Zlin festival to screen movies from Iran 

May 22, 2022 - 18:25

TEHRAN – Four Iranian movies will be competing in the 62nd edition of the Zlin Film Festival in Czech.

“Singo”, “When Pomegranates Howl”, “The Apple Day” and “Tonight´s Homework” have been selected to be screened in the different categories of the children’s film festival, which will take place in Zlin from May 26 to June 1.

Directed by Alireza Mohammadi, “Singo” will be screened in the international competition of feature films.

From the first scene, it’s clear that our hero, Shafa, is no ordinary girl. She races motorcycles, defends weaker friends, and saves animals from danger. Shafa lives with her father and two siblings on the island of Singo, a fishing community with strict rules. It is ruled by a local rich man who thinks money can buy everyone and everything. One day, Shafa’s dad catches some very rare crabs, called horseshoe crabs, whose blood is worth a lot of money. The profit from their sale is to be distributed among all the island’s inhabitants. But Shafa feels bad for the animals and releases them into the sea at night. Anger and blame fall on her father and the whole family faces the unpleasant consequences. The brave girl, however, refuses to be cast out by the locals. She sets out for a nearby island where rare crabs are said to live to save her loved ones from impending disaster.

The drama “When Pomegranates Howl” will compete in the Festival Laurels from around the World category.

The co-production of Iran, Afghanistan and Australia directed by Granaz Musavi is about Hewad, a 9-year-old boy, who supports his family by selling goods from a cart on the harsh streets of Kabul after the death of his father. At home, he faces the challenge of the forced marriage of his mother to his uncle. He dreams of escaping this existence by becoming a famous actor and this dream seems more possible when he befriends an Australian photojournalist who starts documenting his life in this war-torn society.

“The Apple Day” directed by Mahmud Ghaffari and “Tonight’s Homework” by Ashkan Nejati and Mehran Nematollahi have been picked to be screened in the documentary competition.

“The Apple Day” follows a first-grade primary school teacher in a poor suburb of Tehran who assigns a letter to each student and asks them to bring items starting with an assigned letter, related to their fathers’ jobs. Mehdi’s father is a fruit seller and Mehdi must bring 30 apples (“seeb” in Farsi) to class on the “S” Day. However, an unfortunate event immerses the family in a crisis. Saeid, Mehdi’s older brother, must find a way to overcome this challenge and help Mehdi for “apple day”.

Abbas Kiarostami’s film “Homework” inspired the making of “Tonight’s Homework”. The intention was to find out whether after three decades, students and parents are still faced with the challenge of homework – meaning assignments intended to be done at home. In this film, we meet children whose life experiences are significantly different from that of their peers; children who try to develop their talents and capabilities despite great difficulties.

Iranian filmmakers have always been frequent visitors to the Zlin festival.

Majid Majidi’s “Sun Children” won the Golden Slipper for best feature film in the junior category of the 61st edition of the Zlin Film Festival.

Photo: A scene from “Singo” directed by Alireza Mohammadi.

MMS/YAW

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