Directed by Nahid Hassanzadeh, the film also received the jury prize of NETPAC, an Asian cinema promotion network, and brought its star Jila Shahi the award for best actress.
Shahi received the award for the portrayal of Rohan, a 35-year-old woman who agrees to marry Mahi, an old man who had been the village teacher for many years. Mahi is now the caretaker of the village shrine in whose healing power he does not believe. Rohan begins her new life in a small room in the shrine. She meets a young boy who has taken refuge in the sanctuary of the shrine to be healed. When the boy dies suddenly, Rohan loses all her beliefs like her husband. The fanatic villagers do not tolerate the presence of two heathens in the shrine and the village anymore.
Narges Abyar, director of acclaimed Iranian dramas “Track 143” and “When the Moon Was Full”, was a member of the jury.
The winners of the festival, which took place in the capital of Tatarstan, a semi-autonomous region in southwest Russia, were announced on September 12.
The award for best director was given to Magdi Ahmed Ali for “Talaat Harba Street” from Egypt.
“The Adventures of Little Baha” by Russian director Aleksandr Galibin won the award for best screenplay.
Tommaso Fiorilli received the award for best cinematographer for his collaboration in “The Anger”, a co-production between Lebanon and Germany by Maria Ivanova.
“Ivan’s Ladder” by Nikolay Bem was selected as best feature documentary.
In this French-Russian production, Sysoy passes on the tradition of Byzantine chant to his son Ivan in a village untouched by time, so isolated that it is not on the map of Russia. Their hermitic family life finds its cadence in the movements of working the land and rigorous spiritual practice, which seem intended to prepare the young teenager for an imminent change of life.
The award for best Short fiction was given to “The Little Brother of Angels” by Umedsho Mirzoshirinov from Tajikistan, while “Life” by Muhammed Emin Demiral from Turkey was picked as best short documentary.