Iranian Kurdish film Zalava wins Grand Prize at Venice Film Festival

The Iranian movie “Zalava” directed by Arsalan Amiri, produced by Rouhollah Baradari and Samira Baradari won the “Grand Prize” in the competition section of the 36th edition of Critics’ Week at the 78th Venice International Film Festival in Italy and the FIPRESCI Prize.

“The jury was impressed by the director’s masterful ability to create his first feature film,” said a statement from the jury for “Critics’ Week” at the 78th Venice International Film Festival in Italy, organized by the Italian Film Critics Association.

“The director skillfully used the different emotions in the film to convey a strong message to the viewer in the face of ignorance and superstition, which is especially important on these special days,” the statement added.

Also at the closing ceremony, the FIPRESCI Prize was awarded by the International Federation of Film Critics among all the works submitted to all four sections of the 87th Venice Film Festival, to “Zalava” in Critics Week as well as to “L’evenement” directed by Audrey Diwan in France in the main competition section.

“Zalava” was filmed in the fall of 2020, starring Navid Pourfaraj, Pouria Rhimi Sam, Hoda Zineh Al-Abedin, Basit Rezaei, Shaho Rostami, Fereydoun Hamedi, Saleh Rahimi, Zahed Zandi, and a number of other Kurdistan Theatre and Television actors.

Arsalan Amiri’s first cinematic experience as a director has been produced with the support of the Hong Kong Film Forum HAF, the South Korean Film House KOFIC, in partnership with the Farabi Cinema Foundation and the investment of Touba Film.

The film was nominated for an award in 10 categories at the 39th Fajr Film Festival, with Best Actor for Pouria Rahimi Sam, Best Screenplay for Arsalan Amiri, Ida Panahandeh and Tahmineh Bahram, Diploma of Honor for the best cinematography for Mohammad Rasouli and the best first director for Arsalan Amiri.