EXCLUSIVE: Vertical Entertainment has acquired North American rights to the political satire Land of Dreams, directed by Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari, which is making its North American premiere in the Spotlight Narrative section of the Tribeca Film Festival in June. The global indie distributor has slated the film for a day-and-date theatrical release in 10 of the top 20 markets—including in Los Angeles and New York—this fall. (Watch a new trailer unveiled today by the company above.)
Set in a near-future America which has closed its borders and become more insular than ever, the story follows Simin (Sheila Vand), an Iranian American woman on a journey to discover the core of what it means to be a free American. Simin works for the Census Bureau—the most important government agency of her time. In efforts to understand and control its populous, the government has begun a program to record the citizens’ dreams. Simin, one of the Census Bureau’s lead dream catchers, is unaware of this devious plot. As she forms connections with love-struck poet Mark (William Moseley) and a cynical detective (Matt Dillon) tasked with her protection, Simin’s morals, connection to community and safety become tested in unforeseeable ways.
In addition to Vand (Snowpiercer), Moseley (Medieval) and Dillon (Capone), Land of Dreams stars Isabella Rossellini (Spaceman), Joaquim De Almeida (Queen of the South), Christopher McDonald (American Crime Story), Anna Gunn (Sully) and Gaius Charles (Alice), among others. Azari and Jean-Claude Carrière (The Unbearable Lightness of Being) wrote the script, based on Neshat’s story. Amir Hamz, Sol Tryon and Christian Springer produced the film, with Amir Neshat, Shirin Neshat, Fahri Yardim and Mark Amin serving as exec producers.
“Shirin and Shoja’s film is a unique blend of science fiction and political satire, in which the failures and absurdities of the American Dream and the immigrant experience are presented through a nuanced and grounded portrayal of an alternative reality,” said Vertical Entertainment’s SVP of Acquisitions, Tony Piantedosi. “For audiences interested in an evocative and symbolic film, this is a must-see.”
“I’m so delighted to see Land of Dreams find its way to the American public, and grateful to Vertical Entertainment for believing in this film, and how it dares to challenge the conventions of storytelling,” added Neshat.
Vertical Entertainment was founded in 2012. Other upcoming releases from the company include Eli Horowitz’s SXSW 2022 thriller The Cow, starring Winona Ryder and John Gallagher Jr.; John Patton Ford’s Sundance 2022 pic Emily the Criminal, starring Aubrey Plaza and Theo Rossi; and Krystin Ver Linden’s Sundance drama Alice, starring Keke Palmer, Common, Gaius Charles and Jonny Lee Miller. Piantedosi negotiated the deal for Land of Dreams on behalf of Vertical Entertainment, with Evan Krauss from Eisner LLP, UTA Independent Film Group and Palodeon Pictures’ Tryon on behalf of the filmmakers.
New stills from Land of Dreams and the making of the film can be found above and below.