The festival organized in Oak View, California, announced the winners on Sunday, on the eve of the closing day of its virtual edition.
“Sfumato” by Amir-Ali Mirderikvand won the mention in the documentary short competition, which honored “Lion on the Mat” by American filmmaker Asali Echols as best film.
“Sfumato” is about a modern rural family in Iran with two teenage children. Their daughter and older child, Fatemeh, helps them a lot in their daily lives, but repeatedly faces difficulties and obstacles, mostly resulting from the confining gender roles that are placed on daughters in their society.
In the process of documenting these challenges, the film explores Iranian culture, the role of children in the Iranian family dynamic, and the role of females in Iranian society.
This docudrama shows how one family is breaking free of those traditional constraints by encouraging their daughter in her effort to obtain a license and drive a motorcycle.
“Faranak” by Mehrnush Alia was praised in the narrative short competition.
In this film, a new Uber driver receives a request to deliver a golden retriever named Faranak. Knowing too well that having a dog in the car is against Iranian law, he is reluctant to accept the ride, but is obliged after learning that the dog belongs to a blind man.
“Undercut” by Kelly Pike from the U.S. was selected as best narrative short.
“Am I a Wolf?” directed by Amir-Hushang Moin received the honorable mention in the animated short category, which picked “Yes-People” by Gisli Darri Halldorsson from Iceland as best short animation.
The acclaimed movie produced at the Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults tells the story of a group of children who perform the familiar story of the wolf and the yearlings in school as a puppet show. The nanny goat grieving for its yearlings and the angry wolf in its solitude face each other.
“Am I a Wolf?” received several awards in Iranian and international events, including the Grand Prix at the 12th Paris International Animation Film Festival and the Light of Asia Grand Prize at the 15th Indie-AniFest Korea Independent Animation Film Festival in September 2019.