Top rivals at 34th Fajr Film Festival

Films by famous young and veteran directors will vie for the Crystal Simorgh awards at the 34th Fajr Film Festival next month.

The selection committee of the festival released the final lineup for the main competition section on Sunday, including 22 feature films, ISNA reported.

A brief look at the list shows that this year the festival will host a wide range of movies from drama and political to war and comedy, made by directors whose previous works have been welcomed warmly both by the audience and critics.

Top films  will be waiting for in the biggest film event in Iran regarding their directors’ background. Of the total 22, five directors who attended last year’s edition include Kamal Tabrizi, Farzad Motamen, Mostafa Kiai, Hatef Alimardani and Hooman Seyedi.

Tabrizi, who is a versatile director of different genres of movies and has usually hit the box office with his comedies, will present ‘Mina’s Possibility’, a drama thematizing on doubt and infidelity.

Motamen, whose last film ‘The Long Farewell’ won the best actor award in the 33rd edition, comes back with ‘When Did You Last See Sahar?’, a mystery film, which Motamen believes is the best work on his resume. So far, he has made nine movies, mostly dramas and also a comedy and film noir, but this one is “fast-paced and centers on a sensitive social issue”.

The young Kiai has progressed a lot since his first film in 2009. His last film ‘The Ice Age’ won the best supporting actress award in the 33rd edition and was among this year’s best-sellers. His fifth film ‘Barcode’ has three actors from ‘The Ice Age’ as well as many other notable actors and is expected to be another step forward in Kiai’s artistic career.

Alimardani’s ‘Binam Alley’ won the best actress award in the 33rd edition. Now the star-studded cast of ‘In the Seventh Month’ has intrigued the audience to look forward to watching another powerful drama on the everyday life of two middle-class urban families in modern times.

Seyedi’s ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’, as a director, did not win an award in the competition section last year; however, his performance in ‘ I Am Diego Maradona’ brought him the best supporting actor award. This year he comes with ‘Sound and Fury’.

Other Contenders
There are other names on the list that will attract film fans as the previous works of their directors were successful. Latest films by Reza Mirkarimi, Ebrahim Hatamikia, Reza Dormishian and Masoud Dehnamaki are among the highly-anticipated productions.

Mir-Karimi has shone on the world stage with his works ‘Today’, ‘A Cube of Sugar’, ‘As Simple as That’ and ‘Under the Moonlight’. His last film ‘The Girl’ was sent to the festival secretariat on the last day for film submissions so that the audience can see another movie by the renowned director after two years at Fajr.

Hatamikia is known for his quality films on the Sacred Defense (the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war). After making some movies on social issues, in ‘Bodyguard’ he has chosen a political topic which has made it a must-see for film fans. Another interesting point about the movie is Parviz Parastui’s performance in the lead role which marks his 5th cooperation with Hatamikia.

‘Lantouri’ (literally meaning numpty) by Dormishian, could emerge as the surprise of the festival as the previous film of the director ‘I’m Not Angry’ is still having screening problems. Shown in the 32nd edition, ‘I’m Not Angry’ faced challenges from officials who have not yet issued the permit for its public release. However, it was awarded the APSA Academy NETPAC Development Prize in 2014. Can Lanturi’s probable success compel Dormishian forget the troubles he encountered over the past two years?

Dehnamaki’s ‘Scandal 2’ is a sequel to the ‘Scandal’ (2012) which topped the best-sellers chart of the year. He has trilogy of ‘The Expelled’, all among the hits of their year of screening, in his resume. Popular among the majority of the public, critics have shown little interest toward his movies. ‘Scandle 2’ may change their opinion by its fascinating story of a clergy man who warns people of Tehran about an imminent catastrophe.

This is the first time the word ‘international’ is not used in the title of the event as the international section was separated from the national category in the previous edition and was held at a later date in May.

This year’s festival also differs from the previous editions in terms of its poster.

While previous posters included elements related to cinema and movie making such as film rolls and cameras, this year the official poster of the event, unveiled on Saturday in a press conference’ shows the late actor Khosrow Shakibai.
According to the organizers, the change is yet another effort to honor local cineastes that have helped develop the Iranian film industry.
The festival is slated for February 1-11 in Tehran.

By Financial Tribune