Primeridian Entertainment has arrived on the scene and hired The Stoning Of Soraya M. director Cyrus Nowrasteh to write and direct a feature about the life of Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

Primeridian’s Arcadiy Golubovich and Tim O’Hair will produce and provide equity financing on the project, marking the company’s first feature. The goal is to produce two to four films a year and partner with sales agents on a case-by-case basis.

Nowrasteh and his wife Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh will adapt DM Thomas’ prize winning biography Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Century In His Life. Solzhenitsyn was a Red Army officer sent to the gulags in 1945 after he was accused of anti-Soviet propaganda.

His experiences led him to write The Gulag Archipelago. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970 and returned to Russia in the mid-1990s after exile in Vermont. He died in 2008.

“It’s a privilege to tell the courageous story of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn,” said Nowrasteh. “Millions suffered and died in the Soviet labour camps. As a survivor, he resolved to tell the world about it.”

“As a Russian nonconformist and activist as well as a towering literary figure, Solzhenitsyn’s life makes for a compelling feature film, and we are thrilled to be bringing Cyrus’ talent on board to weave this fascinating story,” said Primeridian Entertainment head Golubovich. 

O’Hair is a former studio executive, film finance agent with Paradigm and head of production for film fund Parallel Media.