Iranian film ‘Zalava’ earns Belgian Special Mention

Arts & Culture Desk

An Iranian drama ‘Zalava’ was praised by jury members of the Emerging Raven Competition Section at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF) in Belgium.

Directed by Arsalan Amiri, the film was awarded the Special Mention of the section whose top prize was given to ‘Kappei,’ by Takashi Hirano, IRNA wrote.

The story of the acclaimed movie is set in 1978 in a small village called ‘Zalava,’ where the villagers claim that a demon is among them.

A young sergeant who investigates the claim crosses paths with an exorcist attempting to evict the demon from the village. He arrests the exorcist on a charge of fraud, but suddenly finds himself stuck in a cursed house with his lover. The villagers who believe they are both possessed by the demon, decide to kill them.

Last year, the film won the grand prize at the 36th Venice International Film Critics’ Week.

The Venice jury, which was composed of Claudio Cupellini, Vanja Kaludjercic and Sandrine Marques, praised Amiri’s “fresh talent” and his “playful cinematic language” and the film’s clear call against “superstition and ignorance.”

It also received the award for best directorial debut at the 39th Fajr Film Festival in Tehran.