On Monday, festival director Reza Mirkarimi announced this year’s names at a press conference in Tehran.
Here are all the feature-length titles screening:
A Father’s Will (2016)
Director: Bakyt Mukul, Dastan Zhapar uulu
Cast: Iman Mukul, Marlyshbaiev, Taalai Asymaliyev, Bakyt Mukul, Tyniri Ibdrazaeva,
Synopsis: After living in the US for 15 years, Azat flies to Kyrgyzstan to his village. His father, Murat, died in the US a year ago. It was his dying wish to pay back the money he owed to the villagers. Azat finds the family home derelict.
Bakyt Mukul is an actor and film director from Kyrgyzstan. He was born in 1965. He is a member of the Union of Cinematographers of the Kyrgyz Republic. Dastan Zhapar uulu is a filmmaker from Kyrgyzstan. He was born in 1988.
Apprentice (2016) – Regional Premiere
Director: Junfeng Boo
Cast: Rahman Fir, Su Wan Hanafi, Ahmad Mastura, Boon Pin Koh, Nickson Cheng, Crispian Chan, Gerald Chew
Country: Singapore, Germany, France, Hong Kong SAR China
Aiman, a 28-year-old correctional officer, is transferred to the territory’s top prison. He strikes up friendship with Rahim, who is the chief executioner of the prison, and one of the world’s most prolific. Can Aiman overcome his conscience and a past that haunts him to become the executioner’s apprentice?
Boo Junfeng is one of Singapore’s notable filmmakers. Trained in film schools in Singapore and Spain, his works often center on themes of identity, memory and sexuality. Since 2005, his short films have won him acclaim at international film festivals. He is a Singapore International Film Festival regular where he won Best Director, Best Cinematography, Special Jury Prize, Special Achievement Award and twice Best Film. His debut feature film Sandcastle premiered at Cannes Film Festival’s International Critics’ Week.
House of Others (2016)
Director: Rusudan Glurjidze
Cast: Zurab Magalashvili, Olga Dyhovichnaya, Salome Demure, Branko Djurich, Ia Sukhitashvili, Zurab Magalashvili Country: Georgia, Spain, Croatia, Russia
A family moves into a large house in a village. It seems everything is ok. But this is Abkhazia in the early 90’s, shortly after a terrible, bitter and bloody war that made enemies of Georgians and Abkhazians.
Rusudan Glurjidze has been working as producer and art director of Cinetech Film Production Company. Rusudan is a founder of Sumer School Program. Her feature debut House of Others was selected for B’EST (The Baltic Bridge East by West), organized by EAVE and MEDIA Mundus. It was also finalist of Open Doors Locarno IFF 2013 and awarded at CineLink Sarajevo IFF 2013.
Knife in the Clear Water (2016)
Director: Wang Xuebo
Cast: Yang Shengcang, Yang Shengcang, Zhou Jinhua, Yang Fan, Yang Xue
Country: Hong Kong SAR China
In the mountains of Ningxia’s province, the old Ma Zishan is mourning his wife. Loved by everyone in the village and the family, his son wants to sacrifice their only bull. Zishan isn’t against it, but his sorrow and his love for the animal is a barrier.
Wang Xuebo started as producer with films like Pema Tseden’s Tharlo. The film premiered in Venice in 2015 and won many awards including at Tokyo FilmEx, Golden Horse awards, APSA, Vesoul. This film is his first feature.
Director: Sabit Kurmanbekov
Cast: Bayan Kazhnabieva, Esim Segizbayev, Dinara Dairova
The family of repatriate Saparkul return to their historic homeland, cross the border post of Turkmenistan. They want to start a new life in Kazakhstan.
Sabit Kurmanbekov graduated from the Alma-Ata Art College in 1980; Also the Faculty of Arts in VGIK institute, specializing in the art of film and television.
Pihu (2016) – Asian Premier
Director: Vinod Kapri
Cast: Myra Vishwakarma, Prerna Sharma
In the early morning hours, Pihu goes on exploring the spacious apartment still messy after last night’s birthday party. Hungry, she goes up and down stairs, looks for food, tries to negotiate the refrigerator, the microwave, the stove, burning her toast in the process while periodically distracted from her chores by nervous phone calls from her father who is frantically trying to reach his wife, while he is out of town. The suspense ratchets up as we helplessly see the adorable tyke skirting an overflowing sink, forgetting to turn off the flame on the stove, risking a fall and Mammy is not waking up.
Vinod Kapri is a senior Indian journalist and filmmaker. He won a National Award for the documentary film Can’t Take This Shit Anymore 2014. He made his feature debut with Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho 2015 – a socio-legal satire that received extensive critical acclaim. Before venturing into filmmaking he spent 23 years of his career as a journalist with media organisations.
