“The Unseen” noticed with top award of Tehran animation festival

June 5, 2022 - 18:45

TEHRAN – Iranian animator Behzad Nalbandi’s drama “The Unseen” about homeless women won the award for best animated feature at the Tehran International Animation Festival, the organizers announced on Thursday.

This animated documentary attempts to give a voice to the homeless women in Iran who are locked away, banished to the outskirts of the city, and made invisible. 

Nalbandi secretly conducted interviews in the camps and creates a world of his own to make those affected visible again.

The story of the cardboard animation begins when foreign dignitaries are expected in Tehran. Therefore, the local authorities dedicate themselves to an “urban beautification” process that includes the rounding up of unsavory characters - drug addicts and prostitutes - from the streets. The men are released after a few days, but the women are kept as wards of the state in perpetuity. They are sent to holding centers on the outskirts of the city where no records are kept by the social workers.

The closing ceremony of the 12th edition of the Tehran animation festival was organized at the Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA - Kanoon), the organizer of the festival.

Portuguese animator Regina Pessoa’s “Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days” was given the golden award for best short film.

In the animation, Pessoa pays tribute to her uncle Thomas, a humble man who had a significant influence on her life and career.

“Daughter” by Tajik animator Daria Kashcheeva won the silver award for best short. The film centers on the bond between a father and a daughter, which is imperiled by matters that go unspoken and hurt that is slow to heal.

The bronze award for best short animation went to “Souvenir Souvenir” directed by French animator Bastien Dubois.

The animated documentary short film relates Bastien’s multiple and unsuccessful attempts to initiate a dialogue with his grandfather using an excellent combination of art styles to lay out a story of war trauma, family conflict, creative process and ultimately filial love.

South Korean short “Boriya” received the golden award for best children’s film. In the animation directed by Min Sung-Ah, little Boriya is bored. She would love to play with someone, but it’s harvest time and everyone is busy. Alone, under the river’s bridge, she will realize that life isn’t always how she imagined it to be.

Swiss filmmaker Pascal Schelbli’s short “The Beauty” was awarded as best student animation. The film is a poetic journey through the oceans, which are simultaneously stunning and filthy. It uncovers a world where concerns and fears dissolve into the mysterious depth of the polluted blue sea.

“Culottées”, a miniseries co-directed by Charlotte Cambon and Phuong Mai Nguyen, won the golden award for a TV film. It is the portraits of 30 women, each revolutionary in their own way.

The golden award for best advertising film was given to “The Day of the Persian Cheetah” by Aqil Hosseiniannasb from Iran.

“Serial Parallels” by Max Hattler from Germany won the special jury award. It is an experimental portrait of one of the most vertical cities in the world, Hong Kong.

Swiss director Georges Schwizgebel was honored with the special award of the festival’s president.  

The festival screened 14 silent animated movies by Schwizgebel in its Panorama section this year.   

Photo: “The Unseen” by Behzad Nalbandi.

MMS/YAW
 

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