“Yalda” director Masud Bakhshi named best at Antalya Golden Orange festival

October 11, 2020 - 17:56

TEHRAN – Iranian director Masud Bakhshi was crowned best at the 57th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival in Turkey on Saturday for his “Yalda: A Night for Forgiveness”.

As a co-production between Iran and Norway, the movie is about Maryam, a young woman who has been sentenced to death for murdering her husband, Nasser. Iranian law allows 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, which won the Grand Jury Prize of the World Cinema Dramatic section of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah in February, has a chance of being selected as Iran’s submission to the 93rd Academy Awards in the best foreign-language film category. 

Bosnian filmmaker Jasmila Zbanic’s multinational drama “Quo Vadis, Aida?” was picked as best film at the Antalya festival by the jury composed of Iranian actress and director Niki Karimi, Romanian producer Ada Solomon, Turkish filmmaker Emin Alper, Tribeca Film Festival artistic director Frederic Boyer and American filmmaker Sandra Kogut.

The award for best actor was shared by Ali Suliman for his role in Palestinian director Ameen Nayfeh’s “200 Meters” and Salim Daw for his role in “Gaza Mon Amour” directed by Tarzan Nasser from Palestine.

Natasa Stork was named best actress for her role in “Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time” by Hungarian director Lili Horvát. 

In the national competition, “Ghosts” directed by Azra Deniz Okyaya and produced by Dilek Aydin won the award for best film, while “Phases of Matter” by Deniz Tortum received the best documentary award.

Photo: Sadaf Asgari acts in a scene from “Yalda: A Night for Forgiveness”.

MMS/YAW

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