Fajr Festival Announces Cinema Salvation Lineup

Fajr Festival Announces Cinema Salvation Lineup

The 2017 Fajr International Film Festival has announced the lineup for Cinema Salvation (International Competition) and it is as solid as ever.

On Monday, festival director Reza Mirkarimi announced this year’s names at a press conference in Tehran.

The program brings together feature-length favorites, shorts, and Iranian premieres for its 35th edition. The festival takes place from 21 to 28 April in Tehran.

Here are all the feature-length titles screening:

Blindness (2016)

1h 50min | Drama

Director & Writer: Ryszard Bugajski

Cast: Maria Mamona, Maogorzata Zajoczkowska, Janusz Gajos, Marek Kalita, Bartosz Porczyk

Country: Poland

Language: Polish

Synopsis

The film shows an obscure episode from the life of a Stalinist criminal – Colonel of the Office of Public Security, Julia Brystiger. Her nickname was “Bloody Luna” because during interrogations she tortured prisoners with extreme cruelty. At the beginning of 1960s she appeared in Laski near Warsaw, in the Institute for the Blind, where the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyoski, was also a frequent visitor. His imprisonment in the years 1953-1956 was supervised by none other than Julia Brystiger herself. During the difficult and tempestuous conversation with the Primate, Julia Brystiger rejects the communist ideology, asks for her crimes to be forgiven and for help in finding God.

About Director

Ryszard Bugajski is a film director and screenwriter, born in 1943. In mid-70’s, he joined the Studio X directed by Andrzej Wajda. When his film Interrogation (1982) was banned by the communist regime and Bugajski was persecuted by secret police, he had to immigrate to Canada, where he worked in film and television. In 1995, he returned to Poland.

Mother (2016)

1h 17min | Drama

Director: Riri Riza

Cast: Cut Mini, Christoffer Nelwan, Arman Dewarti, Jajang C. Noer

Country: Indonesia

Language: Indonesian

Synopsis

Based on a true story. Athirah’s life is shattered when another woman enters her husband’s life. In a time and cultural background where polygamy is still widely accepted, Athirah struggles alone with the hurt and humiliation. Meanwhile, Athirah’s eldest son, Ucu, has to go through his teenage years with uncertainty. While trying to understand what is going on in his family, Ucu falls in love with Ida. His effort to approach Ida isn’t easy and Ucu’s frustration deepens when he discovers that his mother is pregnant again.

About Director

Riri Riza (born October 2, 1970) is an Indonesian film director, producer and screenwriter. He is best known for his directorial work on Petualangan Sherina (Sherina’s Adventure; 2000), Gie (2005), Laskar Pelangi (The Rainbow Troop; 2008), and Ada Apa Dengan Cintao 2 (What’s Up with Love 2; 2016). He is also known for his creative partnership with producer Mira Lesmana, with whom he co-manages the Indonesian film production company, Miles Films.

Exiled (2016)

1h 40min | Drama | History |War

Director: Davis Simanis

Cast: Ulrich Matthes, Agnese Corule, Dmitrijs Jaldovs, Leonds Lencs, Toms Liepjnieks

Country: Latvia | Lithuania

Language: Latvian | German

Synopsis

The final year of WWI. A German army surgeon Ulrich is sent to inspect a remote convalescent home for shell-shocked patients. The strange world he encounters in which reality appears more like fiction is quite challenging for his cold rational mind. His fruitless efforts to remodel the place and an unexpected attachment to a mysterious savage boy from the surrounding woods lead Ulrich to discover his one true self. Very soon this sanctuary will have to make its last stand against the approaching madness of the war.

About Director

Davis Simanis teaches film history at the Latvian Academy of Culture in Riga and at Aalto University in Helsinki. His extravagant mockumentary, Escaping Riga, dedicated to two Riga-born geniuses, Sergei Eisenstein and Isaiah Berlin, premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. In the film the lead is played by well-known German actor Ulrich Mathess, who was nominated for an EFA award for his performance in The Ninth Day (2004).

