TEHRAN – Six documentaries are competing in the 20th edition of the Hafez Awards as the organizers announced the nominees for this category on Monday.
The Hafez Awards, Iran’s first and only private awards in the film industry and TV productions, will be held online this year due to the pandemic.
“Mysteries of the Lake” by Armin Isarian, a documentary about Takht-e Soleiman, an ancient site located in northwestern Iran and its mysterious lake, is one of the nominees.
The documentary is bound with secrets, myths and legends partly left from real historical events and partly made by the creative minds of the locals. The depth of water has kept the lake out of reach, making the secrets and mysteries even more enigmatic. The bottom of this mysterious lake is untouched because of its poisonous water and mountainous location.
Reza Farahmand’s acclaimed documentary “Women with Gunpowder Earrings” has also received a nomination.
The film produced at Iran’s Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC), is about Noor, a young Iraqi female journalist, who finds herself and her camera on the frontline of the Iraqi army’s move into Daesh territory. She evocatively reveals the painful stories of women and children from Daesh families. But when she begins to question the treatment of them by the Iraqi army Noor soon becomes part of the story.
“All That’s Missing” by Zeinab Tabrizi has also been shortlisted.
The documentary is about Mahnaz and Jamileh, both of whom are diagnosed with breast cancer. After a long battle with the disease, Mahnaz passes away, while Jamileh fully recovers. Jamileh begins to attend charities and other breast cancer awareness efforts, while Mahnaz narrates the movie along with Jamileh’s struggles.
Also included are Babak Behdad’s “Baharesan, the House of the Nation” that explores the formation of parliament in the country, Mohammad-Hossein Heidari’s “Mahin” about a series of murders by a woman named Mahin, and Mina Akbari’s “Former Javanan Square” about a group of Iranian journalists.
According to the director of the celebration, Omid Moallem, the awards event will experience its 20th edition this year where COVID19 has overshadowed many cinematic events in the world leading to the shutdown of movie theaters and festivals.
“The Hafez Awards is no exception and we decided not to cancel the program, but rather to hold it online and announce the nominees and the winners in an online program,” he had said.
He had hoped that with the collaboration of people and the cineastes, an online celebration would be held.
“We will probably have some changes in the nominations and the awards, which will be announced later. The health of people and cineastes is our main concern while we also care about preserving the excitement and happiness, which have always been felt in this celebration and take it to the virtual world this time,” he had noted.
The awards are organized every year by the Persian cinematic monthly Donya-ye Tasvir (Picture World).
Photo: A scene from The “Mysteries of the Lake” by Armin Isarian.