TEHRAN – Iranian movies “Walnut Tree” and “Drown” have received awards at the Asian Film Festival Barcelona in Spain.
Both films were screened in the Special Section of the festival as the winners were honored on Sunday.
The award for best film in this category was given to “Walnut Tree”, which also brought Mohammad-Hossein Mahdavian the best director award.
The film is based on true events that took place in 1987. Sardasht, a Kurdish city on the Iran-Iraq border, along with several villages in the surrounding areas are attacked with chemical weapons by Iraqi forces. Qader, a villager from the area and his pregnant wife, as well as his three young children, are exposed to the chemicals and suffer injuries. The situation in the village and surrounding cities is chaotic. Qader must singlehandedly try to keep his family alive.
Co-written by director Mohammad Kart and Hossein Dumari and Pedram Puramiri, “Drown” won the award for best screenplay.
After leaking a video of her class in a women-only swimming pool, Parvaneh is brutally murdered by her husband, Hashem, who seeks a way to redeem his reputation and dignity as the godfather in the neighborhood. Hashem’s brother, Hojat, embarks on a journey into the labyrinths of the underworld in Tehran to find out who is responsible for this dirty game. Once wrongfully accused of smuggling drugs, he returns to the world of crime to trace his brother’s rivals.
“The Woman” directed by Otgonzorig Batchuluun from Mongolia won the special jury award in this section.
The film tells the story of a woman who lives with her mother-in-law and her daughter on a remote Mongolian mountain. Everyone has deserted them except for the people she looks after. From time to time a local man comes by and helps her to do her difficult tasks and always asks her to move to the nearest town with him. Her hands are tied to the place, since her mother-in-law wouldn’t be able to get accustomed to the town lifestyle.
The jury of the official section of the Asian Film Festival Barcelona gave the award for best film to “Anima” by Chinese director Cao Jinling.
Mirlan Abdykalykov from Kyrgyzstan was picked as best director for “Running to the Sky” while writer and director Raymund Ribay Gutiérrez’s “Verdict” won the award for best screenplay.
Photo: A scene from “Walnut Tree” by Iranian director Mohammad-Hossein Mahdavian.