Glory (2016)

1h 41min | Drama

Directors: Kristina Grozeva, Petar Valchanov

Cast: Stefan Denolyubov, Margita Gosheva, Ana Bratoeva

Country: Bulgaria | Greece

Language:  Bulgarian

Synopsis

A reclusive railway worker in Bulgaria finds millions in cash spilled on the tracks and turns them in to the police. When Julia Staikova, the PR executive for the Transport Ministry, decides to use him as a diversion from a corruption scandal, his simple life falls victim of the chaos of bureaucracy.

About Director

Born January 26, 1976, Sofia, Kristina Grozeva is a Bulgarian actor and director. After studying journalism at the University of Sofia, she graduated in 2005 as film and television director from the National Academy for Theatre and Film Art and made several award-winning short films. The documentary Parable of Life (2009) marks the start of her direct cooperation with Petar Valchanov. Their Jump (2012) was the first Bulgarian short film to be nominated for the European Film Awards. The Lesson (2014) is their first feature.

Guilty Men (2016)

1h 55min | Drama

Director & Writer: Ivan D Gaona

Cast: Willington Gordillo, Heriberto Palacio, René Díaz Calderón, Alfonso López, Leidy Herrera, Suetonio Hernández, Cristian Hernández

Country: Colombia

Language: Spanish

Synopsis:

Mariana, Willington’s eternal love, is preparing her marriage with René, the cousin of her ex-boyfriend. While Willington tries to get her back, the rumor of a thief in town and a series of violent deaths that remind them of a fearful past, will endanger Mariana’s new family.

About Director

Born in September 26, 1980, Güepsa, Ivan D Gaona is a Colombian director. His films include Portraits, Guilty Men, Naranjas, Completo, and Outsider. His awards include Locarno International Film Festival – Leopards of Tomorrow: Special Mention.

Ivan (2016)

1h 38min | Drama

Director: Alyona Davydova

Cast: Kirill Polukhin, Polina Gukhman, Anastasia melnikova

Country: Russia

Language:  Russian

Synopsis

Ivan lives in a small Russian town, working as an ambulance driver. His life is no different from the lives of the people that surround him. Like many people of his generation, he gave up on wanting to change anything about himself or about his country. One day, Ivan meets a young girl who inspires him with a hope that he can change himself.

About Director

Alyona Davydova was born on 25 June 1977 in the city of Irkutsk. In 2007, she received diploma from the State Institute of cinematography in Moscow. Alena lives in a small Russian village of the Republic of Chuvashia and works as a Director in local folk theatre.

Mr. No Problem (2016)

2h 24min | Drama

Director: Feng Mei

Cast: Wei Fan, Tao Yin, Yihong Shi

Country: China

Language:  Mandarin

Synopsis

Shot in stylish black-and-white, this three-act fable, set in wartime Chongqing, focuses on the indifferent rich, the head clerk on a farm, and some young intruders. Based on a 1943 short story, the film was directed by noted screenwriter Mei Feng.

About Director

Born in 1968, Huzhou, Feng Mei is a writer and director, known for Mystery (2012), Summer Palace (2006) and Spring Fever (2009). He is winner of Golden Horse Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, Asian Film Award for Best Screenwriter.

My Father’s Wings (2016)

1h 41min | Drama

Director & Writer: Kivanc Sezer

Cast: Menderes Samancılar, Musab Ekici, Kübra Kip, Tansel Öngel

Country: Turkey

Language: Turkish, Kurdish

Synopsis

Set against the backdrop of construction activity promising to fill in the empty spaces of the urban landscape with entirely new neighborhoods, a story unfolds of an aging construction worker who, unlike his peers, has to drop all plans for the future after being diagnosed with a malignant tumor. This debut film contemplates the dignity of the individual within the context of modern Turkish society.

About Director

Kıvanç Sezer (bon in 1982, Ankara) studied engineering at university before moving to Italy to take up a career as filmmaker. He studied editing for two years at the prestigious Cineteca di Bologna. While there he met a number of important directors who inspired his work. He returned home to Turkey in 2009, making a living as editor on TV projects and documentaries. He made several shorts that have been screened at a variety of domestic and international venues. My Father’s Wings represents his first foray into features as a director.

