Winner of the Orizzonti Award at the 79th Venice International Film Festival, “World War III” will be screened in the International Perspective section of the 46th edition of the festival, which will take place from October 20 to November 2 in Sao Paulo.
Directed by Hooman Seyyedi, the film also brought its star, Mohsen Tanabandeh, the award for best actor at Venice.
The film follows Shakib, a homeless day laborer who never got over the loss of his wife and son in an earthquake years ago. Over the last couple of years, he has developed a relationship with a deaf and mute woman, Ladan. The construction site on which he works today turns out to be the set of a film about the atrocities committed by Hitler during WWII. Against all odds, he is given a movie role, a house and a chance at being somebody. When Ladan learns about this, she comes to his workplace begging for help. Shakib’s scheme to hide her goes tragically wrong and threatens to ruin his newfound status and what seemed to be the opportunity of a lifetime.
“Imagine” by Ali Behrad, “The Locust” by Faezeh Azizkhani, “Until Tomorrow” by Ali Asgari, and “Won’t You Cry?” by Alireza Motamedi will be showcased in the New Directors Competition.
“Imagine” is about a daydreaming cab driver in Tehran who falls in love with a woman he can’t have, leading to a series of encounters, filled with mystery and playful moments.
“The Locust” tells the story of Hanieh, who abandons the hope of directing her semi-autobiographical screenplay and sells it to her well-connected best friend to direct instead. The latter keeps Hanieh around to advise in script meetings and cast rehearsals, but as the production wears on, it becomes painfully clear that neither the new director nor her highly critical crew have any respect for our protagonist’s original vision.
In “Until Tomorrow”, Fereshteh is studying and works at a printers’ shop in Tehran. She wants to go to the US but is having trouble finding the time for a language course. This is because she also has a two-month-old baby that her parents know nothing about. When they announce at short notice that they are coming to visit, Fereshteh has to find another place for one night for her illegitimate child and everything that would give away her existence. What at first seems resolvable with a phone call to a few friends soon develops into a difficult undertaking.
“Won’t You Cry?” is about a man who loses the ability to cry after the death of his younger brother. As he deals with grief and the separation from his wife, he tries to reconcile his job at a football website with depression and a lack of meaning in life.