Variance Films has picked up North American rights from Celluloid Dreams to the latest film from Jafar Panahi’s, the Iranian filmmaker who remains under house arrest and continues to defy a 20-year filmmaking ban.

The film, winner of the Silver Bear for best screenplay at the 2013 Berlinale, will open theatrically on July 9 at Film Forum in New York prior to North American expansion over the summer.

Closed Curtain takes place in the home of a screenwriter who hides out with his dog and must deal with the unexpected arrival of a young woman on the run from the authorities.

Kambozia Partovi and Maryam Moqadam star alongside Panahi as himself.

“Jafar Panahi’s bravery is surpassed only by his artistry,” said Dylan Marchetti of Variance Films. “It’s our ultimate hope that we can continue to bring attention to his unjust house arrest and ban from filmmaking while reminding the world that nobody can stop artists from developing their craft and sharing their creativity with audiences.”  

Kambozia Partovi co-directed Closed Curtain and Panahi produced the film.