EXCLUSIVE: Black Bear Pictures has partnered with Under the Shadow director Babak Anvari and Two & Two Pictures to develop an untitled feature drama set in the deadly Syrian crisis zones. Christian Contreras is set to write the untitled project, which Anvari will direct. The drama is based on true stories about female freedom fighters of Kurdish and Western descent who joined forces to battle against ISIS in an effort to reclaim Raqqa and restore stability to one of the most dangerous places on earth.

Black Bear’s Teddy Schwarzman and Ben Stillman will produce alongside Two & Two’s Lucan Toh and Anvari. Black Bear will fully finance the project.

The British-Iranian Anvari made his feature helming debut on Under the Shadow, which won the 2017 BAFTA for Outstanding Debut. Contreras scripted Labyrinth, the Brad Furman-directed thriller that stars Johnny Depp and Forrest Whitaker in a thriller about the investigation into the murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious BIG. Contreras has also been working on a project for David Goyer at Warner Bros.

Black Bear, put on the map with The Imitation Game, is back in the awards-season hunt with the Dee Rees-directed Mudbound, which is streaming on Netflix. It is in post on Light of My Life, which Casey Affleck wrote, directed and stars in. Production begins next month on the Peter Hedges-directed Ben Is Back, with Julia Roberts and Manchester By The Sea‘s Lucas Hedges set to star. Two & Two is aligned with AZA Films and Annapurna on Anvari’s next film.

WME, Grandview and Independent Talent Group represent Anvari. Contreras is also represented by WME, Grandview and Curtis Brown.