Music Box Acquires Babak Jalilis Sundance, SXSW Breakout Fremont

Music Box Films has acquired North American distribution rights to “Fremont,” Iranian/British Filmmaker Babak Jalali’s follow-up to “Land” and “Radio Dreams.” Jalali’s film, which premiered in the Sundance Film Festival’s NEXT section and later screened at the SXSW Film Festival, tells the story of mid-20s Afghan refugee Donya (played by real-life refugee Anaita Wali Zada) as she wrestles with complicated feelings about her work as a translator for the U.S. military.

“Quiet, tender, and deeply human, ‘Fremont’ hails the arrival of a strikingly talented new performer in Anaita Wali Zada and loudly announces Jalali as a filmmaker whose ability to tell soulful stories with humor and grace demands attention,” states Music Box Films’ Brian Andreotti. “With an impressive launch out of Sundance and SXSW, we’re thrilled to continue momentum and open this film theatrically to a wider US audience later this year.”

“I’m so pleased that Fremont will be distributed in North America by Music Box, a company I deeply admire for their support of independent cinema and continued commitment to theatrical distribution,” says Director Babak Jalali. “I’m proud that ‘Fremont’ will be part of their catalogue which includes many films I hold in the highest regard.”

Music Box Films plans a theatrical release for later this year, with a home entertainment release to follow. “We are thrilled to have found a partner in Music Box Films and are excited for audiences to see Fremont in theaters,” says producer Rachael Fung. “We are grateful for their shared passion and belief in the power of storytelling to build and bridge communities.” In 2023, Fung was one of Variety’s 10 Producers to Watch.

Described in Variety’s review out of Sundance as “a lovely, low-budget mood piece with a hypnotically deadpan temperament,” “Fremont” stars newcomer Zada alongside Gregg Turkington and Jeremy Allen White. In addition to receiving an Audience Award nomination at SXSW, Jalali’s film won the Grand Jury Prize for Narrative Feature at Independent Film Festival Boston, and the narrative award at the 2023 Sun Valley Film Festival in the One in a Million catgory, which recognizes films produced for $1 million or less.

“Fremont” is produced by Fung, Marjaneh Moghimi, Sudnya Shroff, George Rush, Chris Martin and Laura Wagner.

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