By Samaneh Aboutalebi

“Sheeple” crowned best at Cinema Cinema Academy Awards

August 12, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian director Hooman Seyyedi’s acclaimed drama “Sheeple” was named best picture at the 2nd Cinema Cinema Academy Awards on Saturday.

This is the second edition of the annual awards that are presented by the Cinema Cinema Academy, a private film academy located in Tehran. It can be considered as the Iranian equivalent of the Oscars.

The award is a bronze statue of a mandrake (mehrgiah) with five leaves placed on a rock-shaped stand. It is considered to be a mythical plant and the symbol of fertility, love and unity in Iranian culture.

“Sheeple” is about brothers Shakur and Shahin, two lowlifes who run a crystal meth laboratory hidden in Tehran. They do care about the honor of their family, however. When a video of their sister revealing her hair ends up on the internet, the brothers become the protagonists of some strange incidents.

The film also brought Seyyedi the award for best director and Navid Mohammadzadeh the award for best actor during the awards ceremony held at Tehran’s Enqelab Hotel.

After accepting his award, Seyyedi told filmmaker Kianush Ayyari, who is the founder and director of the academy, “Perhaps you don’t know, but you have made a great impact on the outlook of cinema.” 

“I am honored that your name is on my award,” he added. 

Mohammadzadeh said that the award is the fifth honor he has received for his role in the film and added, “I am the son of this cinema, and you all the cineastes, have always cared for me.”

The award for best screenplay went to “Lovely Trash” written and directed by Mohsen Amiryusefi, and “Baharesan, the House of the Nation” by Babak Behdad was named best documentary. 

“No. 17 Soheila” by Mahmud Ghaffari won the award for best debut film and Zahra Davudnejad received best actress award for her role in the film. 

Narges Abyar, the director of acclaimed movies such as “Track 143”, “Breath” and “When the Moon Was Full”, was selected as the Leading Figure of the Year.

Eight other cineastes and one official were nominated for the title. The nominees were selected in a poll of 207 film critics, journalists and media personalities.

“The reviews and ideas of these people who vote for me, have been always very important to me, and that’s why I am thrilled they have chosen me,” Abyar said after received the award.

She also warned about the water crisis in Sistan-Baluchestan Province where she shot her latest movie “When the Moon Was Full”, and asked her fellow filmmakers to support the national campaign of “Water Offering”.

Filmmaker Varuj Karim-Masihi, the director of acclaimed drama “The Last Act” (1989), also received a lifetime achievement award. 

Photo: Director Hooman Seyyedi speaks after accepting the Mehrgiah award for best director for his film “Sheeple” at the 2nd Cinema Cinema Academy Awards at Tehran’s Enqelab Hotel on August 10, 2019. (Mehr/Behnam Tofiqi) 

ABU/MMS/YAW

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