Desert Dancer

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Desert Dancer
Desert Dancer.jpg
film poster
Directed by Richard Raymond
Produced by
  • Izabela Miko
Written by Jon Croker
Music by Benjamin Wallfisch
Cinematography Carlos Catalan
Distributed by Relativity Media
Release dates
  • 3 July 2014 (2014-07-03) (Germany)
Running time
98 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $6 million
Box office $267,830[1]

Desert Dancer is a 2014 biographical film directed by Richard Raymond. It tells a true story of a young, self-taught dancer in Iran, Afshin Ghaffarian, who risked his life for his dream to become a dancer despite a nationwide dancing ban.[2]


Set in Iran, the story follows the ambition of Afshin Ghaffarian. During the volatile climate of the 2009 presidential election, Afshin and some friends (including Elaheh played by Freida Pinto) risk their lives and form an underground dance company. The group learned the dancing from videos of Michael Jackson, Gene Kelly and Rudolf Nureyev even though the online videos are banned. Afhsin and Elaheh also learn much from each other and learned how to embrace their passion for dance and for one another.[3]


Actor Role
Reece Ritchie Afshin Ghaffarian
Freida Pinto Elaheh
Nazanin Boniadi Parisa Ghaffarian
Tom Cullen Ardavan
Marama Corlett Mona
Simon Kassianides Sattar
Akin Gazi Farid Ghaffarian
Tolga Safer Stephano
Makram Khoury Mehdi
Joshan Ertan Voice of Young Afshin


Richard Raymond who is making his full-length debut and is working with acclaimed choreographer Akram Khan, whose work featured in the Olympic opening ceremony at London 2012. Richard Raymond is producing the film through his May 13 Films banner. Freida Pinto undertook an intensive training schedule for the role that comprised eight hours of dance rehearsals every day for 14 weeks.[4] Photo call for the film was held at the Palais des Festivals during the third day of the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France on Friday May 18, 2012.[5][6] Relativity Media has acquired North America distribution rights to the film [7] at 2013 American Film Market.[8]


Desert Dancer premiered in Germany on July 3, 2014.[9] It opened the Ischia Global Film and Music Fest in Ischia, Italy on July 13, 2014.[10] The film premiered in Hong Kong on August 28, 2014 and in the United States on April 10, 2015.[11]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]