Five Iranian filmmakers reflect on film festivals:
Sweet Agony
by Ali Nour-Mousavi

  The Iranian cinema was relatively active in the 7th Dubai International Film Festival (Dec. 12-19, 2010). The seasoned Iranian director, Alireza Davoudnejad, was there with his new film, Salve. It is about young drug addicts and intergenerational gap. Like his previous films, he has cast his own family members, including his mother and grandmother (Kobra Hassanzadeh, who won the festival’s best actress prize), and his son. Mohsen Abdolvahhab had brought Please Do Not Disturb, which had been already admired in Iran and won a prize for the best screenplay in Dubai. Rafi Pitts, who is famous for It’s Winter (made outside Iran), was there with his new film, The Hunter. It was good in the first half, but became confused in the second half and is not probable to be as successful as It’s winter. Pitts has successfully posed in the leading role. Sepideh Farsi, the Iranian director living in France, had chosen Dubai Festival to premiere her new film, The House under the Water. It was an admirable film based on free adaptation from short stories written by Bijan Najdi (the Iranian surrealist writer) about sin and salvation. Good acting by Massoud Rayegan, Bijan Emkanian, and Fariba Kamran, good cinematography (Reza Sheikhi), and skillful editing (Sepideh Farsi and Hayedeh Safiyari) are major strengths of the film. The young Iranian Kurd director, Ebrahim Saeedi, whose documentary, All my Mothers, was in Abu Dhabi Festival last year, has brought his first feature drama, Mandoo, to Dubai which was a great leap from documentary to drama.
  What follows is the text of our interview with the aforesaid Iranian directors.

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