Winner of the grand prize at the 36th Venice International Film Critics’ Week, “Zalava” is Arsalan Amiri’s directorial feature debut. 

Amiri has co-written with Ida Panahandeh and Tahmineh Bahramalian the terrifying horror film, which presents a brilliant examination of faith, science and tradition based on stories told to him by his father.

Investigating reports of demonic possession in a remote village, a skeptical military officer finds his beliefs tested by an enigmatic exorcist. 

Set in 1978 at the onset of the Iranian revolution, the film opens in the Kurdish village of Zalava, nestled among the mountains of northwestern Iran, and cursed by an ancient fear that there’s a demon amongst them. 

So consumed by this superstition, the villagers frequently resort to bloodletting in crude, often deadly, amateur exorcisms. When Masud, a young gendarmerie sergeant, attempts to circumvent these rituals by confiscating Zalava’s weapons, his actions lead to a shocking death. 

The incident incenses the townsfolk, but it also draws out Amardan, a shaman who claims that he can provide a permanent solution to the terrifying curse. However, when Masud arrests the exorcist on charges of fraud, the villagers revolt and anger escalates, trapping the gendarmerie and his lover, a government doctor, in a cursed house, surrounded by villagers who believe they are both possessed by the demon.

Amiri also won the award for best director at the 8th Duhok International Film Festival in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

LevelK will screen “Zalava” in Denmark, while EG Entertainment, based in Los Angeles and Hollywood, will handle the sales of the film in Sweden, Estonia, Finland and Norway.

With offices in Amsterdam and Antwerp, Remain in Light will distribute the film in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg.

The film will have its North American premiere in Canada and the United States with Corinth Films.

PT Falcon has acquired the rights for Indonesian sales of “Zalava” starring Navid Purfaraj and Hoda Zeinalabedin.


Source:Tehran Times