Movies from Iran line up for Ojai Film Festival

November 7, 2021 - 18:42

TEHRAN – A lineup of 12 movies by Iranian filmmakers is competing in the 22nd Ojai Film Festival in the United States.

The festival, currently underway in Oak View in California, has been set up as a hybrid event with virtual and live screenings. The physical form opened on November 4 and will end Monday. The festival’s online version will take place from November 9 to 14.

The highlights of the lineup are the acclaimed dramas “Botox” directed by Kaveh Mazaheri, “The Badger” by Kazem Mollai and “Walnut Tree” by Mohammad-Hossein Mahdavian.

A co-production between Iran and Germany, “Botox” is about sisters Akram and Azar. Both lie about their brother’s disappearance, telling everyone he fled to Germany. Day after day, the lie becomes bigger and more unmanageable, leading everyone to a dark and mysterious destiny.

Last November, the film was named the best feature at the 38th Torino Film Festival in Italy. The film co-written by Mazaheri and Sepinud Najian also won the award for best screenplay at the event.

“The Badger” is about Sudeh, a 40-year-old woman who faces a strange incident right before her second marriage. Sudeh and her son Matiar live in an old apartment. 

One day, she hires a pest control company to solve the termite problems in the apartment. While the pest control company is working, Matiar is recording the procedures, as this is his hobby. The next day, Matiar gets kidnapped after school, and the kidnapper asks Sudeh to pay 10 Bitcoins for her son. Tremendous pressure is put on Sudeh, but the truth hidden beneath will surprise everyone.

Taking its true story from the heart of the profound tragedy of the Iraqi chemical attack on Sardasht in 1987, “Walnut Tree” portrays Qader Mulanpur, the leading character of the story who was away when his family was affected by the chemical attack in a village near Sardasht.

The lineup also includes the narrative feature “The Verdict” by Mohammad-Amin Karimpur and the short narrative movies “The Wound” by Sahar Nurmonavvar, “The Blue Bed” by Alireza Kazemipur, “Parallel Parking” by Darya Azari, “Faranak” by Mehrnush Alia and “The Recess” by Navid Nikkhah-Azad.

The short documentary “SFUMATO” directed by Amir-Ali Mirderikvand, and the short animations “The Crab” by Shiva Sadeq-Asadi and “Am I a Wolf?” by Amir-Hushang Moein will also be screened at the festival.

Photo: “Walnut Tree” by Mohammad-Hossein Mahdavian. 

MMS/YAW

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