Written and directed by Masoud Bakhshi and produced by Ali Mosaffa, the movie is a joint production of Iran, Switzerland, Germany, Lebanon, France, and Luxembourg.
The 89-minute movie tells the story of Maryam Komijani, a young woman who has been sentenced to death for the murder of her husband.
On Yalda Night, an ancient cultural festive marking the longest night of the year in Iran, she comes to a TV studio to be forgiven by the victim’s only daughter on a live show.
But several incidents during the show and its behind-the-scenes draw the two young women into a challenging situation before the crunch time.
Sadaf Asgari, Behnaz Jafari, Babak Karimi, Faqiheh Soltani, Fereshteh Sadr-Orafaee, Bahram Afshar, and Fereshteh Hosseini are among the cast members of the flick.
The film has so far competed at a good number of global events, including the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival in Taiwan and the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights in Switzerland and the Sundance Film Festival in the US, where it won the Grand Jury Award.
‘Yalda’ received the Special Mention for best screenplay at the Sofia International Film Festival in Bulgaria and Best Director award at the Antalya Film Festival in Turkey.
It won a nomination at the 26th Lumieres Awards in France, has been successful at the box office of several countries in Europe, and was honored by France’s Elle Magazine.
The movie most recently won the award for best film script at the Barcelona Sant Jordi International Film Festival in Spain and went on screen at the MOOOV International Film Festival in Belgium.
Website of the MOOOV wrote, “During Yalda, the longest night of the year during which the start of winter is celebrated, there is a reality show on television where participants need to forgive someone for a great injustice that has been done to them. There is a lot on the line: Maryam, a young woman, has been sentenced to death for the murder of her husband, Nasser. Mona, Nasser’s daughter from a previous marriage, has to decide whether she can forgive her. When the two start discussing their past, it appears there are always more sides to a story and that forgiving someone is not always easy. The viewers at home have to send in their vote on Maryam’s fate.
Fascinated by the complexities of modern-day Iran, Massoud Bakhshi made a couple of documentaries in which he meets different women who murdered their husbands. These stories haunted him. Based on these stories, Bakhshi made a film that is a satire on the media and television culture, but most of all is an indictment against the society dominated by men and the limitations the women are confronted with, no matter their background. The lively, modern Iranian identity shows a stark contrast in Yalda to the persistent conservative organization.”
iFilm English TV Channel has interviewed the flick's director, actor Karimi and actress Jafari. Click here to watch the report.
The Iranian Film Festival Australia helps better familiarize the Australian audience with Iranian culture, featuring Iranian stories in movie theaters in the various cities of Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra.
The 2021 edition of the event will be held online and in-person on May 20–June 30.