TEHRAN – The 15th Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival has picked seven movies by Iranian filmmakers to be screened in the various categories of the event, which will open today in Jogja on the Indonesian island of Java.
The lineup includes “Najibeh” by Mostafa Gandomkar, “Numbness” by Hossein Mahkam, “Gabriel” by Yusef Kargar, “The Badger” by Kazem Mollai, “The Warden” by Nima Javidi, “Just 6.5” by Saeid Rustai and “A Hairy Tale” by Homayun Ghanizadeh.
“Najibeg” will go on screen in the Asian Perspectives of the five-day festival. Najibeh is a religious and poor elderly woman who wants to commit a crime because she needs to go to prison for a while. To accomplish her goal, she needs an accomplice, so she tries to get help from her friend.
The section also features “Numbness”, which is about Jalal, a philosophy student dropout who is influenced by the community to free himself from any constraints. He realizes that his sister Mary, who has bipolar disease, is married to a bourgeois man named Shahrokh who is addicted to betting on football.
“Gabriel” is the sole Iranian film selected for Light of Asia, a non-competitive section for short films. Gabriel is a middle-aged man who lives with his son. His wife has been missing for some time. All the people are suspicious of her. One day news comes to him and he has to choose one: expediency or conscience?!
“The Badger” will be screened in the NETPAC section. The film tells the story of Sudeh Sharifzadegan, whose 11-year-old son, “Matiar”, is kidnapped right before her second marriage. After considerable effort, Sudeh is forced to ask for the ransom money from her ex-husband, Peyman. After Matiar’s release, Sudeh, being curious, comes to the sudden realization that it was all her son’s plan to provide the grounds for his father’s return.
The story of “The Warden” is set in 1966, when a prison in southern Iran is being evacuated because of its proximity to the city’s new airport. Major Jahed, the warden, transfers the prisoners to the new prison and then soon receives a report that one prisoner, sentenced to death, is missing!
“Just 6.5” a drama about drug abuse and addiction will also be screened in NETPAC.
This section will also screen “A Hairy Tale” about Danesh who is in love with both cinema and Homa, a well-known actress. Kazem Khan is in love with both the movie, “Casablanca” and his barber shop’s certificate. Shapoor is in love with both canned tuna and politics. The city is full of beggars while an earthquake may happen soon. Every now and then, a body of a dead woman, with a shaved head, is found near the sea. As Inspector Kiani says: It’s a messy situation.
Photo: Navid Mohammadzadeh acts in a scene from “The Warden”.