Fajr Film Festival to open tomorrow 

January 30, 2021 - 18:28

TEHRAN – The 39th Fajr Film Festival, Iran’s major film event, will open in Tehran and also in 30 provinces and five free zones tomorrow with 16 films contending for a Crystal Simorgh, the organizers announced on Saturday. 

“During the previous editions, we had submitted films to the provinces one by one and 10 films were submitted to each province, but this year all the films are available in all the provinces, while we have made our best efforts to have a safe and fresh festival,” Fajr president Mohammad-Mehdi Tabatabainejad said in an online press conference held at the Milad Tower.

“All those who have registered at samfaa.ir to reserve tickets will receive a code and can vote to select best audience film,” he said.

Tabatabainejad added that a sizeable number of movie theaters will host the event across the country.

He said that a good number of young, talented filmmakers are taking part in the festival this year, and he hoped that the audience would be happy with the films at the end of the event.

“All the individuals are quite aware of the health protocols, and all the movie theaters managers are asked to observe the health protocols—disinfecting the halls, urging the audience to wear masks—while they should be tested for fever before entering the halls and observe social distancing during the screenings,” he added.

About screening documentaries and short films, he also said, “Most of the documentaries have already been streamed on different platforms, some of which have been watched over 40,000 times, and short films were also screened during the Tehran Short Film Festival, and there seems to be no need to screen them again.”

A total of 16 films will be contending for a Crystal Simorgh.

“Ablaq” by Narges Abyar, “Bihamechiz” by Mohsen Qarai, “The Sniper” by Ali Ghaffari, “Ti Ti” by Aida Panahandeh and “180º Rule” by Farnush Samadi are among the films.

“Romanticism of Emad and Tuba” by Kaveh Sabbaghzadeh, “Once Upon a Time, Abadan” by Hamidreza Azarang, “Bright” by Ruhollah Hejazi, “Zalava” by Arsalan Amiri, “Setareh Bazi” by Hatef Alimardani and “Shishlik” by Mohammad-Hossein Mahdavian are also included. 

The lineup also includes “Gijgah” by Adel Tabrizi, “Mama” by Arash Anisi, “Expediency” by Hossein Darabi, “Mansur” by Siavash Sarmadi and “Yadu” by Mehdi Jafari.

Among the members of the jury of the official competition are Nima Javidi, director of the acclaimed drama “The Warden”, and Sareh Bayat, star of the Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning drama, “A Separation”.

Also on the jury is Bahram Tavakkoli, director of the acclaimed war drama “The Lost Strait”, which was highly acclaimed at the Fajr festival in 2018, earning awards in six categories including best film and best director. He is also the director of “Gholamreza Takhti”, a biopic about legendary Iranian wrestler Gholamreza Takhti.

Mostafa Kiai, director of the comedy film “Motreb”, which has become Iran’s box office hit of the year by grossing 380 billion rials (about $9 million) in 2020, has also been selected for the jury.

The jury is also composed of cinematography director Morteza Pursamadi, producer Jamal Sadatian and cultural manager Mohammad Ehsani. 

In addition, the jury members of the short films and documentaries are Saeid Puresmaeili, Amir Tudehrusta, Mohammad-Ali Farsi, Mohammad Kart and Sam Kalantari. 

Additionally this year, seven productions from the Owj Arts and Media Organization, a major institution that produces revolutionary works in art and cinema, will be screened at the festival. 

They include the spy movie “The Government Expediency” by Hossein Darabi, “Karo” by Ahmad Moradpur and “Mansur” by Siavash Sarmadi.

Photo: A poster for 39th Fajr Film Festival.


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