Film

Iranian film 'Imagine' to screen in Cannes Critics' Week

Ali Behrad's debut feature is the lone project from the Region to screen in the Cannes sidebar, devoted to first and second films.
Iranian film 'Imagine' to screen in Cannes Critics' Week

The Critics' Week sidebar in Cannes is where young filmmakers usually get the most attention. It's a great place to be noticed, there is an awards ceremony at the end of it and a few MENA helmers have gotten their careers officially kickstarted there. Last year Feathers, the first feature film by Egyptian director Omar El Zohairy premiered to critical acclaim there and won their €15,000 grand prize, preceded in past years by Amin Sidi-Boumédiène's Abou Leila and Alaa Eddine Aljem's The Unknown Saint.

Yet this year, under the new direction of Ava Cahen who replaced Charles Tesson's ten years of artistic direction at Critics' Week, there is only one film from the MENA region and actually, no Arab film in sight. This despite some insiders being told there were too many Arab submissions to the line-up.

But the lone SWANA title competing for a prize, under the jury presided by Kaouther Ben Hania, promises to be a good one.

The Iranian title Tasavor ("Imagine") by Ali Behrad stars the stunningly talented Leila Hatami, along with Mehrdad Sedeghian in a tale that takes place during the course of one night in Tehran. As a daydreaming cab driver falls in love with a woman he can’t have, this leads to a series of encounters, and a film filled with mystery and playful moments. The film is Behrad's follow up to his 2020 short Herman.

This year's Critics' Week opens with American actor Jesse Eisenberg's directorial debut When You Finish Saving The World which stars Julianne Moore, and closes with Korean film Da-eum-so-hee Next Sohee by Jung July, whose previous feature is the 2014 A Girl at my Door.

The 61st edition of Semaine de la Critique, Critics' Week, which is organized by the French Union of Film Critics, runs from May 18-26, 2022.

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