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Sharjah Film Platform picks Iranian doc ‘Lotus’

The Sharjah Film Platform presents best documentary award to Iran’s ‘Lotus’.

The Sharjah Film Platform (SFP) has presented its best documentary award to Iran’s ‘Lotus’.

The SFP jury published a statement during the closing ceremony of the festival on Saturday, saying the Iranian short film received the honor for combining cinematography with poetic storytelling.

Made by Mohammad-Reza Vatandoust, the documentary narrates the story of an old woman who has lost her son in war.

Her son’s grave gets buried under water because a dam is constructed in the area that is why she has never been able to see his gravestone.

After 12 years, the woman is in a boat to go and visit her son's graveyard which has now emerged out of the water in the form of a small island.

‘Lotus’ has attended several global events, including the 11th Cinema Verite in Iran, the 24th LA Film Festival in the US, the 21st Cervino Cinemountain International Film Festival in Italy, the 25th Sheffield International Documentary Festival in the UK, the 16th Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in the US, the 9th Varesh International Film Festival in Iran, the 2019 Gimli Film Festival in Canada, the 2019 Environmental Film Festival Australia, and the 8th London Eco Film Festival in the UK.

The documentary has so far received a number of global honors, including Best Documentary Jury Award and Granollers Cultural Association Mention at the 8th Nature and Cinema Exhibition “ForadCamp 2019” in Spain as well as Best Director Documentary award at the 18th Beirut International Film Festival in Lebanon.

The 2nd SFP screened more than 50 short and feature films by local, regional and international filmmakers in the narrative, documentary and experimental categories.

Sharjah Art Foundation’s annual film festival, the SFP, concluded its 2nd edition on December 21, 2019.

The award for Best Narrative Film was given to ‘Far in Night’ by Syed Maisam Ali Shah for a film that captures the fleeting poetry of ordinary moments.

The Jury Prizes were awarded to ‘Blessed Land’ by Pham Ngoc Lân for a film with a lyrical rumination on loss and progress and ‘Children of the Lake’ by Emerson Reyes for its original approach to the need for stewardship in a violent new world.

The Jury Prizes for documentary went to two films that deal with forced migration and share a sense of urgency; ‘Shadow’ by Zeinah al Qahwaji as well as ‘Otranto’ by Ionian Bisai and Sotiris Tsiganos.

The award for Best Experimental Film went to ‘That Cloud Never Left’ by Yashaswini Raghunandan for its hybrid of documentary and fiction.

‘The Dark Cloud’ by Ndumiso Mnguni was awarded the Jury Prize for Best Experimental Science Fiction Film.

Finally, ‘32-Rbit’ by Victor Orozco Ramirez was awarded the Jury Prize for Best Experimental Animation for a hallucinatory vision of reinventing our Internet reality and dark humor.

In addition to film screenings, the SFP included a series of talks and panel discussions by leading moving image artists, directors, filmmakers and film industry professionals as well as workshops that focused on film criticism, acting and improvisation.