Début of director Ali Ahmadzadeh takes top honors at Festival of Iranian Films
The third Festival of Iranian Films, which took place at the Světozor and Oko cinemas Jan. 8–12 and showcased nearly two dozen motion pictures from the Islamic Republic, announced the winning titles Jan. 13.
Kami’s Party (Mehmouniye Kami), the début film of director Ali Ahmadzadeh, won the Grand Prize, awarded by a four-member jury headed by the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival’s artistic consultant, Eva Zaoralová.
Kami’s Party had its world premiere at the Black Nights Film Festival in Tallinn, Estonia, in November, where it played in competition. Unlike most of the films coming out of Iran, this one takes a look at the upper class of society and specifically focuses on the younger generation. The story, which starts in a villa on the banks of the Caspian Sea and ends up at the titular party on the outskirts of the capital Tehran, has some real drama and suspense, and the death early on of a character named “Omid” (which, not coincidentally, means “hope” in Farsi) adds enormous symbolism to the events unfolding onscreen.
The Audience Award went to the tense domestic drama Here Without Me (Inja bedoone man) Bahram Tavakoli.
This year’s festival, organized by the private, nongovernmental company Tokada s.r.o., revolved around the theme “Iran: A Different Reflection,” and the program included feature-length, documentary and short films that highlighted both life in contemporary Iran and some key events from the past.
The five-day event attracted a record number of visitors: Some 4,100 tickets were sold, which is about 1,000 more than at the previous edition in January, 2013.