“Driving Lessons” named best short at Golden Apricot festival

July 14, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian filmmaker Marzieh Riahi’s acclaimed movie “Driving Lessons” won the Golden Apricot for best short film at the 16th Golden Apricot International Film Festival in Yerevan, Armenia, the organizers announced on Saturday.

The film tells the story of Bahareh, a young girl who, according to Iranian law, must have a man from her relatives accompany her on driving lessons so she and her male instructor won’t be alone.

Georgian director Rati Tsiteladze’s “Prisoner of Society” received the Silver Apricot in the same section.

A jury headed by Italian director Pippo Mezzapesa judged 25 movies in the short film competition. The jury also included Canadian operator Norayr Kasper and Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival Program Director Georges Bollon from France.

The Golden Apricot in the full-length film competition went to “Ray & Liz” by Richard Billingham from the UK, while “Beanpole” by Russian director Kantemir Balagov was awarded a Silver Apricot in the same category.

“Midnight Traveler”, a co-production from the USA, UK, Qatar and Canada by Hassan Fazili, won a special mention.

“Horizon”, a co-production between Georgia and Sweden by Tinatin Kajrishvili, won the FIPRESCI prize in the Regional Panorama Competition.

“Axing” by Iranian director Behruz Shoeibi won the AAFCCJ Award, which is presented by the Armenian Association of Film Critics and Cinema Journalists.

The film is about Mahsa, an addicted woman who thinks that her girl is dead but when she finds out that her daughter is alive and lives with her father (Mahsa’s ex-husband), she decides to take her back. This forces her to face her ex-husband and his new wife.

Iranian filmmaker Reza Mirkarimi, who is also the director of Iran’s Fajr International Film Festival, was a member of the full-length film competition jury, which was headed by Russian screenwriter Aleksandr Mindadze.

Photo: A scene from Iranian filmmaker Marzieh Riahi’s movie “Driving Lessons”.

MMS/YAW