Nate Bolotin. “Babak Anvari is a breakout filmmaking voice and it’s an honor to be a part of this chilling yet harrowing tale with its defiantly strong female performances.”
XYZ is currently producing and handling sales for international hostage thriller 6 Days, starring Jamie Bell, Mark Strong and Abbie Cornish; action-thriller Pilgrimage starring Jon Bernthal, Richard Armitage and Tom Holland; and I Kill Giants directed by Anders Walter and produced by Chris Columbus, Treehouse Pictures, Man of Action Entertainment and XYZ.