IDFA picks “Snow Calls”, “Shadegan” from Iran 

October 21, 2020 - 18:39

TEHRAN – A lineup of two Iranian movies will go on screen in the various sections of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) running online from November 18 to December 6.

“The Snow Calls” by Marjan Khosravi will have its world premiere in the Student Documentary category, while “Shadegan” by Ako Salemi will have its European premiere in the Kids & Docs category.

“The Snow Calls” centers on Mina after bearing three daughters, she has just one more chance, her next child has to be a boy or her husband will marry another woman.

That’s the tradition. The very pregnant Mina and her family live in southwestern Iran, where the rules of the Bakhtiari tribe apply. This time, the expectant mother decides not to have an ultrasound scan, for fear of the result and the gossip that would ensue. She is already under enough pressure from her in-laws, although she does still have people on her side too.

“Shadegan” portrays 12-year-old Milad on a golden morning, while sailing out across the Shadegan Wetlands in Khuzestan, a province in southwestern Iran. He skillfully guides his slender boat over vast expanses of water, past untidy villages on the bank and swaying reeds. A dog ambles along the water’s edge, a cock crows in the distance.

Iranian cinema was praised at the 2019 edition of the IDFA with awards in three categories, including best director for Mehrdad Oskui.

Oskui received the award for his latest feature-length documentary, “Sunless Shadows”, in which he builds a remarkable relationship with a group of adolescent girls serving their sentences for the grave crime of murdering their father, their husband or another male family member in an Iranian juvenile detention center.

The award for best mid-length documentary also went also to “Anticlockwise” by Jalal Vafai from Iran. The film is about the life of Vafai’s father as a democratic reformist.

In addition, “Asho” by Jafar Najafi from Iran was selected as best children’s documentary. It is about a shepherd boy who is obsessed with Hollywood movies and wants to become an actor.

Photo: A scene from “Shadegan” by Ako Salemi.


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