HOLY SPIDER A FILM BY Ali Abbasi - at @TIFF_NE - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Monday, August 29, 2022




Ali Abbasi
(Director of Oscar®-Nominated BORDER)
Zar Amir Ebrahimi
2022 Cannes Film Festival

October 28th, 2022

Female journalist Rahimi (Zar Amir Ebrahimi) travels to the Iranian holy city of Mashhad to investigate a serial killer who believes he is doing the work of God, cleansing the streets of sinners by murdering sex workers. As the body count mounts and Rahimi draws closer to exposing his crimes, the opportunity for justice grows harder to attain as the ‘Spider Killer’ is embraced by many as a hero. Based on the horrific true story of serial killer Saeed Hanaei, acclaimed writer-director Ali Abbasi (Border) unveils a gripping crime thriller and a daring indictment of a society in which rough justice is routinely a fact of life.

About Ali Abbasi - Ali Abbasi is a writer and director. He was born in 1981 in Iran and left his studies in Tehran to move to Stockholm, where he graduated with a BA in architecture. He then studied directing at the National Film School of Denmark, graduating with his short film M FOR MARKUS in 2011. His feature debut, SHELLEY premiered at the Berlinale in 2016 and was released in the US. He is best known for his 2018 film BORDER, which premiered in Cannes, where it won the Prix Un Certain Regard. The film was chosen as Sweden’s Academy Award® Entry, was widely released internationally, won the Danish Film Award and was nominated for three European Film Awards including Best Director, Best Screenwriter & Best Film. He recently finished shooting the TV adaptation of “The Last of Us” for HBO in Canada.

About Zar Amir Ebrahimi - Zar Amir Ebrahimi is an Iranian actress living in Paris. She grew up in Tehran, where she received her Performing Arts University degree. She performed on stage and in high-profile TV series and movies, gaining national attention with TV soaps like “Help Me”(2004) and “Nargess” (2007). Her feature movies made in Iran WAITING (2001) and A TRIP TO HIDALU (2006) were not screened due to authority censorship. Outside Iran, she became known to a wider audience through her performance in the Rotoscoping Animation film TEHRAN TABOO, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017. In 2018 she won Best Actress at the Nice International Film Festival for her performance in BRIDE PRICE VS DEMOCRACY. Her latest film TOMORROW WE ARE FREE screened at the Talinn Black Nights Film Festival and Filmfest Hamburg, among others. Coming up, she has LES SURVIVANTS/WHITE PARADISE directed by Guillaume Renusson, in which she plays the lead female role alongside Denis Ménochet.

  "THUNDEROUSLY DAMNING... it crackles and glistens with anger."
- Stephanie Bunbury, DEADLINE
GRIPPING AND DISTURBING...A movie that takes a well-worn genre and turns it on its head, dishing out more surprises than expected while delivering a message heard loud and clear about Iran’s troubled state."
"UNDENIABLY ARRESTING...a bleakly intense film which tangles sexual politics and religion with a serial killer."
- Fionnuala Halligan, SCREEN INTERNATIONAL

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