Eastern Vista to Screen 3 Iranian, 12 Foreign Titles

Eastern Vista to Screen 3 Iranian, 12 Foreign Titles

The 37th Fajr International Film Festival has announced the names of feature films that will compete in its Eastern Vista program: Panorama of Films from Asian and Islamic Countries.

In total, 3 Iranian and 12 foreign movies will be screened.

Japan, Syria, Russia, China, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Palestine, Turkey, and Kyrgyzstan are also participate at the Eastern Vista section of 37th edition of the festival.

The Lineup:

Numbness | Iran, 2019

Director: Hossein Mahkam

Cast: Habib Rezaei, Baran Kosari, Parsa Pirouzfar, Hasan Ma’ajouni, Soheil Mostajabian

Synopsis

Jalal, a dropout’s philosophy student, realizes that her sister Mary, who has a bipolar disease, is married to a bourgeois man named Shahrokh who is addicted to football betting. He left the house angrily, and goes to his friend’s house, Bahman, who is an underground composer. He meets a strange taxi driver named Nasser on his way. They spent a strange night together.

About Director

Hossein Mahkam was born in 1980, Tehran. He has graduated from university in Philosophy and Discourse- Theatre. He started his career as a screenwriter for Human in 2006 and ten years later in 2016 he directed his feature debut Parole. Numbness is his third feature film.

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Without my Friend | Iran, 2018

Director: Mohammad Ali Talebi

Synopsis

Asal & Niloufar, two happy 15 year-old teenagers make a 3 minute video on their phone and upload it on YouTube, saying they are going to commit suicide.

About Director

Mohammad Ali Talebi was born in Tehran, Iran in 1958. He studied cinema at the University of Art (Tehran/Iran). He has worked as a film producer, writer and director. His films were presented at different international film festivals such as: Berlin, Cannjunior, Chicago, Sundance, New York, Montreal, Amsterdam, London, Toronto, Tokyo, Sydney, Greece, and etc. The Boots which was presented at the San Franciscos 27th Film Festival, won the Golden Gate award. Tick Tack won the special prize of Chicago’s 12th children and youth film festival. Wind & Fog in 61th Berlin Film Festival 2011 won CINEMA fairbindet award, and Wind & Fog has been honored at the 2011 Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), (High Commendation / Winner). Wind & Fog won the Golden Butterfly for Best feature Film in the international category at the 25th International Children and young people Film Festival Iran which concluded in Esfehan on Friday 18 Nov. 2011, and Golden Butterfly for Best Children Actor.

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23 People | Iran, 2018

Director: Mehdi Jafari

Cast: Saeid Albo Ebadi, Reza Nouri, Majid Potki, Hossein Pourideh, Abdolhalim Taghlabi & twenty three teenagers

Synopsis

23 teenage soldiers are captured as prisoners of war during the early years of Iran- Iraq war. They are faced with a challenge to prove to both their commander and the enemy that they are not just kids anymore…

About Director

Mehdi Jafari, born in 1969, Ahvaz, Iran is a feature and documentary director and cinematographer. He studied directing in Cinema and Theatre College of Art University. He has made a number of short films, including A Little Bit Higher which was screened in Berlinale (2006) and was nominated for the Golden Bear of best short film. Atmosphere Station (2017) was his debut and 23 People is the second feature film of his career.

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Hotel New Moon | Japan, Iran 2019

Director: Takefumi Tsutsui

Cast: Mahnaz Afshar, Masatoshi Nagase, Laleh Marzban, Ali Shadman, Nasim Adabi, Maryam Boubani, Ayako Kobayashi, Javad Yahyavi

Synopsis

Noushin is a mother who lives with her daughter in a peaceful life, but a man’s journey to Iran disturbs their life.

About Director

Born in 1957, graduating from Tokyo Zokei University, he started to work as an assistant director and a film editor. In 1987, he made his theatrical debut with The Great Adventure of Yumeko. This film got a cult hit in Japan. Since then he has been directing numerous fictional films, documentary films, and commercials. From 2005, he has been teaching as a professor at the Tokyo University of Art Film School. Some of his films are: In a Lonely Planet (2011), The Portrait of Bach (2010), Over Drive (2004), The Great Adventure of Yumeko (1986).

