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Under the Shadow

Spring Grant 2014 - Production Stage

Babak Anvari / Feature Narrative / Iran, United Kingdom, Jordan, Qatar / 2016 / 84 min / Colour / Original Language: Farsi / Interests: Horror, Women, Drama, Thriller, War, Psychological


A victim of the post-revolution state crackdown on dissidents, one-time medical student Shideh has been relegated to the role of housewife. When her doctor husband is sent on military duty to an area of heavy fighting, the tension at home ratchets up, but Shideh insists on remaining in Tehran with her daughter Dorsa, even as the other tenants of their apartment complex are fleeing the shelling.

Soon after a missile hits their building, Dorsa’s favourite doll goes missing and the little girl begins to have frightening visions. Increasingly agitated, Shideh tries to keep a lid on things – but Mrs Ebrahimi, the landlord’s wife, surmises that a djinni has targeted the family. As Dorsa’s panic reaches fever pitch and Shideh starts having nightmares of her own, the line blurs between the terrors of wartime and the threat of supernatural possession.

During the War of the Cities that followed the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Tehran was under constant bombardment. Against this unstable and distressing backdrop, director Babak Anvari tells an exceedingly unnerving tale of one family’s experience during the lengthy conflict. The recipient of a production grant from the Doha Film Institute, ‘Under the Shadow’ is the UK’s Academy Award entry for Best Foreign Language Film.


Babak Anvari
Babak Anvari
Lucan Toh, Emily Leo, Oliver Roskill
Production Company
Wigman Films Limited
Production Company
Wigwam Films

About the Director

Babak Anvari is an award-winning Iranian-born filmmaker based in London. Since the age of 16, he has been involved in the production of numerous short films and video art pieces that have been screened at venues and in festivals around the world. At the Cristal Festival Europe’s Young Directors Forum in 2012, Anvari was selected from 517 entries as one of the eight rising stars in the world of film and media. His short film ‘Two & Two’ was nominated for a BAFTA in 2012 after screening at major international film festivals.

Awards and Festival History


Sundance Film Festival 2016 (WP)
South by Southwest Film Festival 2016
Sarajevo Film Festival 2016, Kinoscope
Ajyal Youth Film Festival 2016


UK's Official Submission for the 2017 Academy Awards - Best Foreign Language Film Race
Outstanding Debut, BAFTA Awards 2017
Best Debut Director, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress, British Independent Film Awards 2016
Best Feature Film Audienc


  • Main Contact

    Emily Leo

    Wigwam Films

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