“Sun Children” named best at Ajyal Film Festival 

December 6, 2020 - 18:32

TEHRAN – Iranian child labor movie “Sun Children” by Majid Majidi won the Hilal Best Feature Film Award at the 8th Ajyal Film Festival, the organizers announced in the Qatari capital of Doha last week. 

The film tells the story of 12-year-old Ali and his three friends. Together, they work hard to survive and support their families, doing small jobs in a garage and committing petty crimes to make fast money. Everything changes, however, when Ali is entrusted to find a hidden treasure underground but must first enroll at the Sun (Khorshid) School, a charitable institution that tries to educate street kids and child laborers.

Each of the three Ajyal juries awards a best film prize to their favorite short and feature-length films, for a total of six awards. The directors of the winning films are awarded funding for their next film. 

In the Hilal section, “The Present” directed by Farah Nablusi from Palestine received the best short film award.

In the Mohaq Section, the best feature film award went to “Dino Dana” by J.J. Johnson from Canada, and the best short film award was given to Abdulla Mohammed Al-Janahi’s “Hope”, a co-production between Qatar and Indonesia.

“200 Meters” by Ameen Nayfeh from Palestine received the best feature film award in the Bader Section. The film also received the Ajyal Audience Award. The best short film award of this section was also given to “Woman of Steel” directed by Obada Yousef Jarbi from Jordan.

“Sun Children” has been acclaimed previously in several festivals. The film won the Crystal Simorgh for best film at the 38th Fajr Film Festival in Tehran in February.

The film was named best film in the international competition of the 33rd International Film Festival for Children and Youth in late October. Majid was also crowned the best director.

The movie brought Ruhollah Zamani the award for best actor and Majidi the Zaven Qukasian Golden Butterfly.

Zamani was named the best young actor at the 77th Venice Film Festival, winning the Marcello Mastroianni Award in September.

Strand Releasing, an independent U.S. film distributor, has purchased U.S. rights to director Majid Majidi’s child labor drama “Sun Children”, Variety reported on Friday.

The company is a leading distributor of foreign language, American independent, and documentary films in theaters, on DVD/Blu-Ray and via video-on-demand.

Celluloid Dreams, a major French film production and distribution company, is handling international sales for “Sun Children”, which is Iran’s submission to the 2021 Academy Awards.

Photo: “Sun Children” by Iranian director Majid Majidi.


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