‘Atabai’ voted best film by Iranian critics

TEHRAN – “Atabai” directed by Niki Karimi was named best film on Saturday at the 14th Celebration of Iranian Film Critics and Scriptwriters.

The winners were announced in a press release as organizers canceled their party due to the critical state of the country.

“Due to the appalling economic and mental conditions of the unemployed filmmakers and their poor living conditions, we didn’t want to hold a party,” said celebration chairman Jafar Gudarzi.

“Atabai” also earned Karimi the Best Director award.

“Atabai” takes us into a world of traditions, hopes and expectations.

Kazem returns from a business trip and discovers that his brother-in-law has sold his orchard to a stranger, Shirazi. Kazem falls in love with Shirazi’s daughter but must first face his past.

With its interwoven use of Azerbaijani and Farsi languages, alongside the fabulous landscapes of northwestern Iran, this film brings a new perspective to Iranian cinema and seeks to build bridges between generations and communities.

Written by Hadi Hejazifar, the film also won the screenplay award. Hejazifar also plays the role of Kazem in the drama.

Hejazifar co-star, Javad Ezzati won the Supporting Actor award. The film also won the award for best music, composed by Hossein Alizadeh.

The Best Debut Film as a Director award went to “The Skin” directed by twin brothers Bahram and Bahman Ark.

In this film, a young man named Araz seeks to marry his true love, but his mother, a witch, has cast a spell to keep her son with her. The closer he gets to his beloved, the weaker his mother becomes. He seeks to break the spell with the help of a traveling musician and a mysterious recluse with access to the spirit world.

Saeid Aqakhani won Best Actor for his role in director Masud Kimiai’s ‘There Was Blood’, while Elnaz Shakerdoost won Best Actress for her role in Ida Panahandeh’s ‘Titi’.

The Best Supporting Actress award went to Baran Kowsari for her role in Soheild Beiraqi’s ‘Popular’ and Mohsen Qarai’s ‘The Majority’.

Meisam Molai received the Best Film Editor award for “Zero Day” directed by Saeid Malekan.

Best Sound Engineer and Best Sound Engineer awards went to Amir-Hossein Qasemi and Rashid Daneshmand for “Zalava.”

Set designer Morteza Farbod and costume designer Maral Jeirani won Best Technical Achievement for “Tooman,” which also earned Morteza Najafi Best Cinematographer.

The Society of Motion Picture Critics and Writers is the organizer of the celebration, which was canceled in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo: Hadi Hejazifar and Javad Ezzati star in a scene from “Atabai” by Niki Karimi.

MMS/YAW

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