Ajyal Film Festival to screen movies from Iran
Art and Experience:
A lineup of six movies from Iranian filmmakers will be screened at the Ajyal Film Festival in Qatar.
A highlight of the lineup is Asghar Farhadi’s “A Hero”, Iran’s submission to the 2022 Academy Awards.
The film is about Rahim, who finds himself in jail for incurring a business debt he is unable to repay. While on a two-day leave, his girlfriend offers him a gilded opportunity to secure his freedom, albeit at a dubiously immoral price. Unable to balance the weight of his newly ill-gotten gold coins with his conscience, Rahim does the ethical thing and attempts to find their rightful owner by putting up posters around town. But no good deed goes unpunished, and he soon finds himself caught up in a quagmire of increasingly complex moral dilemmas, all stemming from a single, seemingly inconsequential falsehood.
“Orca”, an Iranian-Qatari co-production by Sahar Mossayebi, will also be screened at the festival, which will be held from November 7 to 13.
The film follows Elham, a divorced Iranian woman, who survives a horrific beating at the hands of her husband. Haunted by the traumatic experience and seeking to rediscover herself, she finds solace and salvation in the open expanse of water. Courageous, determined and encouraged by her father, Elham soon makes her mark as a formidable endurance swimmer. In the fight of her life, Elham faces political, ideological, and personal obstacles in search of her ultimate goal, the Guinness world record for swimming the longest distance with her hands bound.
The festival will also be screening “The Fox Who Followed the Sound”.
The story of the narrative animated short directed by Fatemeh Gudarzi is set in the woods, from where an enchanting sound is coming. What could it be? A curious little fox goes to investigate and discovers the music within himself.
The also included the short drama “Asteroid” directed by Mehdi Hosseinivand-Aalipur.
The film tells the story of Ebrahim, a twelve-year-old boy who bears much of the responsibility for his household of five younger siblings with his mother. Living in a remote desert, they get by mostly on odd jobs and seasonal work when tourists arrive. Ever the industrious boy, Ebrahim finds work wherever and whenever he can as he dutifully helps his family in their dream to build a house in the local village. “Asteroid” is an earnest family drama with genuine heartfelt moments between a talented young cast.
“Shadegan”, a documentary by Ako Salemi, has also been selected to be screened. The film depicts a day in the life of a 12-year-old fisherman on his boat in Shadegan Pond, Iran, the young man’s second home and the source of his family’s livelihood.
The Lineup also features “Before Darkness”, a co-production between Iran and Afghanistan directed by Mosayyeb Hanai.
The short drama relates to the story of an Afghan woman who hides her child because she does not have enough money to take them both across Iran’s border. But her plan is exposed with heartbreaking consequences.