2023 Berlinale picks movies from Iranian filmmakers

January 14, 2023 - 18:28

TEHRAN – Several movies by Iranian directors will be screened at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival, which will take place from February 16 to 26.

“Dreams’ Gate” directed by Negin Ahmadi will compete in the Generation 14plus competition.

Generation Kplus and Generation 14plus are two competitive programs screening state-of-the-art international cinema for young audiences and for everyone else. Epic narratives and fleeting moments, flights of fantasy and bitter realities, coming-of-age stories: awesome, wild and angry, heartfelt and headstrong.

A co-production by Iran, Norway and France, the documentary follows a young woman in Iran embarking on an adventure to meet the Kurdish women fighters in the war zone of North Syria.

Director Mohammad-Ali Talebi’s 1996 drama “Bag of Rice” will be reviewed in the Retrospective, which is the Berlinale’s film history program.

The Retrospective brings works from international film history back to the big screen. Its topics are devoted to central periods of film history, aspects of film aesthetics and film technology as well as individual genres.

“Bag of Rice”, a co-production between Iran and Japan, tells the story of a young child and her elderly neighbor, who encounter a host of hurdles buying a bag of rice in the teeming metropolis of Tehran. This formally reductive, yet delightful film features a vivid amateur performance in the child lead.

Several stories about Iran will also be showcased in different sections of the festival.

“The Siren” by the France-based Iranian director Sepideh Farsi will premiere in the Panorama, a section that focuses on extraordinary cinema and is a traditional audience favorite and - with its own audience award - has the festival’s biggest jury.

The animation takes viewers to Iran in 1980. After an Iraqi missile strike, the oil metropolis of Abadan descends into chaos. Fourteen-year-old Omid, who works as a food delivery boy, is searching for his missing brother – and for an escape route out of the besieged city.

In addition, “All in Order” by Sohrab Shahid-Saless will be screened in the Forum Special Fiktionsbescheinigung program.

Iranian director Saless’ radical style was unique in the West German cinema of the 70s and 80s. His black-and-white film dissects the disturbed state of an unemployed construction engineer entirely at odds with social norms.

The Berlinale Forum steps into the debate by presenting the film and discussion series, “Fiktionsbescheinigung: 16 Cinematic Perspectives on Germany”, an experiment in shared curatorial responsibility that puts a spotlight on a chapter of German film production that has been unfairly neglected.

Photo: “Dreams’ Gate” by Iranian director Negin Ahmadi.


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