Paris La Blanche (2016)

1h 23min | Drama

Director & Writer: Lidia Terki

Cast: Tassadit Mandi, Zahir Bouzerar, Karole Rocher

Country: France

Language: French, Kabyle, Arabic

Synopsis

At the age of 70, Rekia decides to leave her village in Kabylie to go to Paris. All by herself, she travels across the Mediterranean Sea to bring Nour, her husband, back home. From the port of Algiers to the streets of Pigalle, with nothing more than a hotel address on a piece of paper but with the help of new, unlikely friends, she finally finds Nour in the suburbs. But her hero, the war veteran, the one that has been providing for his family from abroad for the past 40 years, has become a stranger.

About Director

Lidia Leber Terki is a script writer and director of Algerian descent. Her first short-movie Mal de Ville received the Special Jury Award and a press special mention at the Pantin Film Festival in 1998. Building on this success, Lidia Leber Terki directed 4 other short-movies: Notre Père (2000) and Mains courantes (2001) screened at the Telluride Film Festival; La Mirador at the Pantin Film Festival, Rencontres Internationales de Dignes-les-bains and at the British Film Institute. She co-directed and produced two documentaries, le projet Sextoy / Sextoy’s Stories (2014), about the French electronic-music scene at the end of the 90s and more precisely about Delphine Palatsi, alias DJ Sextoy, who was a real pioneer but died in 2002. Paris la blanche is her first feature length film.

Quatretondeta (2014)

1h 29min | Drama

Director: Pol Rodríguez

Cast: José Sacristán, Laia Marull, Sergi Lopez, Julián Villagrán

Country: France

Language: French

Synopsis

Senior Tomas’s wife (José Sacristán) passed away. His family wants to repatriate the body to Paris. So Tomás steals the corpse to be able to bury it in Quatretondeta, a small village in the region of Alicante (Spain), as his wife had wanted. But Tomás finds another problem. He can’t remember how to get to Quatretondeta and he gets lost.

About Director

Pol Rodriguez has always been first assistant director in films such as Yo (R. Cortés ’07), La Teta Asustada (C.Llosa ’07), Pa Negre (A. Villaronga ’12), Oliver’s Deal (B. Elliot ’14). This is his first film as director and writer.

Sofichka (2016)

1h 18min | Drama

Director: Kira Kovalenko

Cast: Lana Basaria

Country: Georgia

Language: Georgian

Synopsis

Sofichka returns to her native Abkhaz village in Georgia after twenty years. Seeing again home and meeting with villagers take her the on memory lane: her wedding with Rufus, betrayal of the neighbor Nuri, difficult years of war, exile in Siberia. But in spite of everything, in spite of all the tough experiences, Sofichka continues to believe in people and in life, staying true to the memory of her husband who died young.

About Director

Born on 28 November 1979, Kira Kovalenko is a student of Alexander Sokurov’s Workshop at the the Kabardino-Balkarian State University. Sofichka (2016) is her debut feature film.

The Long Night of Francisco Sanctis (2016)

1h 18min | Drama

Writers & Directors: Andrea Testa, Francisco Marquez

Cast: Diego Velázquez, Laura Paredes, Valeria Lois

Country: Argentina

Language: Spanish

Synopsis

Buenos Aires, 1977. Francisco Sanctis, a family man living an eventless life, receives information about an upcoming kidnapping plot by soldiers of the dictatorship. In a race against time, he has to make the most important decision of his life: will he try to save innocent lives by risking his own?

About Director

Francisco Marquez was born in 1981 in Buenos Aires. He studied film at the ENERC where he made several short films, including the award-winning Before the War. Marquez has worked as assistant director for TV and feature films. He also works as a professor of direction at the ENERC of Northeast Argentina. Andrea Testa was born in 1987 in Buenos Aires. She studied film at the ENERC where she made her first short films. From 2009 to 2011, she worked as production coordinator for cable TV programs. She teaches scriptwriting at the Cinema School of Avellaneda.

