Leeds festival picks movies from Iran 

November 1, 2021 - 18:18

TEHRAN – Five movies from Iranian filmmakers will be screened at the 35th edition of the Leeds International Film Festival opening on Wednesday.

A highlight of the films is “Hit the Road” by Panah Panahi, which will be competing in the official section. 

It follows a family and their mysterious journey through rural Iran. From early on, it’s made clear that the clan is on some sort of mission, and the drama slowly escalates as details are revealed.

From its humorous opening to its feverish, music-driven conclusion, this film both commands and rewards the viewer’s attention.

The acclaimed Iranian animation “The Fourth Wall” is also competing in the festival, which will run until November 18.

Directed by Mahbubeh Kalai, the movie shows a stuttering boy who transforms an Iranian kitchen into a fantastic cosmos. The father’s body becomes a refrigerator, the mother’s belly a washing machine whose spin cycle gives birth to a screaming baby. Even birds on tiles and detergents have a surprising life of their own. 

This exuberant animation, dotted with real-life elements – fried eggs, broken plates, pieces of cheese – develops a subtle wit, ironizing ingrained family patterns.

The film won the Mephisto 97.6 Award for the best animated film.

“The Chick” directed by Bijan Araabi will be screened in the short film competition. The story of the movie is set in a border cafe, where a female Iranian cook and an undocumented female Afghan immigrant become impossibly intertwined.

“Orthodontics” has also been selected to be screened in the short film category. 

Directed by Mohammadreza Mayqani, the film is about Amitis, a teenage girl who always wears orthodontics headgear. Suddenly, she starts to act very strangely.

The short film category also features “Pomegranate with Teeth” directed by Navid Sinaki.

The world’s first films were made in Leeds in 1888 by Louis le Prince and today the city is a leading center for film culture located in the heart of Yorkshire, a major European filmmaking region. 

Leeds film culture includes fantastic new and historic cinemas, exciting film festivals throughout the year, special film events in landmark locations, three universities with dedicated film departments, and a dynamic movement of societies and individuals organizing their own film activities.

Photo: “The Chick” directed by Bijan Araabi.


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