2 Iranian movies to compete at Montreal Film Fest

Movies of two Iranian filmmakers are set to vie at the world competition section of the 39th Montreal World Film Festival (MWFF), slated from August 27 to September 7.

Two months ago it was announced by the festival officials that ‘Muhammad’, the latest film by renowned director Majid Majidi, would open the festival in its world premiere.

Now, another production has joined Majidi’s film to compete for a prize. ‘Judgment Day,’ a short film directed by Karim Amini, is set to be screened along with four other short and 15 feature films in the MWFF, Cinemajournal reported.

The seven-minute movie, produced by Akbar Lashkari, was selected from 1200 short films submitted to the festival. It narrates the story of a young girl who is entangled in a series of incidents.

Amini had earlier cooperated with well-known director Alireza Amini, and Tina Pakravan in her sole movie ‘The Lady,’ as assistant director.

Although short film prizes are different from those of feature films, the chance to be seen next to some best global works is a rewarding experience for any director. “My work is a short film, unable to compete with huge productions such as ‘Muhammad’; however, the presence of two Iranian films in the event is delightful,” Amini said.

The movie is a drama centering on the issue of being judgmental in people’s lives. “In the movie we make efforts to inform the audience not to judge a book by its cover as incorrect judgments often lead to social problems.”

Amini has made use of professional cameramen. Tina Pakravan, plays the lead character.

The international distribution of the film is undertaken by Iran Novin Institute. The company is globally known for distributing Shahram Mokri’s ‘Fish & Cat’, which recently won the special jury prize at the 5th Atlantida Film Festival in Spain. It has so far been screened in more than 60 international festivals and awarded 15 times.

Epic Film
The 171-minute epic ‘Muhammad’ on the early years of the prophet made with a budget of $30 million is the most expensive film to be made in Iran. It took five years to complete.

This film depicts the pagan age with all its tyranny and oppression as seen through the eyes of Muhammad from birth to the age of 13.

Starring many top actors, the film’s crew includes renowned international figures such as director of photography Vittorio Storaro (Oscars for ‘Apocalypse Now’, ‘Reds’ and ‘The Last Emperor’), editor Roberto Perpignani (‘Padre Padrone’, ‘Il Postino’, ‘Caesar Must Die’), special effects designer Scott E. Anderson (Oscar winner for ‘Babel’), makeup designer Gianetto De Rossi (‘1900’, Fellini’s ‘Casanova’, ‘Dune’) and Indian composer A. R. Rahman.

‘Muhammad’ is the first part of a trilogy on the life of the prophet. It recounts the early years of his prophecy in the city of Mecca.

Produced by Mohammad-Mehdi Heidarian, the film was shot in Iran and the South African city of Bela-Bela.

Cultural Diversity

Established in 1977, the annual event in Montreal aims to encourage cultural diversity and understanding among nations, foster cinema from all continents by stimulating development of quality cinema, promote filmmakers and innovative works, discover and encourage new talents, and promote meetings between cinema professionals from around the world.
It is the only competitive film festival in North America recognized by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF).

By Financial Tribune