Noora Niasari is bringing “Raya” to the big screen. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Iranian-Australian filmmaker has been tapped to write and direct an adaptation of Mahsa Rahmani’s novel for Sister and Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment.
Published in 2018, “Raya” is a work of historical fiction and tells the story of Princess Soraya Esfandiary Bahktiari, who, at age 16, “was selected from among the most beautiful and eligible women of her country to wed the Shah of Iran,” the source details. The film’s synopsis adds, “Years later, a chance encounter with a distant relative leads Soraya back on a journey through the tender and tumultuous times of her life as another young woman struggles to come to terms with love and betrayal. Together, they share their stories of the defeats and victories of love, hoping to make sense of the ever-fragile human heart.”
“Noora’s work is very powerful and cinematically mature. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Noora on ‘Raya.’ She brings cultural insight and dynamic storytelling. Matching her with Mahsa Rahmani Noble’s novel is a perfect connection,” said Krasnoff/Foster’s Gary Foster. “We love working with Sister. It made perfect sense to bring them ‘Raya.’ Stacey Snider and Kate Fenske shared our enthusiasm for the project and are also big believers in Noora.”
Niasari is currently working on her debut feature, “Shayda.” Set in a 1990s Iranian-Australian community, the drama follows a young Iranian mother. “Casa Antúnez,” her doc examining the aftermath of a 2010 Chilean earthquake, was nominated for the New Talent Award at the 2017 Sheffield Doc/Fest. Her credits also include “The Phoenix,” a narrative short about an exiled Iranian actor teaching theater to asylum seekers in an Australian detention center that was nominated for an Australian Directors’ Guild Award.