Based on the incredible true story of Iranian citizen Afshin Ghaffarian, Desert Dancer tells the story of Ghaffarian’s quest to dance in a country where it is illegal. Set amidst the turmoil of the 2009 presidential election, Ghaffarian puts together an underground dance troupe in an effort to express himself and his art when all the authorities want to put him in jail.
As seen in the trailer, Ghaffarian, played by Reece Ritchie (Prince of Persia: Sands of Time), was a young boy when he began to teach himself how to dance, moving to an arts center where he could learn in peace. Then we see him as a young man putting together the dance troupe that ultimately lands him in major trouble with the Iranian authorities, all of it set amidst the protests and unrest of the presidential election of 2009. Ghaffarian stars alongside Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), who plays his dance partner and love interest, Elaheh. The movie also stars Tom Cullen (TV’s Downton Abbey) and Makram J. Khoury (Munich). As seen in the trailer, the film will follow Ghaffarian’s quest to be a dancer, even as he and his troupe flee to the desert to practice and learn in the open. Also in the trailer, viewers will see how he is urged to flee to Paris, as in real life Ghaffarian has been living there since 2009.
The film is directed by Richard Raymond and marks his directorial debut. Relativity Studios is distributing the film across the world, though movie was released last summer in Germany and was picked up by Relativity at the American Film Market. It will hit U.S. theaters on April 10 of this year.