Iranian director Narges Abyar on panel of Herat women’s film festival

November 17, 2020 - 18:31

TEHRAN – Iranian director Narges Abyar is among the members of the jury at the 6th Herat International Women’s Film Festival (HIWFF), which opened on Monday in the Afghan city.

Abyar, director acclaimed Iranian drama “Track 143”, “Breath” and “When the Moon Was Full”, American producer Heidi Basch-Harod and Indian actress Bijaya Jena will judge the films in the International Narrative Feature Films Competition.

Earlier in 2018, she was also selected for the International Jury of Children and Youth Films Competition – Listapadzik at the 25th Minsk International Film Festival Listapad underway in Belarus.

Iranian female filmmakers have always been frequent visitors to the Herat festival, which is the most prestigious women’s film event in the region. In 2019, director Rakhshan Bani-Etemad was the president of the jury of the festival. 

She also received an award for her lifetime achievements during the 4th edition of the event, where actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya was a member of the jury.

Iranian cinema at Herat festival

This year’s festival in its various categories is also featuring a lineup of 14 Iranian films.

“Axing” by Behruz Shoeibi, “Goodbye Shirazi Girl” by Afshin Hashemi and “Just 6.5” by Saeid Rustai are competing in the International Narrative Feature Films Competition.

“Khatemeh” by Hadi Zarei and Mehdi Zarei and “Wedding of Zinat’s Son” by Farhad Varahram have been selected to be screened in the International Documentary Feature Films Competition.

“Khatemeh” is about a 14-year-old Afghan girl named Khatemeh living in Iran with her family. She is forced to marry the husband of her late sister who died by suicide, but after a while, she escapes from home to save her life from her husband and her brother’s torture, and takes refuge in the Welfare Organization of Shiraz.

“Wedding of Zinat’s Son” is the story of the wedding of Zinat’s son, which is held over six days in Salkh Village on Qeshm Island in the Persian Gulf.

“Birthday” by Atefeh Khademorreza, “A Trip to the Moon with High Heels” by Fatima Momeni, “On Foot” by Shokufa Karimi, “Funfair” by Kaveh Mazaheri, “The Visit” by Azadeh Musavi and “Beloved” by Yasser Talebi will be competing in the short film category.

In the animation film competition, “This Side, Other Side” by Lida Fazli and “Tangle” by Maleha Gholamzadeh will be screened.

“Anahid” by Hamidreza Alipur is the sole Iranian film selected to be screened in Special Screenings, a non-competitive section of the festival, which will run until November 19.

Photo: Iranian director Narges Abyar speaks during the opening ceremony of the 6th Herat International Women’s Film Festival in Afghanistan on November 16, 2020. (HIWFF)