By Seyyed Mostafa Mousavi Sabet

Doc on children of divorce crowned best at Cinéma Vérité

December 25, 2020 - 18:26

TEHRAN – “Get Filled in the Blanks”, a documentary by Atieh Zare’ Aranadi about children of divorce was selected as best film at the 14th edition of Cinéma Vérité, the organizers announced on Wednesday.

The film won the award in the national competition of Iran’s major international festival for documentary films, while the international section was non-competitive this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Get Filled in the Blanks” revolves around Melina, a girl who lives with her grandparents after her parents have broken up. They have started new lives with new marriages, consequently, neither of them can get custody of Melina. However, she tries to make some arrangements to live with her mother.

Due to the pandemic, a limited number of guests were invited to the closing ceremony of the festival, which was organized totally online. The ceremony was covered by several national platforms. 

Zare’ Aranadi was also picked as best director in the feature-length documentary category for “Get Filled in the Blanks”.

The award for best mid-length documentary went to “Kal Fatemeh” directed by Mehdi Zamanpur Kiasari. The documentary is about Kal Fatemeh, an old woman who lives with her two sons on a farm away from a village. Her family faces major challenges as a result of living on the farm.

“Beranaza” by Ali Asadi won the award for best short documentary. It is about a man who has dedicated all his life to supporting homeless pets. He supposes that he has born to safeguard such animals.

The audience award was presented to “Coup 53” by Taqi Amirani. The documentary is about an extraordinary and never before seen archive that is discovered by Amirani and editor Walter Murch about the Anglo-American coup in Iran in 1953.

The special prize of the festival’s president went to “Isatis” by Ahmad Dehqan. It is about a journey a man makes to the desert in central Iran.

“18,000 ft” tops at Avini Awards

A lineup of 30 documentaries contended for the Avini Awards during the festival.

Mehdi Shahmohammadi’s film “18,000 ft” won the golden prize of this category, which has been established to commemorate the martyr Morteza Avini, the writer and documentarian who chronicled the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war known as the Sacred Defense in Iran.  

The documentary is about Ahmad, a Syrian man who tries to deliver a cargo of humanitarian relief supplies to his family and people in Al-Fu’ah, a town in northern Syria that is under siege from the ISIS terrorists.

“Mohsen, the Japanese” by Vahid Faraji and “Fish Lake” by Reza Azamian shared the special jury award in this section.

“Mohsen, the Japanese” tells the life story of Mohsen Mirzai, an Afghan migrant who joined Iranian forces as a volunteer during the 1980s to fight against Iraq.

And “Fish Lake” is about Operation Karbala-4, which Iran launched on December 25, 1986 during the Iran-Iraq war to cross the Arvand River to overrun Umm al Rassas, a nearby island on the Shatt-al-Arab waterway. 

“Song of Journey” by Hassan Jafari won the silver prize and “A Report from Ramadi” by Ali-Mohammad Zolfaqari received the bronze award.

“Pesqeleh”, COVID-19

The festival also dedicated a special category to screening documentaries on the pandemic to attract attention to COVID-19. 25 films on this disastrous disease were competing in this section.

First prize in this section went to “Pesqeleh” by Majid Sheida. The documentary is about Akhundi, an Iranian infectious disease specialist who is recovering from COVID-19 and is concerned about a new wave of the disease in the country.

“There, Dawn” co-directed by Mohsen Jahani and Hashem Masudi won the special jury award. It is about a nurse in a hospital for burn patients, who volunteers to work in an ICU for people with COVID-19 after the outbreak of the disease.

“Section 19” by Masud Dehnavi and “Deadlock” by Javad Yamuri and Mehdi Amini won second and third awards respectively. 

The festival is annually organized by the Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC).  

Photo: Filmmaker Atieh Zare’ Aranadi accepts the best film award for her documentary about children of divorce “Get Filled in the Blanks” during the 14th edition of Cinéma Vérité festival in Tehran. (DEFC)

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