Line-Up Revealed for Fajr Film Festival
The 35th Fajr Film Festival has revealed the line-up for the competition at this year’s edition slated for January 29-February 9 in Tehran and 30 other provinces.
Speaking at a press conference at the Cinema Museum in northern Tehran on Friday, festival secretary Mohammad Heidari announced the names of the 28 films chosen by the selection committee to vie for the Crystal Simorgh (an Iranian mythical bird), the Cinetmag (Cinema Network Magazine) website reported.
Feature films by veteran filmmakers, young talented directors and first-timers have been selected. Almost a third or 9 films are debut works indicating the strong presence of young talent in Iranian cinema.
Last year, debut films competed in a separate section (New Vision) which only awarded the best film and best director ignoring the efforts of the cast and crew.
“Therefore it was decided this year to merge the section with the main competition section so that the first feature films of directors in different categories are also evaluated by the jury,” Heidari said.
The 28 films were selected from 94 local productions submitted to the festival secretariat. Among them, works by known figures with high expectations include: the social drama ‘Simple Worker Needed’ directed and produced by Manouchehr Hadi whose previous film ‘I Am Not Salvador’, a comedy, is the second best-selling film of the current Iranian year that ends in March, and ‘Undated, Unsigned’, the second feature by Vahid Jalilvand, whose first film ‘Wednesday, May 9’ had a successful circulation in international festivals last year.
The other films are: the crime/ thriller ‘Negar’ directed and produced by comedian Rambod Javan whose popularity has soared for his TV reality show ‘Khandevaneh’; Pouran Derakhshandeh’s ‘Under the Smoky Ceiling’ on the issue of emotional divorce among married couples, the latest film by the globally-acclaimed filmmaker after her 2013 hit ‘Hush, Girls Don’t Scream’; the romance drama ‘Esrafil’, the second film by Ida Panahandeh who won international acclaim with her debut feature ‘Nahid’ last year; ‘Hot Summer’ directed by Ebrahim Irajzad and produced by Javad Norouzbeigi who has the box-office hit ‘Salaam Mumbai’ currently on screen across Iranian cinemas; and ‘Azar’ directed by Mohammad Hamzei and produced by the renowned actress director Niki Karimi.
The line-up also includes films by veteran directors Masoud Kimiai, Masoud Jafari-Jozani, Fereydoun jeyrani and Alireza Davoudnejad as well as younger well-known filmmakers Homayoun Asadian, Saeid Soheili, Mehdi Karampur, Hamid Nematollah and Maziar Miri.
16 Movies in Non-Competitive Section
In addition, 16 movies will be screened in the non-competitive section ‘Perspective of Iran Cinema.’ Their names are to be announced soon.
All the 44 films (in and out of competition) will be included for the best film by viewers’ choice and according to another new decision this year, the top three films voted by the audience will be awarded. Unlike previous years, voting will be via a website designed especially for the purpose.
For the first time in the history of the festival, the films will be screened in all the 31 provinces. Simultaneous with the Tehran screenings, the movies will be shown for fans in the provincial capitals.
Winners in all the categories will be awarded at a closing ceremony in Tehran on February 9.