Visit Films has come on board to represent worldwide rights excluding Australia and New Zealand to the Pashto- and English-language drama Jirga ahead of its North American premiere in TIFF next week.
The Discovery selection screens to press and industry on Saturday (September 8) and won the top award at CinefestOZ 2018 following the world premiere at Sydney Film festival in June. The North American premiere is on Tuesday (11).
Sam Smith stars as a former Australian soldier who returns to Afghanistan to make peace with the family of a civilian he killed accidentally during combat, and puts himself in the hands of the jirga village justice system.
Director Benjamin Gilmour, who previously directed Son Of A Lion and the documentary Paramedico, shot the film guerrilla-style with former Taliban members under dangerous conditions in the mountains of Jalalabad in Afghanistan.
John Maynard produced the Felix Media production, while Bridget Ikin and David Gross served as executive producers.
“When you watch Jirga, you wonder to yourself, ‘How did this crew not get killed shooting the film?’,” said Visit president Ryan Kampe. “Add to that a character who feels very real in his desire to make amends for decisions forced on him by forces outside his control and you have a universal must-watch film.”
Gilmour added, “We are thrilled to be represented by Visit Films. Jirga is a rare film shot entirely in Afghanistan that takes the audiences right into the heart of the country and its people. At this moment, I think audiences are really craving authentic stories of reconciliation and peace.”