Iraqis ready to attend Iran’s Mourning at Home Short Film Festival   

September 29, 2020 - 18:37

TEHRAN – The executive secretary of the Mourning at Home Short Film Festival, Mohammad Rahbar, has said that the Iraqis have expressed willingness to attend the event as the organizers are planning to hold the festival internationally next year.

The festival puts its spotlight on short films covering the rituals Iranian families practice in their homes to commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS) this year. 

“Several days ago, an Iraqi TV channel in Karbala announced its readiness to cover the closing ceremony of the festival live on their channel while it said the Iraqis are interested in taking part in the festival,” Rahbar said.

“The Iraqi people said that since the borders are closed this year due to the spike in coronavirus, and the Arbaeen ritual will be held only with Iraqi nationals, they can find good topics for the festival. And that is why the Iraqis can attend the festival this year,” he said.

Iranians and Shia Muslims from other countries embark on a journey to the Iraqi city of Karbala to observe the day of Arbaeen at the holy shrines of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Imam of the Shia, and his brother, Hazrat Abbas (AS).
Arbaeen, which will be commemorated on October 8 this year, marks the end of the 40-day mourning period following the martyrdom of the Imam and his loyal companions on Ashura.

“The deadline for submission was September 21, but it was extended until October 8 by popular demand,” Rahbar said, adding that 170 films so far have been submitted to the festival. 

“We have also received messages from several friends who are busy making their films. The submitted works will be judged by a jury panel headed by filmmaker Majid Majidi, and the top works will be announced on November 2,” he added.

“This is the first edition of the festival and the number of submissions seems to be satisfactory, however, we are planning to release information on the second edition sooner and give the interested applicants more time to produce their films,” he explained. 

The Mourning at Home Short Film Festival has been launched by the Rahe Iman Charity Organization this year to encourage people to stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and organize the rituals for their family members.

Only one-minute-long films and movies under three minutes are allowed to participate in the festival.

“Due to the unknown situation of the country because of the spread of coronavirus, there has been no final decision for the closing ceremony. We will wait to see if we can hold it physically or virtually,” Rahbar concluded.

Photo: A poster for the 1st edition of the Mourning at Home Short Film Festival.


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