Art And Culture

‘Nahid’ Wins Special Jury Prize at Cannes

‘Nahid’ Wins Special Jury Prize at Cannes
‘Nahid’ Wins Special Jury Prize at Cannes

The Iranian film ‘Nahid’ by Ida Panahandeh was awarded the special prize for promising futures at the ‘UnCertain Regard’ section of the Cannes Film Festival.

The prize was jointly given to the first feature films ‘Nahid’ and the Indian movie ‘Masaan’ by Neeraj Ghaywan for tackling themes relating to personal liberties, Honaronline reported.

The film follows Nahid, a single mother with a son, who wants to remarry but risks losing custody of her son if she does. So Nahid is forced by law to choose between her only son and her own future life.

Despite the fact the film is a first for Panahandeh, she has been in the industry for years. “The reason the film appears crafted is because I have 15 years’ experience. I studied cinema and started making shorts, documentaries and then TV movies. I made three films for television and used my knowledge to make this film,” she said.

The screenplay was written over two years and a long time was spent on the production. As the director said, “it is a love story about a woman in Iran which does not necessarily represent all Iranian women.”

  Personal Experiences

However, she admits that in writing the story she has used her personal experiences in life too. “My mother lost her husband when she was very young and she had to bring up me and my brother on her own, struggling to earn her livelihood with two young kids,” she noted.

Panahandeh made a splash with her film debut, collecting positive reviews by local and international critics.

Having seen the audience’s reaction after watching the movie, Panahandeh said, “I felt that women really connected to it in a very special way. Many women had tears in their eyes while coming out of the cinema, and men too.”

Sareh Bayat, who shared the best actress prize at Berlin in 2011 with her female co-stars in Asghar Farhadi’s ‘A Separation’, stars as Nahid.