“Zalava” to contend for grand prize of Venice Film Critics’ Week
Art and Experience:
Iranian drama “Zalava” will be contending for the grand prize at 36th Venice International Film Critics’ Week, the organizers have announced.
The Venice International Film Critics’ Week is an independent and parallel section of the Venice International Film Festival organized by the Union of Italian Film Critics (SNCCI).
The program includes a selection of seven debut films in competition and two special events out of competition.
The story of “Zalava” directed by Arsalan Amiri is set in 1978 in a small village called “Zalava”, where the villagers claim that a demon is among them.
A young sergeant who investigates the claim crosses paths with an exorcist attempting to evict the demon from the village. He arrests the exorcist on a charge of fraud, but suddenly finds himself stuck in a cursed house with his lover. The villagers who believe they are both possessed by the demon, decide to kill them.
“Zalava” received the award for best directorial debut at the 39th Fajr Film Festival in Tehran in February.
Co-written by Amiri, Ida Panahandeh and Tahmineh Bahram, the film also won the best screenplay award and brought Puria Rahimi-Sam the award for best supporting actor at the festival.
The Critics’ Week lineup also consists of six other movies, including the Spain-Colombia co-production “They Carry Death” by Helena Girón and Samuel M. Delgado.
Hungarian director/writer Gábor Fabricius’s “Erasing Frank” will also be screened, while Italian director by Alessandro Celli will be competing in this program with his latest film “Dogworld”.
Also included are “Mother Lode”, a co-production of France, Italy and Switzerland by Matteo Tortone, “Detours”, a joint production of Russia and the Netherlands by Ekaterina Selenkina, “The Salamander”, a co-production of Germany, Brazil and France by Alex Carvalho.
Iranian director Shahram Mokri, whose drama “Careless Crime” won an award at the 2020 Venice International Film Festival, has also been selected for the Orizzonti jury of the 78th edition of the Italian prestigious event.
The Orizzonti section is dedicated to films that represent the latest aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema.
The 78th Venice International Film Festival will take place in the Lido from September 1 to 11.