Contributors of Asian Movie Pulse from America, Europe and Asia have voted for the 15 Best Documentaries of 2020, resulting in a great selection of films from Bangladesh, China, the Philippines, Iran, and Afghanistan, among others.
Made by Mehdi and Hadi Zarei, ‘Khatemeh’ gained the first spot on the list.
The documentary is about an Afghan teenage girl who lives in Shiraz, Iran, and reluctantly gets married to her late sister’s husband under the pressure of her family.
After a while, she escapes from home due to her husband and her brother’s torture and beating. She becomes a refugee to the welfare organization of Shiraz.
The Zarei brothers narrate the story of Khatameh's life from the moment she took refuge in the welfare organization's help center to file for divorce.
‘Khatemeh’ received Earrings Statue for Best International Feature Documentary Film at the Herat International Women’s Film Festival in Afghanistan and won the awards for Best Director for Full-length Documentary and Best Editing at the 12th Cinema Vérité, Iran’s major international documentary film festival.
The Iranian documentary has also gone on screen at some global events, including the Florence Film Awards in Italy, the American Documentary and Animation Film Festival in the US, the Fico Nova International Film Festival in Spain, and the LIFE AFTER OIL International Film Festival in Italy, where it received a Special Mention of the Jury in the Human Rights Feature Movie section.
Made by Jafar Najafi and produced by Maryam Naqibi, the 30-minute ‘Asho’ ranked 12th on the list of the Asian Movie Pulse.
‘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 doc has so far won many awards, including a special mention at the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film - DOK Leipzig in Germany, Lessina Silver for Best Short Film at the Film Festival Della Lessinia in Italy, International Short Film Jury award at the DOQUMENTA International Documentary Film Festival in Mexico, Best International Short Film Award at the Fribourg International Film Festival in Germany, Best Short Film award at the Sevastopol International Festival of Documentary Films and TV Programs “Won Together” in Russia, the Grand Prize at the Amiens International Film Festival in France, and the Best Short & Medium Length Documentary Award at the Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People in Greece.
The Asian Movie Pulse deals with all aspects of Asian cinema, from its lowest depths (student, amateur films) to its highest peaks. At the same time, it promotes the work of the entire continent.