Director: Baris Kaya, Soner Caner
Cast: Alen Gursoy (Leading Actor – Rauf)
Language: Turkish, Kurdish
As the age of 11, Rauf finds himself in a big platonic love, in an effort to delight the girl whom he loves in a world which loses the color even in the daylight. Pink is the hue of our story, loves that are dreamed to be experienced, sleeps that are waken up with tranquility, fraternity and amity. Rauf seeks pink everywhere.
Barıs Kaya is the assistant director for NEFES (2008) and has directed awarded commercials.
Soner Caner has worked as art director and has received the Golden Boll for his work in Nefes.
The Sower (2016)
Director: Yosuke Takeuchi
Cast: Kentaro Kishi, Suzuno Takenaka, Tomomitsu
Mitsuo finds happiness by meeting with his brother Yuta and his niece Chie. The next day, Mitsuo takes Chie and his other niece Itsuki to an amusement park. However, Chie kills Itsuki by dropping her on the ground while Mitsuo takes his eyes off them.
Yosuke Takeuchi graduated from Shibaura Institute of Technology in 2000. In 2003 he won the Jury’s Special Award at the exhibition of Academie de Port-Royal. In 2006 he directed short film Segutsu.
The Table (2016)
Director: Kim Jong-kwan
Cast: Soo-jung Lm, Yu-mi Jung, Ye-ri Han, Eun-chae Jung, Woo-jin Yeon
Country: South Korea
One day, four different conversations over one table. The first episode is about a conversation between an actress and her ex-boyfriend. The second is the meeting of a man and woman. The third episode is the story of a woman who meets the woman who will play her mother at her sham wedding. The final episode focuses on a woman about to marry.
Daejeon Kim has been lauded at film festivals both in and out of Korea. He released Lovers, a collection of personal shorts, in theaters in 2008 before going on to direct the omnibus feature Come, Closer in 2010. His film opened on screens in Korea in August 2016 and was awarded FIPRESCI prize at Moscow International Film Festival.?
Wolf and Sheep (2016)
Director: Shahrbanoo Sadat
Cast: Qodrat, Sediqa, Amina, Sahar
Country: Afghanistan, Denmark, France, Sweden
In rural Afghanistan, people are storytellers who make up and tell each other tales of mystery and imagination to explain the world in which they live.
Shahr studied documentary in Atelier Varan Kabul, a French Workshop. Her first short fiction Vice Versa One was selected at Directors’ Fortnight in 2011. In 2013, she opened her production company Wolf Pictures in Kabul. Wolf and Sheep was developed with the Cannes Cinéfondation Residency in 2010.
The Unnamed (2016)
Director: Tauquir Ahmed
Cast: Shahiduzzaman Selim, Mosharraf Karim, Nipun
Kifayet Uddin’s son went abroad six months ago. OC of the nearest police station has the news of a death of expatriate worker. He goes to the house to inform his guardian but finds out that that person is alive in another country.
The Mother (2016)
Director: Erdenetsetseg Bazarragchaa
Cast: Enkhtuwshin Baljaa, Erdenetsetseg Bazarragchaa, Altan-Ulzii Chultem
In 1984, Khand, a single mother aged 69. lives in Uws province while her only son has gone to join the Republic Army. An unfortunate event occurs and her son is convicted for murder. Khand tries to save her son.
Director: Hossein Namazi
Cast: Anahita Nemati, Amir Ali Danaei, Reza Akbarpour
An appendicitis operation is performed and reveals the secrets of several people.
Leaf of Life (2017)
Director: Ebrahim Mokhtari
Cast: Mehdi Ahmadi, Saeed Poursamimi, Maryam Moghaddam, Sahar Salahshour
A director is busy making a movie about saffron production. He needs the money to buy a house and he is under stress because house prices are going up steadily.
Ebrahim Mokhtari, born in Babol is graduated from Television and Cinema school. He began his film career by making documentary movies in television since 1972. His first feature film “Zinat” was screened in the Cannes Critics’ Week in 1994. He has made documentaries such as “Molla Khadijeh and The Kids”, “Mokarrameh, Memories and Dreams” and “Zinat: A Special Day” which was screened in a few film festivals. In 1997, Dok Leipzig film festival held a review of his documentary films in his honor. The movie Leaf of Life (2017) is inspired by the adventures behind the making his other documentary Saffron (1990).
Paper House (2017)
Director: Mehdi Sabbaghzadeh
Cast: Parviz Parastui, Tina Pakravan, Setareh Eskandari, Mehdi Pakdel, Shaghayegh Farahani
The movie is about a father and his journalist daughter. The daughter works for a publication, when her father returns to work. They have been working together and because of that they never got married. The movie will premiere at the National View section of this year’s Fajr.
