The 69th Venice International Film Festival will open Aug 29 with the world premiere of Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber, Martin Donovan, Om Puri and Shabana Azmi star.
Nair’s regular collaborator Lydia Dean Pilcher produces the Mirabai Films and Cine Mosaic production; the film is backed by the Doha Film Institute.
The film is adapted (by William Wheeler) from Mohsin Hamid’s 2007 best-selling novel — a political thriller about a young Pakistani man on the verge of making it big on Wall Street, who becomes conflicted with the American dream after 9/11. The project shot in Lahore, Delhi, Istanbul, New York and Atlanta.
Festival director Alberto Barbera said: “The Festival’s opening night will feature a film that provides much food for thought. It is a choice that intends to highlight the growing role of female creativity in all spheres of culture and contemporary society. Mira Nair has made an exemplary film adaptation of a novel that deals with the topical issue of fundamentalisms of any kind or nature. With great sensitivity, subtlety and remarkable sense of cinematic narrative, the director is never reluctant to take a difficult stand, inspired by profound ethical and moral reasons that, although choosing to face reality, still reject its compromises and aberrations”.
In Venice it screens out of competition.
K5 International is handling international rights with Hal Sadoff for DFI and Bart Walker of Cinetic handling North American rights.
Nair won Venice’s Golden Lion in 2001 for Monsoon Wedding and this marks her fifth time in Venice.