ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 141

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Enemy filmmakers

First Israeli-Iranian film to premiere at Venice festival

‘Tatami’ tells the story of an Iranian ultimatum at a world judo championship

Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel's culture and lifestyles editor, covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center

From 'Tatami,' the first Iranian-Israeli co-production, from 'Golda' director Guy Nattiv and Iranian-born director Zar Amir Ebrahimi, shortlisted for the European Film Award (Courtesy PR)
From 'Tatami,' the first Iranian-Israeli co-production, from 'Golda' director Guy Nattiv and Iranian-born director Zar Amir Ebrahimi, shortlisted for the European Film Award (Courtesy PR)

“Tatami,” the first Iranian-Israeli co-production, from “Golda” director Guy Nattiv and Iranian-born director Zar Amir Ebrahimi, will have its global premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September.

The political thriller takes place during the world judo championship as Iranian judoka Leila (Arian Mendi) and her coach Mariam (Zar Amir Ebrahimi) receive an ultimatum from the Islamic regime instructing Leila to fake an injury and lose, or be labeled a traitor to the state.

Leila is faced with an impossible choice: to either obey the Iranian regime as urged by her coach or to fight for the gold and put herself and her family at risk.

The film was directed by Nattiv and Iranian Cannes winner Ebrahimi (“Holy Spider,” “Tehran Taboo”), and written by Nattiv and Elham Erfani.

“It was an amazing collaboration and she brought her personal layers,’ says Nattiv of Ebrahimi, who fled her native Iran in 2008 and has been living in exile in France. “It’s a real opportunity to give a platform to the voices of Iranian women who fight daily against the oppressive regime in their country.”

The film was produced as part of the development fund of Keshet International studios in Los Angeles and White Lodge production company, in collaboration with the New Native production company. West End Films is distributing the film worldwide.

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