Cannes: 'Desert Dancer' to Open Ischia Global Film & Music Fest

Freida Pinto - P

Freida Pinto - P

The feature, starring Freida Pinto, Reece Ritchie and Tom Cullen, tells the story of Iranian ballet dancer Afshin Ghaffarian.

CANNES – Richard Raymond’s Desert Dancer, starring Freida PintoReece Ritchie and Tom Cullen, will serve as the opening night film at the Ischia Global Film & Music Fest on July 13 in Ischia, Italy, it was announced today by the fest’s founder and producer, Pascal Vicedomini.

Desert Dancer is a musical film set during the 2009 riots against the Iranian regime, and is based on the story of Afshin Ghaffarian, who dreamt of becoming a ballet dancer despite a government ban. Its choreography is by Akram Khan, who also created the opening ceremonies of the London Olympic Games.

PHOTOS: The Scene at Cannes 2014

Vicedomini was joined at the Italian Pavillion by festival board member Italian producer Marina Cicogna, honorary president Darina Pavlova and the Fest’s mistress of ceremonies, actress Clotilde Courau.

''We are grateful to our friends at Relativity Media who have given us the extraordinary honor of globally premiering Desert Dancer, a film which interweaves the themes of freedom of artistic expression and the fight for human rights in an incredible story inspired by true events,'' Vicedomini said. 

The Ischia Global Film & Music Fest will run through July 20 and will be chaired by producers Mark Canton and Trudie Styler. Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, will oversee the festival’s Cinema Social Forum: ‘Supporting Young People’s Employment'.