Born in 1951 in Mashhad, Mehdi Sabbaghzadeh started experimental film making in 1971. He made a number of 8mm pictures at the Free Cinema Group before directing his first feature in 1980, The Liegemen. He has directed a number of popular features, his most recent being Way of Heaven (2012) which competed in the 30th Fajr International Film Festival and received the Special Jury Award.
Here are the titles of shorts screening:
A Stroll Down Sunflower Lane (2016)
Director: Mayye Zayed, Mayye Zayed
Cast: Ahmed Khalil, Jana Abdel Aziz, Fatma Mosleh
A grandfather, a granddaughter, an old house, and some glimpses of memory. The film is a reenactment of the filmmaker’s own childhood memories.
Director: Hani Alqattan Hani
Cast: Nour Bitar, Hamzah Saman, Sue Shaheen
Language: Arabic, English, French
The story is about an immigrant Muslim family whose only daughter Amal is having trauma after father’s death. Mother gives new hope to Amal.
Director: Maazin Kamal, Munis Rashid
Cast: Malika Zafar, Mariyam Khalif
Language: Urdu, English
A single mother realizes the truth about Bobo, her daughter’s imaginary friend.
Captain Adel (2017)
Director: Ameer Albassri
Cast: Sherooq Alhassen, Mustafa Ayad, Hayder Ayad, Sherooq Alhassen
A little boy joins an imaginary team to organize Captain Majid and fulfill the dream of winning the Cup.
Grandma Loleng (2016)
Director: Che Tagyamon
Cast: Lui Manansala, Mariel Urbiztondo, Hiroshi Ega, Isabel Quesada, Renaissance Tuason
Language: Tagalog, Japanese
A young woman goes back to the countryside where she meets Grandma Loleng, a senile relative and Christmas lantern artisan. Together, they review Grandma Loleng’s memories, only to unearth her deepest wartime experiences.
Director: See Wee Aw
Cast: Mandy Wong, Si Jie Lim
Languages: Mandarin Chinese
A college boy picks his mother up for wedding banquet in downtown Kuala Lumpur. In the car jammed with typical highway traffic and accidental AC breakdown, they are stuck in a confined space and conversation, stinging each other with clashing values and overbearing love.
I Engrave (2016)
Director: Reem Falaknaz
Cast: Ghulam Andalib
Country: United Arab Emirates
Every year, Ghulam Mohammed Andalib comes from Afghanistan to Dubai for work. He is offered a stage to perform Ghulam sits and reads poems from Hafez, Saadi, or Quranic verses.
Into the Void (2016)
Director: Freddy Aung
Cast: Sai Sai hlaing hlaing
A father’s young daughter dies. A haunting presence convinces him that a glimmer of hope remains. He rushes to the graveyard to dig her up, but nothing could have prepared him for what he was going to find beneath the surface.
Paper Plane (2016)
Director: Ra’ad Tawalbeh
Cast: Murad abu sraya, salam abu alhija, rawan ashor, hana alshomali
The film is about honor killing.
Director: Tobi Ogunwande
Cast: Daniel Ugbang, Tobi Awolaja, Anu Oluwande, Omobolaji Opakunbi, Tobi Ogunwande
Language: Hausa, Ghanaia Pidgin English
Renege is the story of a brainwashed suicide bomber who decides to go against his original assignment.
South Pole (2016)
Director: Emin Akpinar
Cast: Ayberk Attila, Pazkan, Ayalp, Tulay Berket
Muhsin, a retired man, lives in an old house with his wife. One day, when he watches the news on television, he sees his own mugshot. The reporter claims that Muhsin is the head of a terrorist group, and he is going to be killed during the protests that day.
The School Bag (2016)
Director: Dheeraj Jindal
Cast: Rasika Dugal, Sartaj Kakkar
In a small town of Peshawar, Farooq has a simple demand of a new school bag on his birthday. But his mother seems to be unfazed by her child’s plea. Unknown to Farooq, there is something waiting for him.
Director: Elham Taraqi
Language: No Dialogue
It’s the story of a white cat living in city of black residents. The cat tries hard to get food but no one seems bothered to give any.
Not Yet (2016)
Director: Arian Vazirdaftari
Cast: Farhad Aslani, Pantea Panahiha, Shermineh Shojai, Shermineh Shojai
Hasti’s parents plan to throw a birthday party for her via Skype.
Director: Chavosh Honaramooz
Cast: Hooshang Ghovanloo, Soodeh Sharhi
A veteran actor lives by his own. He thinks directors have forgotten all about him and that they will never cast him in a new movie.
For all festivalgoers who are already planning their visit, check screening time and other information at Fajriff.com or email the Secretariat at Film@Fajriff.com.
Presided over by Reza Mirkarimi, the 35th edition of Fajr International Film Festival will take place from 21 to 28 April in Tehran.