Art And Culture

India Festival Honors Dariush Mehrjui, Hosts 3 Iran Films

India Festival Honors Dariush Mehrjui, Hosts 3 Iran Films
India Festival Honors Dariush Mehrjui, Hosts 3 Iran Films

The 20th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) was inaugurated in the Indian state of Kerala on December 5.

Prominent Iranian filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui was to have been honored in person with the lifetime achievement award at the event; however, Mehrjui was absent as he became ill en route from Dubai, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the audience.

Mehrjui, 76, was due to be feted at the inaugural ceremony with a cash prize of $7500 and a citation, Mehr News Agency reported.

The director found recognition with ‘The Cow’, (1969), an adaptation from a short story by Iranian literary giant Gholam-Hossein Sa’edi.

In 1973, Mehrjui made ‘The Cycle’ (1975) which was Iran’s first submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 50th Academy Awards in 1977.

Infused with a mix of realism and symbolism, his films helped foster the development of art house sensibilities among the audience.

He has produced and directed over 25 films so far, most of which have been acclaimed by the critics and welcomed by the public.

 Iranian Participants

Three Iranian feature films are among the 180 films from 64 countries to be shown in 13 venues at the festival.

Fourteen films from across the globe are in the line-up for the ‘International Competition’ section. ‘Immortal’ by Hadi Mohaqeq from Iran will be screened in this section. It is about Ayaz, a lonely 70-year-old man, who detests life and is constantly in search of ways to end his life.

The films will compete for the top Golden Crow Pheasant Award which comes with a cash prize of $30,000.

‘A Very Ordinary Citizen’ directed by Majid Barzegar is participating in the ‘World Cinema’ section.

The film tells the story of a man known as Safari, an 80-year-old retiree, who lives alone in Tehran and wants to visit his son abroad. But he becomes “dangerously obsessed” with a local female travel agent who is hired for help.

Ida Panahandeh’s ‘Nahid’ is another Iranian entry in the section. It narrates the tale of Nahid, a young divorcee, who lives with her 10-year-old son in a northern Iranian city on the Caspian Sea and is challenged with the problem of keeping her son in her custody.

Two years ago ‘Parviz’ by Majid Barzegar won the award for the Best Film at the 18th IFFK.

The event will wrap up December 11.