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Amina | Syria, 2018

Director: Ayman Zeidan

Cast: Qasem Melho, Joud Said, Nadin Khory, Lina HJawarneh, Lama Badour

Synopsis

Amina is a widow who struggles against the ugliness and rudeness of life with her paralyzed son (who was a soldier in the Syrian Army) and her only daughter. She stands alone in the bloody, hard war on her country, trying to survive with her small family.

About Director

Ayman Zeidan (born 1 September 1956 in Al-Ruhaybah, Syria) is an award-winning Syrian TV presenter, comedian, voice actor and actor of film, television, and theater. His career began in theater after having graduated from the Syrian Institute for Theater. Zeidan has starred in several notable television series and shows, and gained much success in sitcoms. Zeidan is also a regular theater actor. Additionally, Zeidan has had a few film and radio voice-over roles. Amina is his first feature film as a director.

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Coming Home | Russia, Armenia, 2018

Director: Daria Shumakova

Cast: Edik Arakelyan, Tatev Griogoryan, Frunz Amirkhanyan, Nerses Avetisyan, Mardjan Avetisyan

Synopsis

Story of a Armenian family. Father comes back from the war, but his little son can’t get used to have another mature man in their family. A huge psychological conflict takes place in little boy’s mind, which forces him to leave his home. It will help him to discover himself as a child and understand his feelings and thoughts.

About Director

Daria Shumakova was born in 1981 in Moscow. Graduated from Moscow State University, Lomonosov (Sociological Faculty) and higher Courses of Scriptwriters and Directors (director’s studio of A. Surikova and V. Fokin). Since 2004, he worked in the film industry as a photographer, second director and director of the second unit.  He wrote and directed by more than 8 short films.

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Crossing the Border | China, 2018

Director: Huo Meng

Cast: Yang Taiyi, Li Yunhu, Liang Qian

Synopsis

During the summer vacation, Ningning, a seven years old boy was sent back to the countryside to be taken care of by his 70-year-old grandfather Li Fuchang accidentally got an old friend’s contact information. He learned that his old friend had suffered a stroke and was dying. He decided to ride a motorbike with his grandson, and visit his old friend in 500 kilometers away. On the way, they met a frustrated young man, a grumpy middle-aged trucker and a lonely old beekeeper. In contact with those people, the grandfather and grandson conducted a philosophical dialogue on death and memory.

About Director

Huo Meng, was born in Taikang County, Henan Province in 1984. In 2002, he was admitted to the Law School of Communication University of China. In 2006, he was admitted to the Film Science Graduate School of Communication University of China. During the school, the short film Hongguang’s Holidays was awarded the Best Student Short Film Award of the Beijing University Film Festival and was included in the 3rd Asian Youth Image Exhibition. After the completion of the long film My Friends, starring the movie filmmaker Wang Jingchen of Tokyo Film Festival, directed by Zhang Yang, In 2017, Huo Meng led a crew of ten people and returned to his hometown to complete the second feature film, Crossing The Border–Zhaoguan, which tells the story of a 70-year-old man with his grandson on the road to see a few decades. Old friend. The word over the Zhao Guan refers to life and has been well received by many filmmakers. At the 2nd Pingyao International Film Festival, the film won the award of the Best Director of Fei Mu, the best actor, and the award of the Chinese New Generation Youth Jury, which was the biggest winner of the film exhibition.

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Crossroads (Crossroads: One Two Jaga) | Malaysia, 2018

Director: Nam Ron (Namron)

Cast: Zahiril Adzim, Ario Bayu, Asmara Abigail, Timothy Castillo

Synopsis

In the outskirts and back-alleys of Kuala Lumpur, several individuals with money problems struggle to get their lives straight. An Indonesian worker whose sister is in trouble, a Filipino fixer with his hands in the till and a corrupt cop with a neurotic new partner find their paths unexpectedly intersecting – with fatal results.

About Director

Born in Perlis, Malaysia’s smallest state, Nam Ron is a graduate of Kuala Lumpur’s National Arts Academy, he has worked in theater, television and film as a director, writer and actor. His independent feature films Gedebe (2003) and the never-released Gadoh (2009) explore the underground music scene and the taboo subject of racism in Malaysian schools. His first commercial feature was serial killer thriller Thief of Heart (2013). His ground-breaking, multi-cultural Crossroads: One Two Jaga, focuses on police corruption and systemic racism in contemporary Malaysia.

