Art and Experience:  The 19th Riverside International Film Festival in the Inland Empire region of Southern California has honored the Iranian drama “The Badger” in three categories, including the best audience and best actor.

Directed by Kazem Mollai, “The Badger” is about Sudeh, a 40-year-old woman who faces a strange incident right before her second marriage. Sudeh and her son Matiar live in an old apartment. One day, she hires a pest control company to solve the termite problems in the apartment. While the pest control company is working, Matiar is recording the procedures, as this is his hobby. The next day, Matiar gets kidnapped after school, and the kidnapper asks Sudeh to pay 10 Bitcoins for her son. Tremendous pressure is put on Sudeh, but the truth hidden beneath will surprise everyone.

The film also won the festival’s President Award for its ensemble cast.

“The Badger” had been screened at over a dozen of international events and has won several awards, including the grand prize for the best foreign feature at the Berkeley Video and Film Festival in the U.S. last November.

The Riverside International Film Festival honored winners in two categories by the jury awards and audience awards.

Vishka Asayesh received the jury award for best actor for her portrayal of Sudeh in “The Badger”.

However, the award for best actress went to Kalok Tang from Macao for her role in “Patio of Illusion”, which also brought Shanghai Chen the award for best director.

“Patio of Illusion” also won the Founders Award for best picture.

Gonçalo Rabalo from Portugal was awarded the Jury Best Cinematographer for the short “The Living”, which he himself directed.

The award for the Jury Best Ensemble for Short Films went to “Alina” directed by Rami Kodeih from the U.S.

In the Audience Awards category, the award for Audience Best Feature was given to “The Badger”.

“Open Field” directed by Kathy Kuras from the U.S. was picked as best documentary, while “Say Your Last Prayer” by Carlos R. Valencia from the U.S. won the award for best short in this section.

The award for the best student film went to “In Your Arms Tonight” by Jonathan Gonzales from the U.S., and “Backstreet to American Dream” from the U.S. was named best animation.

Nine Iranian movies, “Radde” by Ali Lavari-Monfared, “Ava’s Silence” by Seyyed Gholamreza Nematpur, “The Blue Bed” by Alireza Kazemipur, “Quit” by Sina Ravi and “A Boy Has Disappeared” by Aida Alimadadi, were screened in various sections of the non-profit event.

Source: Tehrantimes