Iran’s “Yalda” wins grand prize at Sundance Film Festival 

February 2, 2020 - 18:7

TEHRAN – Iranian director Masud Bakhshi’s movie “Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness” received the Grand Jury Prize of the World Cinema Dramatic section of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Saturday. 

The film is about a young woman, Maryam, who has been sentenced to death for murdering her husband, Nasser. Iranian law allows for the victim’s family to forgive her and spare her life, so Maryam’s fate will be decided by Nasser’s daughter, Mona, on the country’s most popular televised reality show. 

In front of millions of viewers during Yalda, the winter solstice celebration, Maryam and Mona discover that forgiveness can be difficult as they relive the past.

The grand jury prizes in other sections were presented to “Minari” by Lee Isaac Chung and “Boys State” co-directed by Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine, both from the U.S., and “The Reason I Jump” by Jerry Rothwell from England. 

Earlier in January, Bakhshi announced that he had withdrawn his movie from the festival in protest against the hostile U.S. actions against Iran. 

In a letter published by the Persian service of ISNA at that time, Bakhshi said that he wouldn’t attend the festival and he would stay with his people who have been suffering from sanctions, pressures, discrimination, deprivations and prohibitions imposed by the crazy warmongers for years.

The withdrawal was announced following the assassination of Quds Force commander Lieutenant General Martyr Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. military attack in Baghdad by Trump’s order in early January. 

Photo: A scene from Iranian director Masud Bakhshi’s movie “Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness”.


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