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Deep Well | Kazakhstan, 2018

Director: Zhanabek Zhetiruov

Cast: Aldash Shalbayev, Asylkhan Tolepov, Maksat Sabitov, Aizhan Zhetiru

Synopsis

The village boy Yerken is quite unlike his peers. He confuses reality with his imagination. His mother is desperate, since public schools typically don’t admit such children, and she cannot move to another place. Nonetheless, Yerken has a dream: to attend a public school. When the mother leaves the family, Yerken is left alone with his father.

About Director

Zhanabek Zhetiruov is a film director, screenwriter, and producer. Films of Zhanabek Zhetiruov have won numerous awards in international film festivals. He is the senior teacher of the department of Motion Picture Art. Shynyrau (Deep Well), filmed on the novel by Abish Kekilbaev The Well, was awarded Best Cinematography (Asian Competition Section) at the 17th Dhaka (Bangladesh) International Film Festival (DIFF). Notes on a Railway Inspector (2006) and Akkyz (2011) are among his previous films.

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Fortitude | Uzbekistan, 2018

Director: Rashid Malikov

Cast: Karim Mirkhadiev, Nigora Karimbaeva, Begzod Khamraev, Seydulla Moldokhanov

Synopsis

The former Captain of the Soviet Army Saidulla lives alone in a small house. His son lives in the same village but he does not associate with his father and does not permit the grandson to have contact with his grandfather. He often has a vision: he is visited by an old army friend. He looks exactly the same as he saw him alive for the last time – in the uniform and with an automatic gun. Once during a medical check-up Saidulla learns that he has cancer. He does not have much time left but he has to solve the most important problems: provide water-supply for the school, make it up with his son and pay a visit to his former colleague.

About Director

Rashid Malikov (1958), born in Moscow, is a director and actor. In 1980 graduated from the Tashkent Medical Institute, in 1986 from the department of directing at VGIK (class of Yuri Ozerov). In 1988 he debuted in films with the movie Clinic. His filmography includes: An Incredible Incident (1989), Midnight Blues (1991), Secret of  Ferns (1991), On Foot (1997), Vanishing Tsargrad (2008), Morning Breeze (2009), Women’s Day (2013), Uncle (2014).

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Hills without Names | Azerbaijan, 2018

Director: Hilal Baydarov

Cast: Orkhan Iskandarli, Nigar Isayeva, Huseyn Nasirov, Aynura Mammadova

Synopsis

After many years the Wanderer returns to his land to hear the Voice again which can be heard only there.

About Director

Hilal Baydarov was born in Baku in 1987. In high school, he won national mathematical Olympiads in 2004 and 2005, and he led the national informatics Olympiad team in 2011. He earned an M.Sc in computer science in 2013 and went on to study film directing at Film Factory in Sarajevo. He left school to make films about his people/family and their lifestyles. So there is no surprise that Hills without Names is his first and only fiction film, and after that Baydarov made three documentaries: Birthday (2018), One Day in Selimpasha (2018) and When the Persimmons Grew (2019).

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Rona, Azim’s Mother | Afghanistan, 2018

Director: Jamshid Mahmoudi

Cast: Mohsen Tanabandeh, Fatemeh Hosseini, Mojtaba Pirzadeh, Fereshteh Hosseini

Synopsis

Azim, an afghan refugee, who works at the municipality at night, lives in Tehran along with his family. Being the head of entire family and as the eldest brother, he arranges for his brother Faroogh, and his family along with their mother to be smuggled into Germany. But at the last moments Faroogh, shamefully makes his decision known to Azim that he’s not going to take their mother who is very attached to her grandchildren. Azim who feels lonely and is furious, accidentally finds out that his mother is in dire need of a kidney transplant, otherwise she’ll die in 2 months. During his search for a donor, he discovers that Iranians are not legally permitted to donate their organs to foreigners and he is the only donor although the doctor recommends him seriously not to do so. Now, he has to choose between his own life and his mother’s whom he has always claimed as the most important one in his life.

