Directed by Behzad Nalbandi, the 61-minute doc will attend the international competition section of the 35th edition of the German event.
Also produced and animated by Nalbandi, ‘The Unseen’ is about part of a beautification process where the local officials decide to round up unsavory characters such as drug addicts.
Men are usually released after a few days, but women are sent to a center on the outskirts of the city where social workers keep no records of the presence of these homeless women.
In preparation for visits from foreign dignitaries, the authorities in Tehran clear the streets of homeless people.
Those who get picked up are taken to special detention centers outside the city. Then the men are released to go back out onto the streets. But the women are not.
Behzad Nalbandi found ways around the official channels and gained access to one of the women’s prisons, where he used a sound recorder to document the harrowing stories of its inmates.
Original stop-motion animations illustrate their accounts of violence, humiliation, poverty and addiction, as well as Nalbandi’s own impressions of the unwelcoming detention center.
The use of animation allows Nalbandi to offer these unseen women a platform without exposing their identity.
‘The Unseen’ has gone one screen at some global events, including the 24th Busan International Film Festival in South Korea, the 37th Fajr International Film Festival in Iran, and 32nd International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in the Netherlands
According to the official website of the Munich International Documentary Film Festival, the annual event accepts and screens more than 150 works. The selected titles show people from different walks of life.
The 35th edition of the event is playing host to 121 films from 42 countries.
Due to the Coronavirus crisis, this year’s edition of the Dok Fest will be held online on May 06-24, 2020.