News ID: 275654
Published: 0316 GMT October 18, 2020

Iran’s ‘Sunless Shadows’ in the limelight on China’s Silk Road

Iran’s ‘Sunless Shadows’ in the limelight on China’s Silk Road

Iranian documentary ‘Sunless Shadows,’ directed by Mehrdad Oskouei, received the Best Documentary Award at the 7th edition of the Silk Road International Film Festival (SRIFF) in China.

Due to the situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the event was held online on October 12-17, reported.

Two-time Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi was the chairman of the jury panel at the 7th SRIFF.

Farhadi also shared his knowledge with young Chinese directors in an online masterclass during the SRIFF, focusing on realistic cinema in his creative works. He also answered questions on creativity in filmmaking from the press.

‘Sunless Shadows’ is the follow-up to Oskouei’s critically acclaimed 2016 pic ‘Starless Dreams’ and gives another look at the lives of teenage girls in an Iranian juvenile detention center. But this time the focus is narrowed: Each of the film’s principal subjects is serving time for the murder of a male family member. One by one, Oskouei invites them to go into a room alone, push the red button on the camera and address their accomplices or their victims, reported.

With this new confessional approach, combined with the ever-deepening relationships he has with his subjects, Oskouei presents a picture of the disenfranchised in this aggressively male-dominated society and of the prison that is their shelter from it.

‘Sunless Shadows,’ which made its world premiere as the opening film at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, won the festival’s Best Director prize.

The Iranian documentary also opened the 11th Middle East Now festival in Italy and grabbed the Silver Horn award for Best Director and the Student Jury award at the 60th Krakow Film Festival in Poland.

Nominated for the Open City Award at the 2020 Open City Documentary Festival in the UK, the film won the main prize of the festival’s International Competition section at the 8th CinéDOC-Tbilisi Documentary Film Festival in Georgia.

The 74-minute documentary was also screened at a number of global events, including the Millennium International Documentary Film Festival in Belgium, the Munich International Documentary Film Festival in Germany, the Cannes online Film Market in France, and the 17th Big Sky International Film Festival in the US, where it received the Special Jury award. 

Industry leaders from countries and regions along the Belt and Road attended the festival's 12 forums, both in-person and virtually, to discuss the future of cinema under the themes like film cooperation, film market investment, and 5G technology reforms, according to

The SRIFF has been held annually since 2014, alternating between Xi'an and Fuzhou, two Chinese cities along the Silk Road. The 8th SRIFF will be held in Fuzhou City, southeast China's Fujian Province.

The annually-held Chinese festival aims to promote cultural exchange among countries and to develop Chinese audiovisual industry.



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