Art and Experience:

Thirteen documentaries by overseas filmmakers will be competing in the 15th edition of the Cinéma Vérité festival as the organizers announced the official lineup on Sunday.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the major Iranian international festival for documentary films will be held with a limited number of guests and audience from December 9 to 16 at Tehran’s Charsu Cineplex.

One of the highlights of the official lineup is the French-Qatari co-production “The Last Hillbilly” directed by Diane Sara Bouzgarrou and Thomas Jenkoe.

It is about Brian Ritchie’s family, which has been living in the heart of the Appalachians in Kentucky for decades. But the mines have been shut down, with nothing to replace them. Caught between a mythical past and an indiscernible future, Brian is one of the last witnesses of a vanishing world, which inspires his poetry.

“Raising a School Shooter”, co-produced by Belgium, Sweden, Denmark and France, will also be screened.

Directed by Frida Barkfors and Lasse Barkfors, the film is a Storyville documentary, in which three parents in the U.S. talk about what it is like to have a child who, rather than being a victim of a high school shooting, was its perpetrator.

The lineup also features the British production “Maya” co-directed by Jamshid Mojaddadi and Anson Hartford.

It depicts daily life at one of Iran’s biggest zoos, which is interrupted when Mohsen, the head keeper, takes Maya, a 4-year-old Bengal tiger, to perform in a fiction film in the north of the country. Mohsen transports Maya to an old sanctuary near the film shoot on the edge of the Caspian Sea, which was once home to the now extinct Caspian tiger.

“The Gig is Up”, a co-production between Canada and France, will also compete in the festival.

In this documentary, director Shannon Walsh follows app developers who lure workers into a massive labor force by promising them flexible hours with no offices or bosses-but with gig workers from Uber, Amazon, Lyft and more in front of the camera, the human cost of disruption runs deep.

“Les Enfants Terribles”, a co-production from France, Germany and Turkey directed by Ahmet Necdet Çupur, has also been selected to compete in Cinéma Vérité.

Also included are “Everything Will Not Be Fine” by Helena Maksyom and Adrian Pirvu, “Try Harder” by Debbie Lum, “The Mole Agent” by Maite Alberdi and “Citizen Ashe” by Rex Miller and Sam Pollard.

Among the films are also “River” by Jennifer Peedom and Joseph Nizeti, “What Makes Us Boys” by Janet Van Den Brand and Timothy Wennekes and “Kodokushi” by Ensar Altay.

Source: Variety