Comedian and The Daily Show presenter Jon Stewart will arrive in the UK next month for the European premiere of Rosewater, his directorial debut.
The film has been chosen for a gala screening under the ‘debate’ strand of the London Film Festival on October 12, taking place at the Odeon West End in Leicester Square.
The announcement was made today by festival director Clare Stewart during the launch of the full programme for the 58th edition of Britain’s leading film event.
Rosewater is based on the memoir Then They Came for Me by Maziar Bahari, a BBC journalist arrested and accused of being a spy whilst reporting on Iran’s ultimately unsuccessful Green Revolution in 2009.
As Stewart explains in the trailer below, the story has a very personal connection, as it was in part a satirical interview that Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones conducted with Bahari that the Iranian government used to justify the latter’s 118-day incarceration – 107 of which were spent in solitary confinement .
Due for release in the US on November 7 (a UK release has yet to be confirmed), Rosewater stars acclaimed Mexican actor Gael García Bernal as Bahari.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Stewart explained his choice for the lead: “I saw some great Iranian actors, but because I know Maziar, I felt like I was casting a person.
“The one thing that I was really having trouble finding was someone who was able to have that distance, who, within the horror of what was happening to them, maintained a certain light. And when Gael came in to read, it was kind of immediate.”
The BFI London Film Festival takes place on October 8-19. For more information and tickets, visit: www.bfi.org.uk/lff
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