A Glance at Fajr Festival Must-See Films
With the Ten-Day Dawn celebrations just around the corner, all eyes are fixed on the biggest cinematic event of the year. Iran holds the Fajr International Film Festival during the period that marks the ten days prior to the victory of the Islamic Revolution (February 1-11). Out of numerous entries from prominent Iranian and foreign filmmakers, several movies are selected and put on screen during the event. Each of them competes in different cinematic categories. The huge cinematic event is an opportunity for directors to promote their productions for box-office sales in the coming year besides sweeping awards in multiple categories at the much-anticipated gala.
Here is a glance at some of the motion pictures scheduled to be screened, which are striking in their features such as the strong emotions they stir in the viewer, the sensitive issues they deal with and the rich acting talent or the sales at the big box-office.
Bahman, directed by Morteza Farshbaf is an adaptation of an American short story and has in its cast the prominent actor Fatemeh Motamed Aria and her husband Ahmad Hamed. The film shot in a desolate location with few actors, tells the story of a nurse - played by Motamed Aria - who agrees to look after an elderly lady and subsequently gets swamped in her complex relationship with her, whose present life is still haunted by the scars of the past. The film heavily relies on the theatrical skills of Motamed Aria as the lead actor to convey the tense aura of the film.
The Confessions of My Dangerous Mind
A bit of action and random violence is what sets this movie apart – a characteristic not very common in mainstream Iranian cinema. The movie is directed by Hooman Seyyedi who is known for his knack for depicting frenzied crime and the condition of disaffected youths in southern neighborhoods of Tehran. Seyyedi who has been influenced by renowned directors such as Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie has some thrills in his latest work to keep his audience on the edge of their seats. The ads of the movies sum it up like this: ‘’The strange story of a day in the life of a man who does not remember anything; not even the fact that he stopped living a long time ago.’’
The Girl’s Home
Directed by Shahram Shahosseni, the Girl’s Home has a star-filled cast with young and upcoming actors like Hamed Behdad, Baran Kosari and Pegah Ahangarani. Due to its controversial theme, not much information has been leaked about its plot; it is said to have women’s issues at its center. According to the website topnews.com, it chronicles the story of a man named Mortez - played by Hamed Behdad - who wants to sell his home at a cheap price so he can leave his current neighborhood whose people and their prying eyes are making living there no longer tolerable. The flick is rumored to have some surprises for its audience too, and is expected to become a box-office success.
Directed by Hatef Alimoradi, ‘Nameless Street’ tackles social issues in a unique bold way which is reminiscent of Asghar Farhadi’s style. It portrays the tensions of two traditional families living next door to each other in south Tehran whose struggles culminate when a secretive forbidden love is divulged which ultimately turns into a recipe for disaster. This tell-tale drama also stands out in its candid portrayal of the less economically privileged neighborhoods of south Tehran, a rarity in the recent history of Iranian movie industry. Farhad Aslani, Pantea Baharm and Fereshteh Sadr Erfani are among the actors.
Drug addiction and its many social problems has always been of interest to Iranian filmmakers and now Mostafa Kiani has created a tangled plot filled with suspense with some star actors. This is the third film by Kiani that has made it to the Fajr Festival. His two last works received both the approval of critics and the audience alike, but one should wait and see how his first foray into non-comedic genres will fare at the event. Using actors Bahram Radan and Mahtab Keramati, the movie is said to be tearjerker that will offer the audience a riveting experience. One expects to see features similar to Farhadi movies here too but the final judgment remains to be rendered.
Behrooz Afkhami has touched upon another political issue in this movie but one that will inevitably remain controversial. Assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists seems a timely subject as the nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers are still going on. This spy thriller is destined to become a hot release and Afkhami has proved his skills in this area before. The movie which saw some of its actors resign during the production awaits the kicking off of the event to see how much it lives to expectations.