“Zalava”, winner of the grand prize at the 36th Venice International Film Critics’ Week, will be showcased in the Midnight Screenings category.
The Kurdish village of Zalava is home to evil demons. At least, that is what its inhabitants think, and so from time to time the village is witness to bloody conflicts with those presumed to be possessed by them.
When local police sergeant Masud wants to confiscate the villagers’ weapons and dares to call the shaman Amardan a charlatan and even to arrest him, this triggers a massive wave of ill will within the community that leads to unexpected casualties.
The film brought Arsalan Amiri the award for best director at the 8th Duhok International Film Festival in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.
Directed by Dornaz Hajiha, “Like a Fish on the Moon” will be screened in the Proxima Competition section.
In this film, Haleh and her husband Amir are having to cope with a tough situation: their four-year-old son Ilya has suddenly stopped talking. There is evidently no physiological cause, so they go to see a psychotherapist who comes up with a radical solution. Ilya’s mother, who has cared for him until now, is to take a back seat while the father assumes her role in looking after the child. This change in the established order sends the family into a downward spiral of tension and aggression, and it’s extremely difficult to see a way out.
In the Out of the Past section, the festival will also screen “See You Friday, Robinson”, a documentary by Paris-based Iranian filmmaker Mitra Farahani.
As a co-production from France, Switzerland, Iran and Lebanon, the film provides an affectionate depiction of an encounter between the breathless titans, Jean-Luc Godard and Iranian filmmaker and literary figure Ebrahim Golestan. They engage in long-distance exchanges of quotations and cryptic statements. Their dialogue, which should have taken place long ago in the last century, inevitably consists of weighty themes, such as humanity, time, art and death.
Farahani won the Encounters, Berlinale 2022 special jury award for this film.
Canada-based Iranian director Sadaf Forughi is also participating in the festival with her latest drama “Summer with Hope”.
The film will be screened in the Crystal Globe Competition, the official section of the festival.
Set in northern Iran, the story of the film is about a young swimmer who is training for the national championships with his new coach. But the alliance between the two young men elicits disapproval from the people around them.