Iran’s “Coexist”, “Quarantine”, “The Note” honored at Meihodo visual media festival

January 17, 2021 - 18:54

TEHRAN – “Coexist” by documentarian Komeil Soheili, “Quarantine” by photographer Maryam Saeidpur and “The Note” by photographer Siavash Eydani, all from Iran, have won the top prizes of the Third Annual Meihodo International Youth Visual Media Festival in Japan.

“Coexist” won the grand prize worth $10,000. The short documentary is about life on a remote island in Iran where people coexist with nature.

Dela is a blind captain living in Hormuz Island in southern Iran. While tensions between Iran and the USA are ratcheting up due to the geopolitical situation of the island, he practices an old cultural tradition of making bread that contains three unexpected ingredients from the island. He goes fishing every day using his unique ability to hear the sound of fish in the ocean, then he collects the island’s natural salt and its edible soil to bake the bread.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards ceremony was held virtually. In a video message published by the organizers, Soheili said, “It’s such an honor and a pleasure for me and the team, and receiving an award provided such great energy to start the year with; I thank you and wish to meet you at the festival in Japan next year in a safer world.”

A picture from Saeidpur’s series “Quarantine”, which centers on living in quarantine during the pandemic, won the gold medal in the graphic category.

The silver prize of this category also went to “The Note”, a short film about a man who wakes up and finds himself on a bed in the sea.

The festival’s theme was “We Are All in This Together–Unforgettable Moments of 2020” while French actress Juliette Binoche was the guest of honor of the event. 

In the Dramatic Short category, the gold prize went to “Heimat Europa” by Isabel Jansson from Germany, while “Untouchable” by Pi Chengdong from China received the gold award in the Themed Short section.

The Meihodo International Youth Visual Media Festival is one of the largest short film festivals in the world. It is an independent visual media festival sponsored by Meihodo, a Japanese corporation aiming to support young visual artists worldwide. The festival was founded in 2018 by Meihodo, Inc. and the Beijing Film Academy of China.

Photo: A photo from Iranian photographer Maryam Saeidpur’s series “Quarantine” won the gold medal in the graphic category of the Third Annual Meihodo International Youth Visual Media Festival in Japan.


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