Art and ExperienceSaeed Roostaee’s feature film Life and a Day (Persian: Abad va yek rooz) won the award for the best film at Iranian Film Festival Australia (IFFA).

The award-giving ceremony of the sixth edition of IFFA was held on Sunday May 14 in the Australian Embassy with Australian Ambassador Ian Biggs and Iranian-Australian filmmaker Armin Miladi as well as a number of artists and filmmakers.

Fatemeh Motamedaria and Shahram Mokri, who formed the jury of Iranian Film Festival Australia, presented the awards to winners of the festival in various sections.

Accordingly, Life and a Day, directed by Saeed Roostaee and produced by Saeed Malekan, was awarded NETPAC Award, as well as Best Film for the Festival’s debut Golden Pomegranate Award. The jury described the film as “a thoroughly assured film, impeccably realised, rich in revelations about the everyday stresses, disappointments, aspirations and humanity of family life in present-day Iran.”

Staring, Payman Maadi, Navid Mohammadzadeh, Shirin Yazdanbakhsh and Parinaz Izadyar, the drama film recounts the story of Somayeh is at a loss. Her only desire is to leave her family and take her destiny in hand, yet the love of her sick mother holds her back. Her elder brother, introduces her to an Afghan who wants to marry her and take her to Afghanistan. Despite herself, but moved by her brother’s concern, she accepts the offer, seeing it as primarily a means of escaping her family. And then, at the very last minute, she discovers the hidden face of the marriage proposal.

Nase Hashemi received the award for the Best Male Actor for starring in ‘My Brother, Khosrow’ directed by Ehsan Biglar. The 95-miute drama film story of two brothers who have to spend some time together, one of whom suffers bipolar disorder and stays at his brother’s house for a while. The story is around the annotations and events happening for this family, which are caused by that stay.

Also, the Best Female Actor award went to Leila Hatami for the part she played in ‘I’ which was jointly produced by Saeed Sadi and Saeed Khani and directed by Soheil Beyraghi. With Leila Hatami, Mani Haghighi, Amir Jadidi and Behnoush Bakhtiari as the cast, ‘I’ is about a strange unlawful woman acts outside the law under the police scrutiny.

Hiwa Aminnejad won the Best Director award of IFFA for the film entitled ‘Farewell Analog’. The film is set in a Kurdish village in the mountains of Iran, close to the border with Iraq. Kak Saee has bought an old analog video camera to record the village life. Despite being opposed by some villagers and even by his own wife, he gets enthusiastic support from the children.

Reza Dormishian’s ‘Lantouri’ secured the best film award from the point of view of the audience. Dormishian’s third feature film, Lantouri, takes the name of a street gang in Tehran that robs and kidnaps people in broad daylight. The film follows Pasha, leader of the gang, and Maryam, a journalist and social activist.

Special Jury Award was bagged by ‘A Dragon Arrives!’ by Mani Haghighi. In the 108-minute thriller, the film “is (probably) a story about three men who go to the remote, desertified Iranian island of Qeshm in 1965 to investigate the aftermath of a suicide of a political prisoner,” Screen Daily commented.

In 2010, Armin Miladi and Anne Démy-Geroe co-founded the first Iranian Film Festival in Australia. It is built on a sound partnership between Miladi and Démy-Geroe whose combined assets include an Iranian background, a strong knowledge of Iranian cinema, arts industry management and film festivals.

IFFA is committed to building that cultural confidence by celebrating Iranian culture with audiences comprising of both Iranian and non-Iranian members, in the hope that people become aware of situations different to their own, and converse with each other, leading to better understanding and relationships.

IFFA presents Australians with an alternative view of Iran from what is presented through mainstream media.