Sony Pictures Classics Lands Sundance Audience Award Winner ‘The Persian Version’

The story follows an Iranian-American girl who visits New York City for her father’s heart transplant

Sundance Insitute

Sundance hit “The Persian Version” is going to Sony Pictures Classics. The distributor has landed North American rights to the film in a competitive situation, SPC announced on Friday, adding the winner of the Audience Award in the U.S. Dramatic category to its slate. The film also picked up the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award (U.S. Dramatic Competition) at the 2023 festival.

Written, directed and produced by Maryam Keshavarz, “The Persian Version” follows an Iranian-American girl named Leila who struggles to balance her opposing cultures while visiting New York City for her father’s heart transplant.

“After two plus years of watching everything at home and in our PJs, I am excited to bring ‘The Persian Version’ to theaters where we can experience the joy and humor of this big rowdy immigrant American family together in a communal setting,” Keshavarz said in a statement. “Having grown up watching and loving SPC films, I’m stoked to partner with them to reach the widest possible audience for this crazy film.”

Keshavarz is the first director to have two films win the Sundance Audience Award in the Dramatic Competition category, with her film “Circumstance” taking the award in 2011.

“Maryam Keshavarz’s ‘The Persian Version’ is an eloquent film about family and freedom while at the same time grand entertainment,” Sony Pictures Classics said. “We are excited to bring the movie to audiences everywhere and to be working again with our colleagues at Stage 6 Films.”

“The Persian Version” was produced by Keshavarz for Marakesh Films, Anne Carey for Archer Gray Productions, Ben Howe and Luca Borghese for AGX, and Peter Block and Cory Neal for A Bigger Boat. It stars Layla Mohammadi, Niousha Noor, Kamand Shafieisabet, Bijan Daneshmand, Bella Warda, Chiara Stella, Tom Byrne, and Shervin Alenabi.

UTA Independent Film Group represented US rights with Stage 6 Films. Keshavarz is represented by UTA, Anne Damato, and Victoria Cook at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.

Sony Pictures Classics is releasing the film in partnership with Stage 6 Films. Sony Pictures Releasing International will release the film internationally.