“20th Circuit Suspects” named best doc at Vienna Ethnocineca festival

May 19, 2018

TEHRAN – Iranian filmmaker Hesam Eslami’s acclaimed documentary “20th Circuit Suspects” has won the International Documentary Award (IDA) at the Ethnocineca – the Vienna International Documentary Film Festival.

Produced at Iran’s Documentary and Experimental Film Center, the film depicts an unlikely friendship that forms between Eslami and Ehsan, the leader of the Iranian youth gang that breaks into his car.

“In ‘20th Circuit Suspects’, director Hesam Eslami develops a rich and intriguing portrait of a male adolescent gang that runs the streets of Tehran breaking into cars,” the festival jury wrote in a statement published on the closing day of the event on May 11.

“The access he gained with the young criminals, who relate to him with candid familiarity, allows Eslami to show their work, lives and aspirations, without any judgment of values or superficial morality. The guerrilla style of film-making combined with a subtle reflexive approach suits the subject matter perfectly. Not simply another coming of age tale, what we have here is an engaging story of becoming a man under precarious social and political conditions in an increasingly alienating world,” the statement added.

“Mabacher - #Ungebrochen” by Stefan Wolner won the Austrian Documentary Award, while the Excellence in Visual Anthropology Award (EVA) went to “Remake of a Summer” by Magali Bragard und Enjolras Séverine from France.

“The Lake” by Russian filmmaker Daria Blokhina received the International Shorts Award (ISA) and “Miedzy Nami – Between Us” by Maciej Miller from Poland won the Ethnocineca Student Shorts Award (ESSA).

Photo: A scene from director Hesam Eslami’s documentary “20th Circuit Suspects”

MMS/YAW

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