Iran’s “Absence”, “Two Dogs” honored at Bengaluru Intl. Film Festival  

March 12, 2022 - 19:6

TEHRAN – The 13th Bengaluru International Film Festival awarded the Iranian films “Absence” and “Two Dogs” during its closing ceremony held in the Indian city of Bengaluru last Thursday.

Directed by Ali Mosaffa, “Absence” won a runner-up film prize in the Asian film competition.

The film is about an Iranian man who visits Prague to investigate his father’s youth in the city. He finds himself in the shoes of a third man who is almost dead and happens to be of Iranian origin. The film shows how the heavy security atmosphere coming after the 1953 military coup in Iran forced some to flee the country to seek asylum in Eastern Europe.

“Two Dogs” was honored with a special jury mention prize in this category.

Directed by Amir Azizi is about Iman and Sajjad, two young men who are struggling with problems typical for 30-year-olds in contemporary Iran: unemployment, depression and lack of self-confidence. 

Iman is translating Franz Kafka’s “Investigations of a Dog” into Farsi and works as a cab driver, too. His passengers are similar to the characters of Kafka’s story. Sajjad, Iman’s best friend, is very inhibited because of the way he looks and is trying to obtain enough money for surgery. They both have dogs that look very similar to their owners. The dogs, not always welcomed by the families, make the men feel less lonely living in traditional Iranian society.

Indian drama “Not Today” directed by Aditya Kripalar won a best Asian film award, while “The Newspaper”, a Sri Lankan Sinhala drama thriller film co-directed by Sarath Kothalawala and Kumara Thirimadura, was selected as another best film.  

“Not Today” follows Aliah Rupawala, is a 24-year-old Bohri Muslim girl from a very traditional family. She secretly becomes a Suicide Prevention Counsellor and on her first day, she encounters a 52-year-old man about to jump from the terrace of a high-rise. 

As she begins to try to bring him down, she is forced to confront why she became a Suicide Prevention Counsellor in the first place, and also share a lot of herself to get him to share and open up. Going all in, to save him, she begins to deal with and release the loneliness and grief in herself to be able to do the same in the caller. And in doing so, ends up healing not just her own heart, but also the heart of the man who has called.

“The Newspaper” tells the story of a small poor family in a remote village in an arid zone, which faces a series of miseries due to a fallacious news report published in the national media stating that their son is involved in a suicide bomb blast carried out by L.T.T.E terrorists.

Another runner-up film award was given to “God on the Balcony” directed by Biswajeet Bora, and another special jury mention was awarded to “The Wanderlust of Apu” directed by Subhrajit Mitra from India.

Photo: “Absence” directed by Ali Mosaffa.