By Manijeh Rezapoor

“Pari” crowned best at Sydney Iranian film festival

December 7, 2020 - 18:35

TEHRAN – “Pari” by Siamak Etemadi won the Golden Gazelle for best feature at the 9th Persian International Film Festival in Sydney, Australia, the organizers announced on Sunday.

The film tells the story of an Iranian woman named Pari who arrives in Athens in search of her missing son as well as the hidden depths of her own self.

The festival’s feature and short jury was composed of directors Pat Fiske and Peter Andrikidis, writer Romaine Moreton, and actors Rahel Romahn and Helana Sawires.

The jury’s special mention went to “Son-Mother” by Mahnaz Mohammadi.

“Son-Mother” tells the story of Leila, a single mother who lives in the poverty of today’s Iran. The factory where she works is facing a crisis and jobs are in danger. Kazem, the factory bus driver, proposes to Leila, but only under certain conditions. When Leila loses her job, she must face a difficult decision – whether to accept Kazem’s proposal, which would save her from poverty, but would also force her to abandon her son. In the end, it will be him who will have to decide.

The Golden Gazelle for best short went to “Exam” by Sonia Haddad, and the jury’s special mention went to “Each Other” directed by Sarah Tabibzadeh.

A lineup of 16 Iranian movies went on screen in the official competition of the festival.

“The Badger” by Kazem Mollai, “The Slaughterhouse” by Abbas Amini and “A Hairy Tale” by Homayun Ghanizadeh were among the Iranian features.

“The Badger” is about Sudeh, a 40-year-old woman who faces a strange incident right before her second marriage. Sudeh and her son Matiar live in an old apartment. One day, she hires a pest control company to solve the termite problems in the apartment. While the pest control company is working, Matiar is recording the procedures, as this is his hobby. The next day, Matiar gets kidnapped after school, and the kidnapper asks Sudeh to pay 10 Bitcoins for her son. Tremendous pressure is put on Sudeh, but the truth hidden beneath will surprise everyone.

In “A Hairy Tale”, Danesh is in love with both cinema and Homa, a well-known actress. Kazem is in love with both the movie “Casablanca” and his barber shop’s certificate. Shapur is in love with both canned tuna and politics. The city is full of beggars while an earthquake may happen soon. Every now and then, the body of a dead woman, with head shaved, is found near the sea. As Inspector Kiani says: It’s a messy situation!

“The Slaughterhouse” directed by Abbas Amini tells the story of Amir, who has recently been released from jail and finds himself in a difficult situation when his father, who works at a slaughterhouse, calls him to help him cover up a crime that has happened there.

The festival also screened the documentaries “None of Your Business” by Kamran Heidari and “Sunless Shadows” by Mehrdad Oskui.

The short competition of the festival featured “Like a Good Kid” by Arian Vazirdaftari, “The Visit” by Azadeh Musavi, “Red Panda” by Ali Paknia, “Hedyeh” by Sahar Sotudeh, “Dilemma” by Omid Shams, “Each Other” by Sarah Tabibzadeh and “Funfair” by Kaveh Mazaheri.

Photo: “Pari” by Siamak Etemadi.


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