Supported by Scottish public body Creative Scotland, the film was shot entirely in Iran with an all-Persian-language cast, including Reza Naji, the winner of the Berlinale Silver Bear for “The Song of Sparrows”.
Speaking to the Persian service of ISNA on Thursday, Naji said, “The director of ‘Winners’ is an Iranian who lives abroad; his film seems to be able to communicate to audiences of every language.”
Set in a poor Iranian village, the story of “Winners” is about children who work hard to support their families. Their little hands scour through massive piles of junk in search of hidden treasures. One day, nine-year-old Yahya and his friend Leila find a precious golden statue. Sharing a passion for cinema, Yahya’s boss Nasser Khan decides to help them find the owner as the curious item leads Yahya on an adventure-filled journey that doubles as a loving ode to the history of Iranian cinema.
The film won the audience award at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival in Scotland.
In his acceptance speech, Nazer said, “Winning the audience award at EIFF means everything to me. I have been working towards this since I decided to become a filmmaker. I make films for the audience and will continue to do so.”
He added, “It’s a great thing to be part of an ethnic minority living in Scotland where your vision is a mix of your background and new home. My aim is always to tie my cultures together and celebrate diversity through cinema. I’m very thankful our work has been recognized by Screen Scotland and EIFF.”
Nazer is also the director of “Utopia”, which was selected as the Afghan entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2015 Academy Awards and one of the qualifying films for the 73rd Golden Globes.
Source: Tehran Times