Iranian Film Festival of Chantilly honors “Mehran”, “Old Men Never Die”, “African Violet”
Art and Experience:
“Mehran”, “Old Men Never Die” and “African Violet” were the winners of the first edition of the Iranian Film Festival of Chantilly (IFFC).
The festival took place in the northern French town from November 4 to 7, while “Mehran” received the Sorbonne Prize during the closing ceremony at Elysée Cinema.
Directed by Roqieh Tavakkoli, the film follows a family from Mehran, a small town near the border of Iran and Iraq, which moves to Yazd after the 1980s Iran-Iraq war breaks out.
Director Reza Jamali’s “Old Men Never Die” won the special jury prize.
“Thank God, it was a great honor to attend the festival along with the young members of my crew,” said Jamali after receiving his award.
The film is about 100-year-old Aslan, the head of a death squad in his youth, who lives with his other single old fellows in a remote village. Since he came to the village 45 years ago, nobody has ever died there! Now, most of the population consists of old and disabled men. All being done with life, they believe the only way to bring death back to the village is to commit suicide!
“African Violet” by Mona Zandi-Haqiqi won the audience award.
“Winning an audience award is a great honor for every filmmaker,” Zandi-Haqiqi said and added, “The movies I saw at this festival were really amazing and there was little difference in the number of audience votes for each film.”
“Organizing such a program based on cultural ties regardless of political considerations can help to foster relations among countries,” she noted.
“African Violet” tells the story of a middle-aged Shokuh who finds out that her ex-husband, Fereidun, has been placed in a nursing home by their children.
She, and her second husband Reza, decide to take care of Fereidun themselves, but in their own home. In doing so, the relationship between Shokuh and Fereidun is significantly transformed. This new situation affects Reza and Shokuh’s daily life and unexpected changes take place in the lives of all three characters.
A jury composed of French Cinémathèque Managing Director Frédéric Bonnaud, French Film Editor-in-Chief Sarah Drouhaud, French producer Marie Masmonteil, France Télévisions Group General Secretary Christophe Tardieu and Iranian director Abolfazl Jalili judged the films.
The festival is organized by the Municipality of Chantilly, in partnership with several institutes, including Fondation d’Aumale and the Franco-Iranian Center.