‘The Daily Show’ host Jon Stewart makes directing debut with ‘Rosewater’ – watch trailer

Political thriller starring Gael Garcia Bernal premieres at Telluride Film Festival

Jon Stewart hosts American television’s The Daily Show and has made his directorial debut with political thriller Rosewater.

Stewart also wrote the drama, set in Iran and starring Gael Garcia Bernal, which is being screened for the first time at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado. A trailer has been released online.

The film is based on the memoirs of Canadian-Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari who covered the Iranian election protests in 2009.

Rosewater, based on Bahari’s book ‘Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival, follows his detainment and torture during 118 days of uncertainty while held in solitary confinement at Evin prison.

Stewart’s film focuses on human endurance in the face of ideological oppression. The filmmaker told The Hollywood Reporter why he cast a Mexican actor to play an Iranian: “Because I know Maziar, I felt like I was casting a person. The one thing I was really having trouble finding was someone who was able to have that distance, who, within the horror of what was happening to them, maintained a certain light.”

Bernal played a young Che Guevara in The Motorcycle Diaries and is currently filming the Mexican border drama Desierto.

Also starring Kim Bodnia, Rosewater is release in American cinemas in November with a UK date to be confirmed. Watch the trailer below.