“That Night’s Train” named best film at Roshd festival

November 23, 2019 - 18:22

TEHRAN – “That Night’s Train” by Iranian director Hamidreza Qotbi was crowned best at the 49th Roshd International Film Festival in Tehran on Friday. 

The film is about a writer who also works as a teacher. She narrates the story of an orphan girl to her students. Each student continues the story with her own imagination and this gives the teacher material for her new story. 

“Child of the Earth” by Mojgan Bayat from Iran, about a Yemeni boy who loses his family in the war and flees to Iran, won second prize, and “Alfons Jitterbit - Countdown to Chaos” by Mark Schlichter from Germany, about a teenage boy who wants to be an inventor and an astronaut, received an honorable mention. 

In the short film section, “Needle” by Iranian director Yusef Jafari won first prize, while “The Sweetness of Life” by Horacio Romo Mercado from Mexico was selected as second best short.

“Needle” is about a group of volunteers who goes to a village to give the inhabitants free services. Although there are no children in the village, they can see some signs that make them believe there are some children hidden somewhere in the vicinity.

“The Sweetness of Life” is about a little girl who is trying to cope with her grandfather’s death, despite her mother’s efforts to keep her away from it.

First prize in the documentary section went to “Reckless” by Alireza Dehqan. It is about the lack of water and drought in Iran.

Second prize was awarded to “I Want to Go to School” by Putri Purnama Sagua from Malaysia. The film is about a group of children who don’t have access to education.

“Like and Follow” co-directed by Brent Forrest and Tobias Schlage from Japan was named best animation, and second prize in this section went to “Zari, Zari, Kakol Zari” by Mahin Javaherian from Iran.

“Like and Follow” tells the story of a little boy that can’t see anything but his smartphone. Each time he starts to realize the beauty and dangers of the world around him his smartphone forces his attention back to the screen.

“Zari, Zari, Kakol Zari” is a musical short animated film about a hen named Kakol Zari, who goes out of her house and faces some dangers including a cute cat.

The jury of the International Centre of Films for Children and Youth (CIFEJ) in the festival gave its prize to “Doch” by Iranian director Amir Mashhadiabbas. 

The film is about Gholamreza, a teenage boy who wants to have a new bicycle but he cannot afford to buy it. Towards this goal, he enters a contest organized by the Literacy Movement Organization to teach the last illiterate person in a village to raise the funds for the bicycle. But the last illiterate is a 90-year-old woman with bad hearing and poor eyesight.  

The 49th Roshd International Film Festival was held in Tehran from November 15 to 22 and will next move to other Iranian cities throughout the year.

Photo: Iranian director Hamidreza Qotbi (R) accepts the best film award for his film “That Night’s Train” at the closing ceremony of the 49th Roshd International Film Festival in Tehran on November 22, 2019. (Mehr/Mohammad Moheimani)