Desert Dancer, 110 min, 2013.Genre – Drama/Dance
Production companies - May 13 Films Ltd (England), StarLand Company (Russia).
From early childhood Afshin Ghaffarian dreamt to be a dancer… But in his turbulent country under an oppressive regime with force and cruelty at the helm, dance is forbidden on penalty of a long term prison sentence. Despite this, a university student Afshin fearlessly cracked Youtube and learned to dance admiringly copying Michael Jackson, Pina Bausch, Gene Kelly, Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov.
With the help of Youtube Afshin continued his secret dance lessons and formed an underground dance group with his university friends. By the means of dance they were able to affirm the human rights and enjoy the pleasure of true freedom for the first time in their lives.
Each day the dance group members learned to dance better and better. When the dance composition was ready, Afshin and his friends had a concert in the desert, far away from the police who would arrest each of the participants if they were aware of the performance. Invitation cards given only to the closest friends, the troupe and a bunch of spectators set off to the torrid and lifeless desert, risking their lives but longing for dance and for freedom. The performance was enthralling and Afshin got an alias Desert Dancer.
Desert Dancer is a fantastic journey into a world where people are in a constant struggle and crave for true freedom. This film tells a startling and moving story, clear and dear to everyone, – a story about true love, music, dance, freedom and a strong commitment to a purpose. This film is about young men and women ready to go all lengths to win freedom and to realise their dearest wish.
The director Richard Raymond began his career in film when he was 15 years old by working at Pinewood Film Studios. Regardless of the young age, Richard quickly asserted himself in the company, working on such movies as Blake Edward’s Son Of The Pink Panther, Kenneth Branagh's Frankenstein, Agnieszka Holland's The Secret Garden, Richard Attenborough's Shadowlands, Neil Jordan's Interview With The Vampire andLuc Besson's The Fifth Element. In 2009 Richard produced a film Heartless with a budget of $5,5 million starring Jim Sturgess, Eddie Marsan, Timothy Spall, Clemence Poésy and Noel Clarke. The film was released in 2012 by Lionsgate (Great Britain) and IFCFilms (USA) and won the Best Film Award at three international film festivals.
Screenwriter – Richard Raymond, Jon Croker (Woman in Black)
Producers – Luis Astorquia, Richard Raymond (Heartless), Pippa Cross (Ghostworld, How to Marry a Billionaire) – Pippa has worked as a financier, producer, and executive producer for 20 years. She enjoys a great authority in the English film-making industry and is one of the most renowned professionals in her sphere. Pippa started her career as a film production manager of two movies by Jim Sheridan: My Left Foot (Oscar winner) and The Field. She then became the head of Granada Film where she released Jack And Sarah, House Of Mirth, The Hole, Ghostworld and Bloody Sunday. Since 2002 she has been running an independent film production company CrossDay Productions. She is a Consultant for The British Independent Film Awards.
World renowned (Opening of the London Olympic Ceremony, Desh) and one of the most innovative contemporary dance choreographers of our time, Akram Kahn, is the choreographer. Sally Greene is executive producer, she is owner of the Old Vic theater in London, partner of Elton John and Kevin Spacey, also creator and producer of Billy Elliot the musical.