Art and Experience: Iranian filmmaker Hesam Eslami’s acclaimed documentary “20th Circuit Suspects” will have its international premiere at Hot Docs, a prestigious festival documentary film in Toronto, Canada in May.

The documentary depicts an unlikely friendship forms between Eslami and Ehsan, the leader of the Iranian youth gang that breaks into his car.

Over the next six years, the director follows the gang in this gritty, nail-biting ride as they run wild in the streets of Tehran, breaking into cars, committing robberies and fighting in the streets. But when the gang’s cat-and-mouse games with police finally catch up to them and family tragedy strikes, they realize their adolescent behavior may not be working for them any longer. Growing up is a reality they must face.

“20th Circuit Suspects” received a nomination at the 10th Cinema Verite, Iran’s major international festival for documentary cinema, in the best film category last December.

The film won the Crystal Simorgh for best documentary at the 35th Fajr Film Festival in Tehran in February.