Art and Experience: The 35th edition of Fajr International Film Festival has unveiled top movies that will be featured in its Special Screenings (Masters of Cinema) program this year.
The feature-length movies from A-list directors like Terrence Malick, Ken Loach, Andrzej Wajda, Rithy Panh, Catherine Cadou, and François Ozon as well as two Iranian directors Bahman Farmanara and Alireza Davoudnejad will grace this year’s run, which is presided over by Reza Mirkarimi from 21 to 28 April at Charsou Cineplex in Tehran.
Here are all the titles screening:
Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey (2016)
1h 30min | Documentary, Drama
Director: Terrence Malick
Main Cast: Cate Blanchett, Jamal Cavil, Maisha Diatta, Yagazie Emezi, Daryl James Harris II
Country: France | Germany | USA
Storyline: Filmmaker Terrence Malick examines the origins of the universe, the birth of stars and galaxies, the beginning of life on Earth, and the evolution of diverse species.
I, Daniel Blake (2016)
1h 40min | Drama
Director: Ken Loach
Main Cast: Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, Sharon Percy
Country: UK | France | Belgium
Storyline: Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) is a 59-year-old widowed carpenter who must rely on welfare after a recent heart attack leaves him unable to work. Despite his doctor’s diagnosis, British authorities deny Blake’s benefits and tell him to return to his job. As Daniel navigates his way through an agonizing appeal process, he begins to develop a strong bond with a destitute, single mother (Hayley Squires) who’s struggling to take care of her two children.
1h 38min | Biography, Drama, History
Director: Andrzej Wajda
Main Cast: Boguslaw Linda, Aleksandra Justa, Bronislawa Zamachowska
Storyline: Poland, 1948. With the Communist Party in power, a Minister of Culture is appointed to ensure that all artistic representations are in line with the socialist realism ideology. Because he refuses to change his approach, Wladyslaw Strzeminski, a constructivist painter of international renown, sees his life transformed into hell. His artists’ union card is taken away, he loses his teaching position at the School of Fine Arts in Lodz and his works are removed from museums. Finally, his name is blacklisted, making it impossible for him to find a job.
1h 17min | Documentary
Director: Rithy Panh
Main Cast: Randal Douc, Sang Nan
Country: France | Cambodia
Language: French | Khemer
Storyline: Exile is the 7th Cannes selection for veteran filmmaker Rithy Panh, following the Oscar Nominated and Un Certain Regard – Grand Prix’s Missing Picture. The movie addresses the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge Genocide while exploring new narrative techniques.
Kurosawa’s Way (2011)
52min | Documentary
Director: Catherine Cadou
Main Cast: Theodoros Angelopoulos, Bernardo Bertolucci, Bong Joon-ho, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, Abbas Kiarostami, Hayao Miyazaki, John Woo, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Language: English | French | Chinese | Japanese | Korean
Storyline: Kurosawa’s Way is a documentary that is intercut with Catherine Cadou’s narration on her own experiences with Kurosawa, and interviews with various directors and archival photographs. The directors’ interviews focus on both philosophical and technical observations of Kurosawa’s films.
2h 8min | Crime, Drama
Director: Cristian Mungiu
Main Cast: Adrian Titieni, Maria-Victoria Dragus, Rares Andrici
Country: Romania | France | Belgium
Storyline: Romeo Aldea (49), a physician living in a small mountain town in Transylvania, has raised his daughter Eliza with the idea that once she turns 18, she will leave to study and live abroad. His plan is close to succeeding – Eliza has won a scholarship to study psychology in the UK. She just has to pass her final exams – a formality for such a good student. On the day before her first written exam, Eliza is assaulted in an attack that could jeopardize her entire future. Now Romeo has to make a decision.
The Unknown Girl (2016)
1h 53min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Main Cast: Adèle Haenel, Olivier Bonnaud, Jérémie Renier
Country: Belgium | France
Storyline: Jenny, a talented doctor, refuses to open the door of her practice to a mysterious late-night caller. The next morning, she learns that the caller was a girl who has been found dead, and the police have no way of identifying her. Shocked and guilt-stricken by the news, Jenny resolves to discover the name of the girl so she will not be buried anonymously and to ensure she doesn’t disappear as if she had never lived.
Whispering Star (2015)
1h 40min | Sci-Fi
Director: Sion Sono
Main Cast: Kenji Endo, Yûto Ikeda, Megumi Kagurazaka
Story line: An android travels through the galaxy and delivers years-in-wait packages to the last remaining humans.
Death in Sarajevo (2016)
1h 25min | Drama
Director: Danis Tanovic
Main Cast: Snezana Vidovic, Izudin Bajrovic, Vedrana Seksan
Country: France | Bosnia and Herzegovina
Language: Bosnian | French | English
Storyline: An aging hotel becomes an ideological powder keg during centennial commemorations for the outbreak of the First World War.
1h 53min | Drama, History, War
Director: François Ozon
Main Cast: Pierre Niney, Paula Beer, Ernst Stötzner
Country: France | Germany
Language: French | German
Storyline: A German woman (Paula Beer) grieving the death of her lover in World War I is shocked when his grave is visited by a Frenchman (Pierre Niney), who claims he was friends with her beloved before the war. The two bond over their shared connection, but when he returns to France, she decides to follow him in order to understand who he really is.
Salt and Fire (2016)
1h 38min | Thriller
Director: Werner Herzog
Main Cast: Michael Shannon, Gael García Bernal, Anita Briem
Country: France | Bolivia | USA | Germany | Mexico
Language: English | German | Quechua | Spanish
Storyline: Two ecologists are sent to South America as part of a U.N. investigation into an ecological disaster. They are quickly kidnapped by the villainous CEO of a large company held responsible for the ecological disaster. But when a supervolcano nearby begins to show signs of erupting, they must unite to avoid a disaster.
2h 8min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Directors: Agnieszka Holland, Kasia Adamik
Main Cast: Agnieszka Mandat-Grabka, Wiktor Zborowski, Jakub Gierszal
Country: Poland | Germany | Czech Republic | Sweden | Slovakia
Storyline: set in a remote mountainous region of the Ktodzko Valley in south-western Poland, where an elderly woman, Janina Duszejko, turns witness to a violent and mysterious death of several hunters. She is convinced she knows who the murderer is, but nobody believes her story. The film plot is based on a novel by the Polish writer, Olga Tokarczuk.
I Want (2013)
1h 27min | Drama
Director: Bahman Farmanara
Cast: Reza Kianian, Mahnaz Afshar, Mohammadreza Golzar, Roya Nonahali
Storyline: Bahram Farzaneh suffers from writer’s block. After a car accident he hears a song that makes him dance and overcome his writer’s block.
Director: Alireza Davoudnejad
Cast: Mohsen Tanabandeh, Tarlan Parvaneh, Reza Davoudnejad, Sima Tirandaz
Storyline: Golnar, an 18-year-old girl, leaves her small town for the metropolitan Tehran to take a picture with a Ferrari sports car.
Presided over by Reza Mirkarimi, the 35th edition of Fajr International Film Festival will take place from 21 to 28 April in Tehran.