Melbourne festival picks two films from Iran
Art and Experience: The 2020 Melbourne International Film Festival has picked the Iranian films “Just 6.5” by Saeid Rustai, and “Sunless Shadows” by Mehrdad Oskui, the organizers have announced.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will go online in the Australian city from August 6 to 23.
Starring Payman Maadi and Navid Mohammadzadeh, “Just 6.5” is about a police group under the leadership of Samad who has been assigned to arrest Nasser Khakzad, a major drug trafficker in Tehran.
The film was a big winner in several festivals, including the 32nd Tokyo International Film Festival in November 2019, and received two major honors at the event.
Rustai won the award for best director and Mohammadzadeh was crowned best actor for his portrayal of Khakzad.
“Just 6.5” will be competing in the Melbourne festival’s Drama Section with several other movies including “Farewell Amor” directed by Ekwa Msangi from Angola, “The Fever” by Maya Da-Rin from Brazil, “First Cow” by Kelly Reichardt from the U.S. and “Identifying Features” by Sin Senas Particulares from Mexico.
The documentary “Sunless Shadows” is about a group of adolescent girls serving their sentence for the grave crime of murdering their father, their husband or another male family member in an Iranian juvenile detention center.
Oskui won the Silver Horn for the director of the social film “Sunless Shadows” at the 60th Krakow Film Festival in Poland in June.
“Sunless Shadows” will be competing in the Documentary Section with several other movies including
“Speak So I Can See You” by Marija Stojnic from Serbia, “State Funeral” by Sergei Loznitsa from the Netherlands and Lithuania, “Welcome to Chechnya” by David France from the U.S. and “9 to 5: The Story of a Movement” by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert from the U.S.