Monday, May 02, 2005

An Iranian film festival in Jaipur!


An Iranian film festival in Jaipur

As a rare treat for this city’s cinephiles, the Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK) in association with the Iranian Film Club (IFC) in New Delhi is bringing to Jaipur a five-day film festival of Iranian films - known worldwide for their microscopic plots, dubious endings, stark simplicity and fascination for realism. Beginning on May 3, one film will be screened on each day of the festival at JKK and shall feature some of the most lauded films to have come out of Iran in recent times. Many of these films have won coveted awards at respected film festivals across the world such as those at Cannes, Montreal and Venice.

The opening film of the festival will be Majid Majidi’s heart-warming Children of Heaven that was selected as one of the entries in the Best Foreign Language Film category in the 2000 edition of the Academy Awards (Oscars). Besides other awards, it won the prize for the best picture at the Montreal Film Festival in 1997.

At the centre of this film’s story is Ali who loses her sister’s only pair of sneakers that she uses to go to school. What follows next is a lyrical and moving tale of these two as they try and keep the mishap away from their parents and manage their lives with the brother’s only pair of sneakers. The film ends with the brother’s attempt at a race where the third prize, not the first, is a pair of sneakers. So, does he make it? Find out in this film that will surely uplift you.

Other films include Two Women by Tahmineh Milani, The Circle by Jafar Panahi, Blackboards by Samira Makhmalbaf and Taste of Cherry by Abbas Kiarostami (in order of screening at the festival).

Of these, Taste of Cherry won the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1997. The Circle, on the other hand, won the Jury Prize in 2001 at Cannes and the Golden Lion at Venice in 2000. Makhmalbaf’s Blackboards was also bestowed with the Jury Prize at Cannes in 2000 and the Grand Jury Prize of the American Film Institute in the same year. Two Women, after battling the censors for months, was released in 1999 and won the award for the best screenplay for Milani at Iran’s Fajr Film Festival in 2000.

The films will be screened at 7 pm on each evening and the average length of these films is about 100 minutes. All the films are in Persian and have been subtitled in English. Entry is free at the screenings. If you have been waiting for an alternative to Bollywood and Hollywood, this is your chance.


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