Sony Pictures Classics will release Noora Niasari’s Australian Oscar submission Shayda on 1 March 2024.
The film tells the story of a young Iranian mother and her six-year-old daughter, who find refuge in an Australian women’s shelter during the two weeks of Iranian New Year (Nowruz), which is celebrated as a time of renewal and rebirth. Aided by the strong community of women at the shelter they seek their freedom in this new world of possibilities, only to find themselves facing the violence they tried so hard to escape.
The film will open in New York and Los Angeles and expand nationwide in the weeks that follow. It received a one-week awards-qualifying run earlier this month in the states.
The film is produced by Vincent Sheehan and Noora Niasari and is executive-produced by Cate Blanchett, Andrew Upton and Coco Francini of Dirty Films. It stars Cannes Best Actress-winner Zar Amir Ebrahimi (Holy Spider) alongside Osamah Sami, Leah Purcell, Jillian Nguyen, Mojean Aria, Rina Mousavi and Selina Zahednia.
Shayda had its US premiere at Sundance 20233, where it won the audience award in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition.
The film also opened the Melbourne International Film Festival and was the closing-night screening at Locarno Film Festival, screening for 8,000 in the Piazza Grande.
The film received major production investment from Screen Australia in association with The 51 Fund and was financed with support from VicScreen and the Melbourne International Film Festival Premiere Fund.
Shayda opens in US cinemas on 1 March 2024.