Made by Mehrdad Oskouee, the documentary narrates the story of five young women who are jailed in a small juvenile detention center for murder.
Through breathtaking monologues, the women clarify the circumstances of the murders and even their motives.
‘Sunless Shadows’ was named the Opening Film of the 2019 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in the Netherlands, which was the film’s international premiere and brought the festival's best director award to Oskouee.
The Iranian doc also opened the 11th Middle East Now festival in Italy and grabbed Silver Horn award for the Best Director and the Student Jury award at the 60th Krakow Film Festival in Poland.
Nominated for the Open City Award at the 2020 Open City Documentary Festival in the UK, Oskouee’s doc won the main prize of the festival’s International Competition section at the 8th CinéDOC-Tbilisi Documentary Film Festival in Georgia.
The 74-minute documentary has also gone on screen at some global events, including the Munich International Documentary Film Festival in Germany, the Cannes online Film Market in France, and the Big Sky International Film Festival in the US, where it received the Special Jury award.
Most recently, ‘Sunless Shadows’ won Human Rights award - Bronze Goal at the Millennium Documentary Film Festival in Belgium, Best Documentary award at the Silk Road International Film Festival in China, Best Film award at the Middle East Now in Italy, and the jury’s Special Mention at the ZagrebDox International Documentary Film Festival in Croatia.
“Occasionally he [Oskouee] leaves them [the women] alone with the camera, allowing it to become a tool for them to address both their victims in the afterlife and their accomplices,” the website of the ZagrebDox wrote about the Iranian movie.