“It Rains Slowly” director Saeid Nejati on Kazan festival jury

July 31, 2021 - 18:50

TEHRAN – Saeid Nejati, the Iranian director of the acclaimed short “It Rains Slowly”, has been selected for the jury of the 16th Kazan International Muslim Film Festival.

He and nine other jury members will judge movies at the festival, which will be held in the Russian town of Kazan from September 5 to 10, Persian media announced on Saturday.

Nejati has previously been on the juries of several other international film festivals, including the 15th International Short and Independent Film Festival and the 19th Izmir International Short Film Festival.

Iranian movies “Drown” and “The Skin” and the Afghanistan-Iran production “The Dogs Didn’t Sleep Last Night” will be screened in the Russia–Islamic World program of the festival.

“Drown”, also known as “Butterfly Swimming”, is Mohammad Kart’s directorial debut. After a video of Parvaneh’s class in a women-only swimming pool is leaked, she is brutally murdered by her husband, Hashem, who then seeks a way to redeem his reputation and dignity as the godfather in the neighborhood. Hashem’s brother, Hojjat, embarks on a journey into the labyrinths of the underworld in Tehran to find out who is responsible for this dirty game.

“The Skin” co-directed by Bahman and Bahram Ark is about Araz who lives with his witch mother, Marhamat, and he’s fallen under her spell to stay with her and not to go after his love. However, Araz tries to get rid of his mother’s spell, and as he approaches his love closer and closer, his mother gets weaker and weaker. Araz has to make a choice between his love of his mother or his lover; the evil side leads him toward his lover, while his conscience leads him toward his sinful mother. The man gives the spell to his lover as she will be the one to make a decision on Araz’s life and his mother.

The story of “The Dogs Didn’t Sleep Last Night”, directed by Ramin Rasuli, is set in a remote area in Afghanistan, where stories of the lives of a young shepherdess, a birdcatcher boy and a mourning teacher are intertwined after their school is burned down. The young shepherdess takes the risk of saving a female U.S. soldier after a helicopter crash. The birdcatcher boy takes shelter in a tank with the birds, the pin-ups and the illegal music that he loves. And the mourning teacher seeks vengeance on the one who has widowed her.

Four Iranian short movies, including “Sami” co-directed by Habib Bavisajed and Meqdad Torfeh, and “The Dolls Game” by Mehdi Mahaei, will also be competing in various categories of the Kazan festival.

“Kal Fatemeh” by Mehdi Zamanpur and “Parizad” by Mehdi Imani Shahmiri are also among the films.

Photo: Iranian director Saeid Nejati in an undated photo.