WestEnd Films and Keshet Studios have unveiled a first look at “Golda” director Guy Nattiv and “Holy Spider” star Zar Amir-Ebrahimi’s political thriller “Judo.”
The image, which features Amir-Ebrahimi (left) and Arienne Mandi (right), follows an Iranian female judoka and her coach as they face life-changing decisions during the Judo World Championships.
“Judo” (working title) is co-directed by Nattiv and Amir-Ebrahimi. It is co-written by Nattiv and Elham Erfani (“The Case of Sacrifice”). The project is the first feature film to be co-directed by an Iranian and an Israeli filmmaker, during a time when the Iranian government still criminalizes any contact with Israelis, and state violence against women is amplified.
Other cast members include Jaime Ray Newman (“Dopesick”), Nadine Marshall (“The Silent Twin”), Mehdi Bajestani (“Holy Spider”), Lirr Katz and Ashkan Goldeh.
Here’s an official synopsis for the project: “Judo” is a thrilling portrait of Iranian female judoka Leila (Mandi) and her coach Maryam (Amir-Ebrahimi), who travel to the Judo World Championship, intent on bringing home Iran’s first gold medal. Midway through the competition, they receive an ultimatum from the Islamic Republic ordering Leila to fake an injury and lose. With her own and her family’s freedom at stake, Leila is faced with an impossible choice: feign injury and comply with the Iranian regime as Maryam implores her to do, or defy them both and fight on, for the gold.
“Judo” is produced by Adi Ezroni and Keshet Studios’ Mandy Tagger Brockey alongside Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman from New Native Pictures. Other crew include director of ohotography Todd Martin and editor Yuval Orr. The film is produced by Keshet Studios, the U.S. production arm of Keshet International, in association with White Lodge Productions, New Native Pictures, Maven Pictures, WestEnd Films, Tale Runners and Sarke Studios.