Portuguese documentary selected as finalist for the Iranian Film Festival’s prize

PORTUGUESE DOCUMENTARY SELECTED AS FINALIST FOR THE IRANIAN FILM FESTIVAL’S PRIZEFilm “Portugal Coronavirus Documentary” directed by Carlos A. Costa is one of the 10 finalists selected to compete in the “Health Defenders” International Section of the Resistance International Film Festival (RIFF).

It is not the first time a Portuguese film is being selected by the jury of this festival. In 2016, Portuguese short film “Kalil” directed by Paulo A. Zumach was also officially selected and successfully participated in this event.

RIFF’s carefully curated program has earned this festival recognition from viewers and industry professionals alike. Every year the organization committee questions and explores different aspects of social responsibility and adds new categories to the competition program. This year its definition is expanded to include dealing with the invisible threats such as viruses. All films competing in the “Health Defenders” section focus on the endeavors health workers have made and also on the various experiences different people had during the pandemic. This section was initiated to honor healthcare workers amidst COVID-19 pandemic and to promote a further documentation of the recent events as it would become crucial evidence for the future generations.

The other finalists of the “Health Defenders” section are “Social Distance” by Erkan Özcan (Turkey), “Thanks the Heroes” directed by Syed Muhammad Hassan Zaidi (Pakistan), “Italy Lockdown: How the Coronavirus Has Forever Changed Our Lives” by Carla Falzone, Sacha Biazzo, Simone Giancristofaro and Carmine Benincasa (Italy), “So close, so far” by Komeil Soheili (Iran).

“Learning in the Time of Corona” by Jasmine Ng Qian Yi (Malaysia), “A Mask for Everyone” by Faroqhi Anna Peretz Haim (Germany), “From the Window” by Anzhelika Grigorieva (Russia) and “22nd of April” by Cesare Maglioni (Italy) are also among the finalists.

About 30 short and long Iranian documentaries are also selected for this section of the festival.

RIFF is regarded as one of the most unique, oldest and prestigious international film festivals in Iran that help to bring together different cinematic traditions and provide an opportunity to get to know them and to learn from them. American filmmakers such as Michael Moore, Oliver Stone as well as many other artists from more than 100 different countries have participated with their documentaries and films in this festival. Also, many renowned international guests and exceptional filmmakers have come directly to present their films and interact with viewers, including David Barsamian, Scott Frank, Rafael Lara, Darnell Stephen Summers, Yvonne Anne Ridley, Jasmin Durakovic, Robert Hofferer, Diana Kamal-al Din, Rashed Radwan, Yousef Wehbi, Ahmed Boulane, Basil al-Khatib, Saddam Wahidi Melika, Zairi Alper Akdeniz, Thomas Hayes, Daz Chandler and many others.

RIFF is divided in two parts that will be held on separate dates. The first part that includes “Health Defenders” section will be held on September 21st to 27th, and the second part dedicated for the “Main Competition” is scheduled for November 21st -27th.

This year the event will go online due to a spike in the Coronavirus cases in the country.


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