“Zalava” wins awards at Duhok International Film Festival
Art and Experience:
Iranian director Arsalan Amiri has won the award for best director for his drama “Zalava” at the 8th Duhok International Film Festival in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.
Navid Purfaraj also won the award for best actor for his role in the film, the winner of the grand prize at the 36th Venice International Film Critics’ Week.
The story of the movie 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.
The winners of the Duhok festival were announced on Monday as the Best Kurdish feature film award goes to “Sidik and the Panther” by Rebar Doski.
The film tells the story of a man who travels through the mountains of the Kurdistan Region in search of a snow leopard, believed to be extinct in the area. He dreamed that if he found one, the area would become a national park and bombs would no longer be dropped on it.
The award for best Kurdish documentary went to “Holy Bread” directed by Rahim Zabihi.
The film is about the hard life of people who smuggle goods in order to support their families. Because of this, they are forced to hike arduously in the mountains, putting their lives on the line. The father of a household may be swept to his death by an avalanche, or hit by a soldier’s bullets.
The award for best actress was given to Maryam Bubani from Iran for her role in “The Dance of Ali and Zin” by Turkish director Mehmet Ali Konar. The film also won the International Federation of Film Critics award.
“Brother’s Keeper” by Turkish director Ferit Karahan received the best Kurdish script award. The film has been co-written by Karahan and Gulistan Acet.