Directed by Mohammad-Sadeq Esmaeili, the film is about a 14-year-old teenager who runs away from the house of his addicted father who forces him to live in an orphanage. Now he is trying hard to find his absent mother just for the first time. Additionally, he does not have an ID card and this is causing many problems in his daily life.
Five other Iranian films were screened at the Russian festival, but they failed to win an award as winners were announced last week.
A jury composed of Vladimir Golovnev from Russia, Camila Rodriguez Triana from Columbia and Fariz Ahmedov from Azerbaijan selected the winners of the short competition.
“Adjusting” by Dejan Petrovic from Serbia, “Zenerù” by Andrea Grasselli from Italy and “The Dream #9-2380 (IK-6)” by Lidia Rikker from Russia won special mentions in this section.
In the feature competition, “Mr. Tang” by the Chinese filmmaker Xia Su and Hongyu Su was picked as best film.
Sergey Dvortsevoy from Russia and Zoe Schmederer from Germany and Ammar Aziz from Pakistan were members of the jury for this category.
“Despite taking place in a fading world, this beautifully shot, slow-paced film is full of life,” the jury said about “Mr. Tang” and added, “It depicts a universal issue in an intimate portrait.”
“Mr. Tang” points to a makeshift brick wall built by the authorities that separates his property from the neighboring parcel, which has already been expropriated. As one of the last residents of the neighborhood, the 94-year-old is resisting the “revitalization of the old city”, meaning the demolition of the aging buildings. Pressure from the authorities steadily increases as he watches his wife’s health deteriorate with Alzheimer’s.
“MR. TANG” is a sensitive film about love and resistance and the portrait of an impressive man who won’t be upset by anything, not even by the threat of losing the house he has lived in all his life.
Victoria Fiore was named best director for “Hide and Seek” (“Nascondino”).
The Italian-UK production follows four years in the life of nine-year-old Entoni and his grandmother Dora in Naples during a critical state crackdown on crime that threatens Entoni’s future with forced removal and imprisonment.
The audience award went to “Jason” by Dutch filmmaker Maasja Ooms.
Ooms closely follows Jason as he struggles with the psychological effects of a traumatic childhood, which were only intensified when he was taken into juvenile residential care at the age of 16. During intense therapy sessions, it becomes clear how much he has been harmed, and how far-reaching the consequences are when wrong decisions are made in the youth care system.