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.
The 30-minute doc has so far received some awards, including the special mention at the 62nd International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film - DOK Leipzig in Germany, Lessina Silver for Best Short Film at the 26th Film Festival Della Lessinia in Italy, International Short Film Jury award at the 2020 DOQUMENTA International Documentary Film Festival in Mexico, Best International Short Film Award at the 34th Fribourg International Film Festival in Germany, and Best Short Film award at the 16th Sevastopol International Festival of Documentary Films and TV Programs “Won Together” in Russia.
Slated to compete at the 64th BFI London Film Festival and the 25th É Tudo Verdade Documentary Festival in Brazil, the award-winning doc has been on screen at several global events, including the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival in Greece, the Millennium Festival in Belgium, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the Big Sky International Film Festival in the US, the Berlin International Film Festival in Germany, the Cinema Verite in Iran, and the EBS International Documentary Festival in South Korea.
Launched in 2008, the IFF is an annual event showcasing independent feature and short films made by or about Iranians from around the world.
It is the first independent Iranian film festival outside Iran.
The 13th edition of the festival has been scheduled for September 19-20, 2020.