Iranian director sees Shanghai fest chance to promote his debut film “Najibeh”
Art and Experience: Iranian director Mostafa Gandomkar said on Wednesday that the 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) is a great chance for him to promote his debut feature film “Najibeh” at a first-class global event.
The movie and “The Badger”, another Iranian film directed by Kazem Mollai, will be competing for the Asian New Talent Award at the festival, which will take place in the Chinese megacity from July 25 to August 2.
Najibeh is a poor elderly woman who wants to commit a crime because she needs to go to prison for a while. To accomplish her goal, she needs aid, so she tries to get help from her friend.
“I was really happy when I heard my movie had been accepted by the festival,” Gandomkar told the Persian service of ISNA.
“However, my happiness was not only for the film’s entry to the event, but I was happy that the festival can be a chance for me to promote my movie, which has been disregarded in Iran,” he added.
He called the Shanghai festival one of the top ten film events in Asia and noted, “‘Najibeh’ has been selected to be screened in the festival’s Asian New Talent category and this in itself will act as a great factor for marketing the film.”
Gandomkar said that his film is an independent production and added, “Filmmakers of independent projects usually put their spotlight on social, economic and political issues of their present times and disregard can neutralize such films.”
He also noted that due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country and economic recession, the independents’ projects have been faced with more problems.
“Coronavirus is the most important problem of our society at present and we expect the government to help tackle the disease.”
The 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) is also scheduled to screen five other Iranian movies.
Director Abbas Amini’s drama “I Am Here!” will be competing in the feature film category, while “Crab” by Shiva Sadeq-Asadi will be contending for the Golden Goblet Award in the short film section.
“Just 6.5” directed by Saeid Rustai and “Old Men Never Die” by Reza Jamali have been selected to be screened in the SIFF Highlights – Viva La Festival.
The festival was initially scheduled to be held from June 13 to 22, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will be held both offline and online in a bid to minimize the impact of the pandemic.