The movie stood on top of the list of the most popular movies competing at the 39th FFF based on a public poll published on Friday.
The directorial debut of Hamid-Reza Azarang, ‘Once Upon a Time, Abadan’ tells the story of Mosayyeb’s five-member family that is shopping for Nowruz, the Persian New Year.
Meanwhile, a missile hit a large storehouse in the southwestern Iranian city of Abadan by mistake in the outbreak of the war between the US and Iraq.
In the meantime, a conflict erupts between the family members because of Mosayyeb’s bad condition as he is addicted to drugs, a synopsis of the film reads.
Amid the mother’s attempts to calm the situation down, an unexpected incident suddenly occurs and surprises them all, it adds.
Fifteen years ago, a similar incident inspired Azarang to write a play, but it was never performed.
In early 2020, he decided to convert the play into a screenplay for his first directorial film.
“In Iran’s abandoned theaters, a play can remain on stage only for 30 days and it may have a maximum of 4,000 viewers, while the thespians would like to share their ideas with a larger number of people. Moreover, a war story is never a timeworn story. We see its ugly face every day and I feel that it is everlasting because there is no end to human greed, which has frequently led them toward wars,” Azarang said in a press conference after the premiere of his film at the FFF on Thursday.
“The missile in ‘Once Upon a Time, Abadan’ is more of a nobleman that the politicians, who do not show any sympathy towards people. If a politician was in the place of the missile, he surely would cheat the family and cause them more troubles, but the missile of the story is not like that,” he added.
‘Gijgah’ (temple) by Adel Tabrizi and ‘Expediency’ by Hossein Darabi has so far ranked second and third, respectively, on the list of the most popular movies of the FFF.
The 39th FFF began on January 31 and will run until February 10.
The FFF coincides with the Ten-Day Fajr ceremonies across Iran, marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Since its establishment in 1982, the FFF has played a vital role in the development of Iranian Cinema.