Actress Niki Karimi spurns jury invite over Shanghai festival pandemic restrictions
Art and Experience:
Iranian actress-director Niki Karimi has declined an invitation to join the jury of the main competition of the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) over the organizers’ COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control measures for the jury members.
In a report published on Sunday, a number of Persian news agencies announced that Karimi has turned down the festival’s invitation to join the jury due to a fortnight’s quarantine for the jury members at the festival venue and COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Karimi, who has played roles in over 60 movies, was selected for the jury of the 57th International Antalya Film Festival organized in October 2020 in the Turkish tourist resort.
She made her directorial debut feature, “One Night”, in 2005, which premiered in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival.
Karimi has also served as a jury member for numerous festivals, including Cannes, Berlin, Locarno, Karlovy Vary, Edinburgh, Dubai and Damascus.
Chinese filmmaker Huang Jianxin will preside over the jury of the 24th edition of the Shanghai International Film Festival, which will take place in China’s major business center from June 11 to 20.
Singaporean filmmaker Anthony Chen, Chinese actor and director Deng Chao, Italian film critic and historian Marco Müller, French producer Natacha Devillers and Chinese actress Song Jia are other jurors of the festival.
Iran’s cinema at SIFF 2021
Iranian director Abolfazl Jalili’s latest drama “The Contrary Route” is among 13 movies that will be contending for a Golden Goblet in the main competition of the festival.
The film follows Emkan, a 17-year-old teenager who has not seen his father for many years and his mother works the late-night shift in a factory. He has a small recording camera and he decides to make a film to give a twist to his routine life, however, he is not very proficient.
Jalili has said that the movie is a screen adaptation of his own life story.
“By this film, I wanted to make children watch the night sky, crying until morning, but children in this modern day do not have any idea about the subject of the film. They stay awake all the night wasting their time in cyberspace,” he lamented.
Six other Iranian films will be competing in the various categories of the Shanghai festival.
The acclaimed dramas “Sun Children” by Majid Majidi and “The Wasteland” by Ahmad Bahrami have been selected to be screened in the SIFF Highlights: Viva la Festival.
“No Choice” by Reza Dormishian and “Walnut Tree” by Mohammad-Hossein Mahdavian will be competing in the Spectrum: Alternatives section.
“Maya”, a co-production between Iran and the UK co-directed by Jamshid Mojaddadi and Anson Hartford, will be screened in SIFF Documentaries.
“The White Whale” by Amir Mehran will be competing in the SIFF Short Films section.