“Driving Lessons” director Marzieh Riahi on Asiatica festival jury

December 14, 2020 - 19:9

TEHRAN – Marzieh Riahi, the director of the acclaimed Iranian short movie “Driving Lessons”, has been selected as a member of the jury for the 21st Asiatica Film Festival in Italy.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival, which is directed by Italian actor and filmmaker Italo Spinelli and his collaborators in Rome, will go online from December 18 to 22.

Riahi is a member of the Network for Promotion of Asian & Asia Pacific Cinema (NETPAC). She is also the founder and director of Short Film News, an independent news website for short and documentary cinema. 

She was also a member of the jury at the 23rd Kolkata International Film Festival in 2017 and the 10th Third Eye Asian Film Festival in Mumbai, India in 2011. 

Her latest short “Driving Lessons” has been screened in dozens of international festivals across the world.

The film tells the story of Bahareh, a young woman who, according to Iranian law, must have a man from among her relatives accompany her on driving lessons so she and her male instructor won’t be alone.

Earlier in October, the film won the award for best short film at the 22nd edition of the Religion Today Film Festival in Trento, Italy.

It also won the Fox and Goose jury 2nd prize at the Hebden Bridge Film Festival in England.

The 25th Aichi International Women’s Film Festival in Japan honored the film with its audience award in September.

“Driving Lessons” was named best short narrative at the 21st Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival (TWE) in Sarasota, Florida, the U.S. in March.

The Asiatica Film Festival intends to build an ideal bridge of communication between Italy and the Asian continent.

Italy’s Asiatica Film Festival director, Italo Spinelli, visited the 13th Cinéma Vérité, Iran’s major international documentary film festival, in December 2019.

In addition, Iranian filmmakers have also been frequent visitors to the Asiatica Film Festival.

In 2016, the festival opened with a screening of Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning drama “The Salesman”. 

In addition, “Castle of Dreams” by Reza Mirkarimi and Kamal Tabrizi’s comedy film “Sly” were screened in the official competition of the event.

Photo: Iranian filmmaker Marzieh Riahi in an undated photo.


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