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Jon Stewart may be returning to The Daily Show this week, but he’s still keeping a close eye on his Iranian political drama, Rosewater.
This weekend, Stewart will travel to the Toronto Film Festival to pitch select foreign buyers on his feature directorial debut and share footage. Sierra/Affinity, which is representing international rights, is hosting what’s likely to be one of the most popular events of the film market.
Stewart, directing from his adapted screenplay, shot Rosewater in Jordan and wrapped production in mid-August.
Stewart took a three-month break from The Daily Show to shoot the independent film, which was financed and produced by OddLot Entertainment. He returns Tuesday to his hosting duties, which had been temporarily fulfilled by John Oliver.
Rosewater is the film adaptation of BBC journalist Maziar Bahari and Aimee Molloy‘s New York Times best-selling memoir Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival, which tells the story of Bahari’s 2009 arrest by the Iranian government while covering an election protest.
Bahari — played by Gael Garcia Bernal — was interrogated and tortured during the next 118 days, including 107 spent in solitary confinement.
Stewart’s involvement with Bahari’s story began before the arrest. Bahari had appeared on The Daily Show to talk about Iran, and his captors used the interview as evidence of his connection to Western spies. Stewart covered Bahari’s saga nightly and had the journalist appear on the show to talk about his ordeal once he was released from prison.
UTA packaged Rosewater and is handling North American rights. Scott Rudin is producing alongside Stewart and Oddlot’s Gigi Pritzker. Lila Yacoub, Eli Bush and Chris McShane are executive producers.
Sierra/Affinity acts as the exclusive sales agent for films developed and produced by OddLot.
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