TEHRAN — Iranian dark comedy “World War III” won two awards, including the Snow Leopard Special Jury Award, at the eighth Asian World Film Festival (AWFF).
The film’s star, Mohsen Tanabandeh was chosen as Best Actor at the closing ceremony held last Friday at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hill, Los Angeles.
Directed by Hooman Seyyedi, the film is Iran’s submission for the International Feature Film Award at the 2023 Oscars.
The film is about Shakib, a homeless day laborer who never recovered from the loss of his wife and son in an earthquake years ago.
Over the past two years, he has developed a relationship with a deaf and mute woman, Ladan. The building site he works on today turns out to be the setting for a film about the atrocities committed by Hitler during World War II. Against all odds, he is given a role in the cinema, a house and a chance to be someone. When Ladan learns of this, she comes to her workplace to ask for help. Shakib’s plan to hide her goes tragically wrong and threatens to ruin his new status and what seemed to be his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“World War III” had its international premiere at the 79th Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Orizzonti Award for Best Picture and Best Actor for Mohsen Tanabandeh.
It also won the Special Jury Prize at the 35th Tokyo International Film Festival in early November.
The Asian World Film Festival also awarded the Iranian short film “Deer” with the Panavision Short Film Cinematography Award. Amir-Hossein Khoshbin is the director of photography for the film directed by Hadi Babaifar.
The Best Picture Snow Leopard went to Indian director Pan Nalin’s ‘The Last Film Show’, while the Snow Leopard Audience Award went to Armenia’s Inna Sahakyan’s ‘Aurora’s Sunrise’.
Hui Fang Hong from Singapore was crowned best actress for her role in “Ajoomma”.
The Panavision Prize for Best Cinematography and the Panavision Camera Grant were awarded to cinematographer Andreas Sinanos for his collaboration with the Turkish film “Kerr”.
The $5,000 Hollywood Foreign Press Association scholarship was awarded to “Warsha,” a Lebanese-French co-production by Dania Bdeir.
Kyrgyz director Adilet Karzhoev has won the Stars Collective Emerging Filmmaker Award for his film “Burul”.
Pictured: Mohsen Tanabandeh performs in a scene from ‘World War III’ directed by Hooman Seyyedi.