• Starless Dreams



Cinema Guild acquires award-winning documentary STARLESS DREAMS ahead of its Hot Docs premiere

NEW YORK, NY — Cinema Guild announced today the acquisition of all U.S. distribution rights to Mehrdad Oskouei’s Starless Dreams. Starless Dreams received its world premiere at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival where it won the Amnesty International Prize (with Golden Bear winner Fire at Sea). Starless Dreams is also the recipient of this year’s True False True Vision Award as well as Full Frame Film Festival’s Reva and David Logan Grand Jury Award and Inspiration Award. The film screens this week at Hot Docs.

A haunting portrait of stolen childhood, Starless Dreams plunges us into the lives of seven young teenage girls sharing temporary quarters at a rehabilitation and correction center on the outskirts of Tehran. As the New Year approaches, the girls bond and reveal with disarming and often playful honesty the circumstances and acts that resulted in their incarceration. They have killed their father, robbed a bank or were arrested for carrying 651 grams of cocaine. Outside the prison walls, danger is everywhere, even within their own families. Oskouei, one of Iran’s most prominent directors spent seven years securing access to this all-female facility. With incredible empathy, Starless Dreams delivers an unforgettable cinematic portrayal of restored innocence and humanity.

Starless Dreams follows It’s Always Late for Freedom (2008) and The Last Days of Winter (2011) in Oskouei’s award-winning documentary trilogy which explores questions of crime and delinquency among Iranian youth. While Starless Dreams portrays the female experience in Iran’s juvenile justice system, the first two installments focus on boys behind bars. Cinema Guild will release It’s Always Late for Freedom and The Last Days of Winter digitally and on the non-theatrical market.

The deal was negotiated by Blandine Mercier-McGovern of Cinema Guild with Nasrine Médard de Chardon of DreamLab Films on behalf of the filmmaker.

"We are honored and tremendously excited to champion such brilliant and unforgettable work that ranks with Iran’s greatest cinema. Starless Dreams is quite simply one of the most haunting non-fiction works in recent years," commented Blandine Mercier-McGovern.

Cinema Guild is a premier distributor of independent, foreign and documentary films. Recent theatrical releases include Jem Cohen’s Counting, Asghar Farhadi's About Elly, and Matías Piñeiro’s The Princess of France.

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