Director: Massoud Bakhshi
89 minutes
Unclassified 15+

Sundance, Grand Prix for World Cinema

In Iran many crimes are punishable by death, but this can be averted if the victim’s family forgives the crime and accepts a blood money payment. Sound like the premise for a reality tv show? This film is based on the true story of a long-running and top-rating Iranian tv show that puts Judge Judy to shame. Maryam, forced into a “temporary marriage” with a rich and much older man, fronts the studio audience to plead for her life. You can save her by texting your vote. Award-winning filmmaker Massoud Bakhshi provides a cleverly-scripted and impassioned overview of the patriarchal structures that enmesh the unfortunate young woman who finds herself at the eye of the televisual storm, facing the prospect of paying an eye for an eye.

“the director and writer confirms his skill for efficient storytelling with a film reflecting on thorny moral and social questions around love and hate…Massoud Bakhshi methodically decyphers Iranian reality through the twists and turns of a captivating melodrama.” (Cineuropa)

“forgiveness is a noxious dangling carrot, as warped and socially tainted as the opposite precipice Maryam faces—and it’s this startling intersection which makes Yalda a great conversation piece.” (IONCinema)

Film Type Feature Fiction
Program Strand Contemporary World Cinema
Language Farsi
Subtitles English
Director Massoud Bakhshi
Producer Marianne Dumoulin, Jacques Bidou
Screenwriters Massoud Bakhshi
Cinematographer Julian Atanassov
Editor Jacques Comets
Cast Sadaf Asgari, Behnaz Jafari, Arman Darvish
Genre Drama

Screens with: Closed Doors

Director: Hunter Page-Lochard, Carter Fred Simpkin
15 minutes
Unclassified 15+

This experimental thriller tackles the grief of a father who’s recovering from a devastating car accident.

Film Type Short
Program Strand Shorts Before Features
Language English
Director Hunter Page-Lochard, Carter Fred Simpkin
Producer Mitchell Stanley, Toni Stowers
Screenwriters Hunter Page-Lochard, Carter Fred Simpkin
Cinematographer Tim Nagle
Editor Gabe Dowrick
Music Damien Lane
Cast Rhimi Johnson Page, Tasia Zalar, Wayne Blair, Tessa Rose
Genre Avant-garde, Drama, Thriller