Iranian films scoop awards at Mena Film Festival
Art and Experience:
The 4th edition of the Mena International Film Festival, The Hague concluded in the Netherlands on Sunday with two Iranian films winning three main awards in the competition.
“Mother, I Am Joseph” by Mohamedreza Fartusi won the award best feature film and audience award by obtaining 67 percent of the ballot.
The film was shot in black and white to emphasize the feeling associated with life in the dark. It is the story of Yusuf (Joseph) who decides to hide in a hole for 21 years to avoid serving as a soldier in the war.
The award for best short also went to the Iranian film “Sa’ad’s Olive Tree” by Ahmad Zayeri.
Zayeri’s film also depicts an experience of confinement, narrating a boy’s struggle with depression when he locks himself up at home after losing his eyesight in an explosion.
Sudanese director Marwa Zein’s film “Khartoum Offside” was awarded the Justice and Peace Prize, while Orhan Tekoglu from Turkey won the award for best director for his movie “Time to Leave”.
The award for best feature documentary went to the Russian film “When the Snow Melts Down” by Aleksei Golovkov, while “Dima Punk” by Dominique Caubet received a special jury mention.
The 4th edition of the Mena International Film Festival took place from May 20 to May 23, featuring works by filmmakers from Argentina, Iraq, France, Brazil, Chile, Tunisia, Morocco, Spain and several other countries.
Algerian-born Dutch director Karim Traidia, Moroccan critic Hamadi Keroum and Iranian producer Elaheh Nobakht were members of the jury.
Mohammad Amin, an Iraqi expatriate living in the Netherlands, is the president of the festival, which aims to support young filmmakers and independent filmmakers from North Africa and West Asia.