Directed by Ali Jaber-Ansari, the 102-minute film follows the stories of Mina, who is unhappy about her weight, Hessam, a retired bodybuilder who trains older men, and Vahid, who sings at funerals and weddings.
It depicts the three lonely people who are in search of warmth and connection in the metropolitan city of Tehran.
A brief plot of the film reads, “An ex-bodybuilding champion, now a personal trainer, finds secret excitement in his life when he accepts to train a young man for the championships. An overweight beauty clinic secretary, who lacks confidence in her physical appearance, uses her nice voice to create a persona for seducing men she feels she could never have. And a dispirited religious singer tries his luck at becoming a wedding singer to increase the chances of finding the love of his life. This is the bittersweet tale of three middle-aged disenchanted characters yearning for love in a city that does not embrace them.”
‘Tehran: City of Love’ won the Young Jury Award at the 23rd Sofia International Film Festival in Bulgaria.
The film also brought Iranian actress Forough Qajabagli the Best Actress award at the 9th Beijing International Film Festival in China.
‘Tehran: City of Love’ also went on screen at some other global events, including the 37th Munich International Film Festival in Germany and the 16th CineFest Miskolc International Film Festival in Hungary, where it won the International Ecumenical Jury Prize.
“Director Ali Jaber-Ansari perfectly captures the realness of everyday life, the humor in small moments and genuine emotions of disappointment and hope. The jury also awards the poetical film language, the mosaic structure, the minimalistic, suggestive acting, and also the universal, interreligious message,” the CineFest website praised the film.