Negar (2017)

1h 50min | Drama

Director & Producer: Rambod Javan

Cast: Negar Javaherian, Mohammad Reza Froutan, Mani Haqiqi, Attila Pesyani, Alireza Shojanouri, Afsaneh Bayegan, Ashkan Khatibi, Alireza Aqakhani

Country: Iran

Language: Farsi

Synopsis

Negar is from a rich family. His father dies after bankruptcy. This is, of course, what the detectives think. Negar doesn’t believe that her father died of heart attack. She embarks on a journey to uncover her father’s dark past.

About Director

Rambod Javan was born on 22 December 1971 in Shahrara. He is an Iranian theater and cinema actor. He has made and directed popular TV program, Khandevane. He is also a well-known satirist popular with young people, who invites other comedians to perform standup and compete with each other on the show

End of Dreams (2016)

1h 32min | Drama

Director & Writer: Mohammad Ali Talebi

Editor: Hassan Hassandoust

Producer: Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults

Cinematography: Ali Mohammad Qasemi

Sound: Hossein Bashash

Cast: Nasrin Babaei, Majid Motki, Amir Hesam Rezaei, Shiva Farhadi, Ava Darvishi

Country: Iran

Language: Farsi

Synopsis

The movie is about a boy who lives with his family in a northern village in Iran. Once his father buys a horse, he falls in love with it. He makes a mistake along the way but keeps it to himself. This creates even more troubles for him as time goes by.

About Director

Born on November 22, 1958 in Tehran, Mohammad Ali Talebi is a film director. Talebi was interested in several art forms already in the age of ten in an art institute for children and the youth. While studying film and TV program directing at university he made short films for children. He also wrote and directed many TV movies and programs.

Home (2017)

1h 18min | Drama

Director, Writer, Producer: Asghar Yousefinejad

Cast: Ramin Riazi, Mohadeseh Heirat, Gholamreza Baqeri, Sediqeh Daryani

Country: Iran

Language: Turkish

Synopsis

The Turkish language movie with a Persian subtitle has the Turkish title ‘Ev’. The movie’s synopsis read Sayeh has been out of contact with her family for six years after marriage. She returns back to his father’s home only to find that he is being transferred for an autopsy. This comes as Sayeh cannot come to terms with his father’s strange will. The movie which is Yousefinejad’s directorial debut will premiere at the National View section of this year’s Fajr.

About Director

Born in 1969, Asghar Yousefinejad is a graduate of film directing from the IRIB College. His debut film is 8mm Black and White. Other works include TV series Shahriar, short films Shahin Shilat, Sari Souli, Story of a Film, I’m a Mother Too, and the Scene of Life.

The full lineup of shorts:

A Place (2016)

12min

Director: Iván Fernández de Córdoba

Cast: Abdelatif Hwidar, Sergio Caballero, Cristina Fernández, Elena Mejino, Abdelatif Hwidar, Sergio Caballero, Cristina Fernández, Elena Mejino

Country: Spain

Languages:  Spanish

Synopsis

A Muslim refugee will have to overcome the prejudices of a European family to help repair his car and get to his destination.

Amalimbo (201)

15 min

Director: Juan Pablo Libossart

Cast: Margaretha Ulfendahl, Anna Odell

Country: Sweden

Languages:  Swedish

Synopsis

Five-year-old Tipuana experiences limbo when she tries to get to the other side to see her father again when mourning his death.

Because of Love (2017)

15min

Director: M. Abdülgafur Sahin

Language:  Turkish

Country: Turkey

Synopsis

Emre takes care of the only livestock his family owns. He is also in love with Bahar who is his mother’s assistant in embroidery classes. However, he cannot muster the courage to confess. When Emre loses the cow in the meadows things get complicated.

Beyond the Border (2016)

13min

Director: Daniele Lucca

Cast: Alberto Astorri, Marco Ripoldi, Paolo Bufalino

Country: Switzerland

Language: Italian

Synopsis

Three broke Italians pull off a robbery in neighboring Switzerland. The heist profits them less than they expected; the journey back to Italy is going to show who they really are.

