A total of 126 films from 45 countries participated in this year’s edition, held January 18-20, and winners were announced in eight categories.

The animation ‘Release From Heaven’ directed by Ali Noori-Oskouei won three awards, namely Avant-Garde, Best Cinematography and the award for Best Narrative. The Avant-Garde Award is presented to the film with the highest level of technical achievement used to present a story. Set in a war-torn country, ‘Release From Heaven’ is the story of a female writer and teacher who has to accompany two of her students on a life changing journey. The award for Best Short Documentary went to Reza Golchin’s four-minute film ‘Track’. The short documentary follows elementary school children on their journey to school in Iran’s Talesh Mountains in Gilan Province. ‘Hypnotism’ by Arshia Zeinali received the Essence Award which is given to the top film in the shorts category and recognizes the film’s ability to creatively convey an idea in minimal time. Hypnotism narrates the routine story of people involved thoroughly - or better said hypnotized - by the technology of modern time, in particular smart phones.

Source: Financial Tribune