“Zalava” wins awards at Duhok International Film Festival

TEHRAN – Iranian director Arsalan Amiri won the award for best director for his drama “Zalava” at the 8th Duhok International Film Festival in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

Navid Purfaraj also won the Best Actor award for his role in the film, winner of the Grand Prize at the 36th Venice International Film Critics’ Week.

The story of the film takes place in 1978 in a small village called “Zalava”, where the villagers claim that a demon is among them.

A young sergeant investigating the claim crosses paths with an exorcist who tries to expel the demon from the village. He arrests the exorcist for scam, but suddenly finds himself stranded in a cursed house with his lover. The villagers, who both believe they are possessed by the demon, decide to kill them.

The winners of the Duhok festival were announced on Monday as the award for best Kurdish feature goes to “Sidik and the Panther” by Rebar Doski.

The film tells the story of a man who roams the mountains of the Kurdistan region in search of a snow leopard, believed to be extinct in the region. He dreamed that if he found one, the area would become a national park and the bombs would no longer be dropped on it.

The prize for the best Kurdish documentary went to “Holy Bread” directed by Rahim Zabihi.

The film chronicles the hard lives of people who smuggle to support their families. Because of this, they are forced to trudge through the mountains, putting their lives in danger. The father of the family can be swept away by an avalanche or hit by the bullets of a soldier.

The Best Actress award went to Maryam Bubani of Iran for her role in “The Dance of Ali and Zin” by Turkish director Mehmet Ali Konar. The film also won the International Federation of Film Critics award.

Turkish director Ferit Karahan’s “Brother’s Keeper” received the award for best Kurdish screenplay. The film was co-written by Karahan and Gulistan Acet.

Photo: Navid Purfaraj stars in a scene from “Zalava”.

MMS / YAW


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