Charge The Dragon (2016)

6min

Director: Jan Bubenícek

Cast: Jan Budar, Denisa Grimmova, Pavel Landovsky, Lida Molinova

Country: Czech Republic

Language:  No Dialogue

Synopsis

A cartoon slapstick comedy with two classic heroes – the Dragon and the Knight – where death is the punch line at the end of each of the three short stories and the knight’s heroism is more or less a product of his suicidal stupidity. He is so convinced of his invincibility that he faces the dragon without fear.

Dreams on Sale (2016)

9min

Director: Vlad Buzaianu

Cast: Cristian Petrescu, Miruna Blidariu

Country: Romania

Language:  English

Synopsis

In a world where people are able to record, buy and sell dreams, many are starting to lose the ability of dreaming. Dreams have become a new form of art and a commodity for the rich.

Home (2016)

12min

Director: Iryna Tsilyk

Cast: Kateryna Molchanova, Dmytro Yaroshenko, Taras Prokhasko

Country: Ukraine

Language:  No Dialogue

Synopsis

When the path to safety has been destroyed and you’re forced to abandon your life by an enemy at the gates, all that’s left to do, is save your home in your heart.

Inhuman (2016)

8min

Director: Daniil Demidov

Country: Russia

Language:  Russian

Synopsis

A lovely beautiful planet rotates in cold void. Until it gets ill with parasites called humans.

Last Days (2016)

11min

Director: Arturo Leon Llerena

Cast: Antonio Chamorro, Gadea Barcelo, Alfonso Gomez, Maria Jesus Garrido

Country: Peru I Spain

Language:  Spanish

Synopsis

Ramon is a veteran tailor that has been elaborating gentleman’s clothing for decades, but in recent years, his shop has become anachronistic and his profits scarcer.

Metamorphosis (2016)

15min

Director: Adrian Arce

Country: Mexico

Language: Spanish

Synopsis

The Guadalupe dam watershed, located at the northeast of Mexico City, is a region of great biodiversity. It’s a source of oxygen, drinking water, wood, food, medicinal plants and cultural elements for the inhabitants of the Valleys of Mexico and Toluca. While an important home for the Otomí ethnic group, the watershed also shelters a peculiar species: the mountain axolotl (Ambystoma altamirani), a micro-endemic, endangered amphibian, unique in the world.

Wind’s Whispers (2016)

14min

Director: Loïc Jouenne

Cast: Dominique Gropper

Country: France

Language:  French

Synopsis

An old woman lives alone in a big house surrounded by forest. Being observed by unknown people, she is going to have to make the most difficult decision of her life.

The Silence (2016)

15min

Directors:  Ali Asgari, Farnoosh Samadi

Cast: Fatma Alakus, Valentina Carnelutti, Cahide Ozel

Country: Italy, France

Languages:  Italian, Kurdish, English

Synopsis

Fatma and her mother are Kurdish refugees in Italy. On their visit to the doctor, she has to translate what the doctor tells to her mother but she keeps silent.

Online Shopping (2017)

15min

Director: Ghasideh Golmakani

Country: Iran

Language: Farsi

Synopsis

Donya, a young girl, wants to immigrate to continue her studies abroad. Before she leaves Iran, she tries to sell her belongings online. One buyer comes to her house and acts strange.

Periodicity (2016)

10min

Director: Ali Khoshdouni Farahani

Country: Iran

Language: Farsi

Synopsis

It’s the story of prison near a children playground.

The Servant (2017)

9min

Director: Farnoush Abedi

Country: Iran

Language: Farsi

Synopsis

An encounter with a giant bug changes a writer’s life forever.

For all festivalgoers who are already planning their visit, check screening time and other information at Fajriff.com or email the Secretariat at Film@Fajriff.com.

Presided over by Reza Mirkarimi, the 35th edition of Fajr International Film Festival will take place from 21 to 28 April in Tehran.

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