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Germany’s DOK Leipzig honors Iranian ‘Asho’, ‘Am I a Wolf?’

The 62nd DOK Leipzig in Germany honors Iranian titles ‘Asho’ and ‘Am I a Wolf?’.

The 62nd edition of the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film - DOK Leipzig in Germany has honored Iranian short titles ‘Asho’ and ‘Am I a Wolf?’.

The 30-minute doc ‘Asho’ received a special mention and the short animation ‘Am I a Wolf?’ won the Golden Dove for best animated film at the German event.

Directed by Jafar Najafi and produced by Maryam Naqibi, ‘Asho’ is about a shepherd boy who is obsessed with Hollywood movies and wants to become an actor.

What could be better than singing your heart out on a hillside? Asho enjoys life in the hills of Iran, where he herds a flock of sheep with his father.

The sheep are all named after famous people: presidents, actors or actresses, depending on their hairstyle.

Asho knows all about the movies – he watches them on his cracked tablet out in the fields. He also wants to be an actor when he grows up. But does he have the qualities of a real star at home?

His sister says that he can’t even eat politely. And first he has to get married to his cousin Pari, who also visits him in his dreams.

Asho plays to the camera like a pro, but when Pari is around he gets embarrassed and slaps her teasingly. Will they make up and be friends?

The colorful clothing and sun-drenched countryside make a stunningly romantic backdrop for the ambitions of the cheerful Asho, an irresistible small-time cowboy who has long been the star of his own film.

Directed by Amir-Houshang Moeen and based on the fantasy book by Afsaneh Shabannejad, ‘Am I a Wolf?’ is a recreation of the classic fable of ‘The Wolf and the Lamb’.

In ‘Am I a Wolf?’, a number of students are performing a theater called ‘The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats’. Everybody has a role.

They are totally getting carried away by their roles in a way that the border between reality and theatrical performance is now hardly realized.

Meanwhile, the child acting as the wolf in the story is scripted to be defeated. That makes him feel lonely and annoyed.

As he takes his role too seriously, a bit of chaos startles the group. In the end, the presence of other children and his friends next to him take him out of this atmosphere.

The 8-minute animation has taken home numerous awards from global events such as the 11th Tehran International Animation Festival in Iran, the 22nd Media Arts Festival in Japan, the 6th Tripoli Film Festival in Lebanon, the 10th International Animation Film Festival “Golden Kuker – Sofia” in Bulgaria, the 2019 Insomnia International Animation Film Festival in Russia, the 12th Paris International Animation Film Festival in France, the 2019 Indie-AniFest - Korea Independent Animation Film Festival in South Korea, and won a nomination at the fifth Taichung International Animation Festival in Taiwan.

The animation has gone on screen at several global events, including the 2019 International Children’s Film Festival in Bangladesh, the 29th annual World Festival of Animated Film Zagreb – Animafest Zagreb – in Croatia, the 2019 Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France, the 2019 Zlin Film Festival in the Czech Republic, the 62nd International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film in Germany, the 14th Animest International Animation Film Festival in Romania, the 2019 Chaniartoon - International Comic & Animation Festival in Greece, the 2019 Fantoche International Animation Film Fest in Switzerland, the 15th World Festival of Animated Film Varna in Bulgaria, the 4th Turku Animated Film Festival in Finland, and the 8th Kuandu International Animation Festival in Taiwan.

The DOK Leipzig is one of the leading festivals for documentary and animated film. The festival, being the first in the world to combine these two genres, is built on more than 60 years of history and tradition.

The DOK Leipzig is a celebration of films with the highest artistic and innovative approaches to storytelling, embodying our values of peace, tolerance, human dignity and freedom of expression.

The 62nd DOK Leipzig was held on October 28-November 3, 2019.

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Amsterdam doc fest to screen Iranian ‘Asho’