Drafthouse Films has sprung for Amira & Sam, an indie dramedy romance starring Martin Starr (Silicon Valley, Freaks and Geeks) and newcomer Dina Shihabi as an Army vet and an illegal Iraqi immigrant whose love is put to the test when she’s faced with deportation. Writer-director Sean Mullin helmed the pic, which is executive produced by The Spectacular Now‘s James Ponsoldt and also stars The Vampire Diaries’ Paul Wesley, Laith Nakli, and David Rasche. Drafthouse has slated a cross-platform limited theatrical, VOD, digital, and home video release for early 2015.
The Austin-based distributor snapped up Amira & Sam following its premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival earlier this year. It’s scheduled to screen at the Drafthouse’s upcoming femme-centric Forever Fest this Fall. The Five By Eight Productions picture is produced by Terry Leonard from Strongman and Erich Lochner and Matt Miller from Vanishing Angle. Meg Montagnino-Jarrett and Peter Sobiloff from Hole in One Productions are also exec producers alongside Ponsoldt.
West Point grad-turned-filmmaker Mullin makes his feature debut with Amira & Sam. “Most soldier-coming-home-from-war films deal with soldiers battling PTSD,” he said in a statement, “and so I wanted to flip that well-worn premise on its head and ask: What if the soldier who returns is fine, but it’s his country that’s lost its mind?” Preferred Content’s Zac Bright negotiated the deal with Bec Smith from UTA Independent Film Group and Andre Des Rochers from Gray Krauss Stratford Des Rochers LLP on behalf of the producers, and James Emanuel Shapiro from Drafthouse Films.