‘Sunless Shadows’ by Mehrdad Oskouee was selected as the best documentary in the Spiritual Film Section during the closing day of the DIFF on Sunday.
‘Tirishko’ by Shakiba Khaleqi won the award for best short film at the Short Fiction Category.
And, as reported earlier, the award for best screenplay went to Nasim Ahmadpour and Shahram Mokri for writing ‘Careless Crime’.
‘Sunless Shadows’ narrates the story of five young women who are jailed in a small juvenile detention center for murder.
Through breathtaking monologues, the women clarify the circumstances of the murders and even their motives.
‘Sunless Shadows’ has brought many international awards to Oskouee, including Silver Horn award for the Best Director and the Student Jury award at the Krakow Film Festival in Poland, the main prize at the CinéDOC-Tbilisi Documentary Film Festival in Georgia, the Special Jury award at the Big Sky International Film Festival in the US, and the jury’s Special Mention at the ZagrebDox International Documentary Film Festival in Croatia.
“Occasionally he [Oskouee] leaves them [the women] alone with the camera, allowing it to become a tool for them to address both their victims in the afterlife and their accomplices,” the website of the ZagrebDox wrote about the Iranian movie.
‘Tirishko’ tells the story of a young woman who lives alone in Tehran with her cat. Having learned that her mother in Isfahan is ill, she decides to go and look after her.
But as she cannot find anyone to take care of the cat, she sets off with the cat in tow. Her subsequent journey is not without incident.
The story of ‘Careless Crime’ starts, some forty years ago, during the uprising to overthrow the Shah’s regime in Iran.
Then, protestors set fire to movie theaters as a way of showing opposition to western culture and burned down many cinemas.
In one tragic case, a theater was set on fire with four hundred people inside and most of them were burned alive.
Now in contemporary Iran, after forty years, four individuals also decide to burn down a movie theater.
The award for best feature of the DIFF went to ‘Senior Citizen’ by Marinos Kartikkis from Cyprus.
‘The Road to Eden’ co-directed Bakyt Mukul and Dastan Zhapar Uulu from Kyrgyzstan won the award for best film in the Asian competition.
Ksenia Lagutina was named best director for ‘Farida’ from Azerbaijan and Russia.
Since 1977, the DIFF has been promoting a healthy culture in the film industry in Bangladesh with the main theme of ‘Better Film, Better Audience, Better Society’.
Some 200 films from 60 countries competed at the DIFF in the following categories: Asian Competition Section, Retrospective, Bangladesh Panorama, Cinema of the World, Children’s Film, Short and Independent Film, Women Filmmakers Section, and Spiritual Films Section.
The festival’s website states the “DIFF is a bold expression of resistance against the decadence, vulgarity and cheap commercialism that pervades the mainstream Bangladesh film industry”.
The 19th edition of the fest was held on January 16-24 in Bangladesh.