“Yalda” wins Sofia best screenplay award 

July 8, 2020 - 18:23

TEHRAN – Iranian writer and director Masud Bakhshi’s drama “Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness” won the special mention for best screenplay at the 24th Sofia International Film Festival in Bulgaria, the organizers announced on Tuesday.

A co-production from Iran, France, Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg, “Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness” is about Maryam, a young woman 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 film has been screened in several international events and was acclaimed in some. It received the Grand Jury Prize of the World Cinema Dramatic section at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah in February.

The Sofia City of Film Grand Prix for best film went to “Sister”, a co-production between Bulgaria and Qatar by director Svetla Tsotsorkova.

“Nocturnal” by director Nathalie Biancheri from the UK received the special jury award and Eva Cools from Belgium was named best director for her film “Cleo”.

British director Peter Webber, presided over the jury, which was composed of American producer Jim Stark, Bulgarian actress Irmena Chichikova and Mexican producer Nicolás Celis.

“The Cave”, a co-production from Syria, Denmark, Germany, USA and Qatar by Feras Fayyad was picked as best documentary.

Photo: Presenter steps on the stage to read the award for best screenplay during the closing ceremony of the 24th Sofia International Film Festival in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia on July 6, 2020 as a scene from “Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness” is on screen. (SIFF)   


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