Audience impressed by “Orca” at Ajyal Film Festival   

November 14, 2021 - 18:30

TEHRAN – “Orca”, the true story of the Iranian swimmer Elham Sadat Asghari who earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, has won the audience award at the Ajyal Film Festival in Qatar.

The Iranian-Qatari co-production directed by Sahar Mossayebi follows the divorced Elham, who survives a horrific beating at the hands of her husband. Haunted by the traumatic experience and seeking to rediscover herself, she finds solace and salvation in the open expanse of water. Courageous, determined and encouraged by her father, Elham soon makes her mark as a formidable endurance swimmer. In the fight of her life, Elham faces obstacles in search of her ultimate goal, the Guinness world record for swimming the longest distance with her hands bound.

Attending the festival to promote her film, Mossayebi said in a press conference, “All the incidents in the film are true; they are real and Elham went through it all. With this film, we are stating facts not criticizing or condemning anyone.”   

“Orcas are like human beings; they are very family-oriented and close to each other as well as emotional and sensitive. So naming the film after it was a natural choice,” she added.

Taraneh Alidoosti, the star of Iran’s Oscar-winning movies “A Separation” and “The Salesman”, stars as Elham in “Orca”.

The winners of the Ajyal Film Festival were announced on Saturday as the Bader Best Feature Film Award went to “Little Palestine, Diary of a Siege” by Abdallah El Khatib.

The documentary has been co-produced by Lebanon, France and Qatar. During the Syrian civil war, the district of Yarmouk, home to thousands of Palestinians, became the scene of dramatic and ferocious fighting. This film follows the destiny of civilians during the brutal sieges imposed by the Syrian government, which took place in the wake of the battles. 

“Captains of Zaatari” by Egyptian filmmaker Ali El Arabi won the Hilal Best Feature Film Award.

In this documentary, El Arabi examines the lives of two soccer-obsessed Syrian friends living in Jordan’s Zaatari Refugee Camp.

Photo: Taraneh Alidoosti acts in a scene from “Orca” directed by Sahar Mossayebi.

MMS/YAW

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