About Director

Jamshid Mahmoudi was born on March 29, 1983, in Parvan, Afghanistan. Hardly one-year-old his family sought refuge in Pakistan and then in Iran. He developed his passion for cinema from a very early age. Having obtained his high-school diploma he passed the entrance exam for Tehran’s University of Art but preferred working on projects with his film producer brother, Navid Mahmoudi. He was an assistant director before directing his first TV film in 2008. In 2012, thanks to Navid’s support, he directed his first feature, A few Cubic Meters of Love, inspired by a true story that took place in Kabul. It was selected as the Afghan entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards but was not nominated. His second feature film, Rona, Azim’s Mother, also was selected as the Afghan entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.

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Screwdriver | Palestine, United States, Qatar, 2018

Director: Bassam Jarbawi

Cast: Ziad Bakri, Yasmine Qaddumi, Jameel Khoury, Amir Khoury, Areen Omari, Mariam Basha

Synopsis

It’s just another night out for Ziad and his friends, drinking beers and poking fun at each other. When a shot rings out from a sniper in the West Bank, killing one of them, the boys retaliate by shooting a settler in a drive-by. In an ensuing chase, Ziad is caught by Israeli soldiers and sent to prison. Fifteen years later, he’s released. Now he has to reconnect with his home and his people, after spending his formative years in torture and isolation.

About Director

Bassam Jarbawi is a director, producer, writer and editor from Palestine. He earned his M.F.A. in screenwriting and directing at Columbia University. His first short, Chicken Heads (2009), screened at the New York Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival. Screwdriver, his first feature film, was recently in competition at Venice Film Festival, amongst others.

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The Announcement | Turkey, Bulgaria 2018

Director: Mahmut Fazil Coskun

Cast: Ali Seçkiner Alıcı, Tarhan Karagöz, Murat Kılıç, Şencan Güleryüz

Synopsis

Lieutenant Sinasi, Major Kemal, Major Rifat and Colonel Reha are in charge of the Istanbul phase of a coup that will take place in May 1963 in Ankara. Since the four soldiers believe that a strong announcement is a vital part of a successful coup and attracts the people, they plan to read a version of the original coup announcement that will be read in Ankara. However, there is one thing that they do not take into account: the invisible power of the civilian life.

About Director

He began filmmaking with directing documentaries in 2000. He made his first fiction film Wrong Rosary (Uzak Ihtimal) in 2009 with which he won several national and international awards including Rotterdam Film Festival’s Golden Tiger Award and Istanbul Film Festival’s Best Director award. His second film Yozgat Blues was finished in 2013 and premiered at San Sebastian Film Festival. The Announcement (Anons) is his third film that premiered in the Orizzonti competition at the Venice Film Festival, and announces himself as a major film talent; to such a level that one would think that there will inevitably be comparisons with deadpan comedy masters, such as Roy Andersson, Aki Kaurismäki and the Coen brothers. If Coşkun goes this way as a filmmaker, he deserves to be in their company.

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The Song of the Tree | Kyrgyzstan, Russia, 2018

Director: Aibek Daiyrbekov

Cast: Temirlan Smanbekov, Omurbek Izrailov, Saltanat Bakaeva

Synopsis

In a remote mountain village, a young, carefree boy falls in love with the daughter of a local rich chieftain -‘bai’, and is forced to fight for her hand. The dishonest tricks of his rival force him to rebuff in the heat of the moment, which results in a tragedy – destruction of a sacred totem tree – Mazar. Hard trials are coming for everyone. The nature surrounding us from time immemorial without stinting generosity gives us the goodness. But at times, it cruelly punishes those who don’t honor its laws.

About Director

Aibek Daiyrbekov, born May 16, 1979, is a writer and director. He graduated from film directors’ courses organized by the Cinematography Development Foundation of Kyrgyzstan, 2007-2008. Then, he participated at Berlinale Talent Campus at 58th Berlin International Film Festival, 2008. Daiyrbekov made short films such as The Shore (2006), Tree (2008), Three in the Rain (2011), Boat (2016) and two TV series named Janym (2010) and Man history (2013). The Song of the Tree (2018) is his first feature film.

Presided over by award-winning writer and director Seyyed Reza Mirkarimi, the 37th edition of Fajr International Film Festival will be held in Tehran on April 18-26. For further information, please visit our website at www.fajriff.com, or send us an email at info@fajriff.com. We ask you to carefully read the Festival’s general guidelines for submission and participation.


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