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Berlinale: Golshifteh Farahani to Topline Eva Husson’s ‘Sun’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 2/10/2017 Elsa Keslassy
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French-Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani (“Paterson”) is set to topline “Girls of the Sun.” The drama follows a battalion of female resistance fighters, nicknamed the Girls of the Sun, who were former captives of extremists and have vowed to reconquer their own land.

Farahani will star as Bahar, a lawyer who turns into a fearless soldier and becomes chief of a battalion after being kidnapped while on a trip to her native village in Kurdistan with her husband and child.

Eva Husson’s follow-up to Toronto Festival player “Bang Gang,” “Girls of the Sun” is based on thorough research and hours of interviews, according to the producers. The movie reteams Husson with a “Bang Gang” producer, Didar Domheri at Paris-based Maneki Films.

The story of “Girls of the Sun” is structured around the women’s battle to reconquer the village, and the encounter between a woman journalist and a female warrior, Bahar, who reminisces about her experiences as a captive and how she managed to escape, explained Husson.

Husson said she was inspired to make this film after reading about the Yazidi women who got captured by Isis, but escaped and joined forces as soldiers to resist oppression. The Iraqi Office of Religious Affairs states that out of the 6,255 women and children of this religious minority who were kidnapped, an estimated 3,000 remain prisoners.

While “Girls of the Sun” is undeniably politically minded, Domheri said the idea was to make an epic film that can appeal to broad audiences focusing on the tale of this heroic woman and the resistance movement she builds. “Surprisingly, so far, in the ‘mainstream’ war film genre, there’s never been a story centered around female soldiers,” said Domheri.

Husson said she had Farahani in mind while writing the script and the role of Bahar. “I’m convinced that Golshifteh Farahani’s versatility and charisma are perfect to convey on screen a modern-time heroin of epic stature,” said Husson.

“Girls of the Sun” is being presented at the Berlinale Co-production Market. It was previously pitched at CineMart in Rotterdam.

Shooting will begin at the end of the year in Georgia.

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