Tehran short film fest opens first edition as Oscar qualifier 

October 19, 2021 - 18:9

TEHRAN – The 38th Tehran International Short Film Festival (TISFF) opened on Tuesday to organize its first edition after the Academy Awards has agreed to register the festival as an event whose awards can qualify a film for the Oscars.

“This year, the TISFF was approved by the Academy Awards so it is the third festival in West Asia and seventh in Asia that can qualify a film for the Oscars,” TISFF director Sadeq Musavi said during the opening ceremony of the festival.

Thirty films from across the world will be screened in the official section of the festival. Five movies from Iranian filmmakers are competing in this category.

A highlight of the Iranian shorts is “The Fourth Wall”, the winner of the Zlatko Grgic Award at the Animafest Zagreb in Croatia. 

Directed by Mahbubeh Kalai at the Documentary and Experimental Film Center, the film is about home and family, relationships, desires, wishes. Everything is summarized in a kitchen. The stuttering boy is alone there, playing with his imagination.

“I Won’t Remain Alone”, the best short documentary of the Religion Today Film Festival in Italy, is another Iranian film.

In this documentary directed by Yaser Talebi, an elderly disabled couple living in a small village in the northern part of Iran, faces an unfathomable tragedy when their youngest son falls into a coma after an accident. Defying the Islamic traditions of burial, overcoming problems of red tape, and turning devastation into hope, the parents agree to donate their son’s organs. Five years after their brave decision, a film crew visits them and records their slow path of reconciliation with death – or rather, their acquaintance with eternal life.  

“Cylinder” by Amir Pazirofteh also is competing at the festival.

In this movie, a teenage boy, regardless of his interest and talent in soccer, must obey a father who is obsessed with money. Father prevents his son from going to the football competition by any means. Eventually, after a consistent struggle, the matchday arrives and the boy decides to reach the final match in any way possible with the help of his friend.      

Dozens of films will also be screened in other sections of the festival, which will be running until October 23.

Photo: A poster for the Tehran International Short Film Festival.

MMS/YAW

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