TEHRAN.(Iranart) – The acclaimed drama “The Warden” by director Nima Javidi was selected as best film at the 20th edition of the Hafez Awards as it was honored in several other categories including best director and best actor.
The film tells the story of an Iranian prison warden who is assigned to transfer prisoners to a new building during the 1960s.
Due to the pandemic, only winners were invited to the awards ceremony that took place on Saturday night in a garden in Garmdarreh, a suburb of Karaj.
The Hafez Awards, Iran’s first and only private awards event in the film industry and TV productions, is organized every year by the Persian cinematic monthly Donya-ye Tasvir (Picture World).
“I wish my dear Iranian citizens health. Receiving this award is a big honor for me. It is an award which bears the beautiful name of Hafez and I hereby give my best thanks to the cast and crew of the film,” Javidi said in his acceptance speech.
“The pandemic has made the situation hard to make any movie. We will wait to see what happens,” he added.
Two winners were announced for each of the categories best actor and best actress.
Navid Mohammadzadeh won one of the awards for best actor for the portrayal of the warden in “The Warden”, and Hutan Shakiba received the other award for his role in “When the Moon Was Full” by director Narges Abyar.
“I am happy to receive this award. I thank the family of Mo’allem for organizing the ceremony. Although the ceremony is not crowded, it keeps the light of the cinema on. This award pushes me to make my steps much stronger,” Mohammadzadeh said after receiving his award.
In his acceptance speech, Shakiba also thanked Abyar for her trust in him and giving him the difficult role to play.
The award for best screenplay went to “When the Moon Was Full” co-written by Abyar and Mortza Esfahani.
The film tells the story of a woman from Tehran who marries a man from an Iranian province near the border of Pakistan. Soon afterwards, she discovers that her new brother-in-law is a religious extremist trying to recruit her husband for his bloody cause.
Actor Faramarz Qaribian was next honored for his lifetime achievements, however, he was not present at the ceremony.
Qaribian has left memorable images in Iranian cinema by his portrayal of various characters in dozens of acclaimed movies such as “Tall Shadows of the Wind” and “Dancing in the Dust”.
The awards for best actress were presented to Elnaz Shakerdoost and Jaleh Sameti for their roles in “When the Moon Was Full” and “Darkhongah” respectively.
The Abbas Kiarostami Award was handed to Siavash Afshar for directing the film “Cook Book”. The award was established in memory of the world-renowned filmmaker to honor the best experimental film of the year.
Merila Zarei who was named best actress for her role in the TV drama “Mannequin” expressed her special thanks to the healthcare staff in her speech.
“We have been living with this disease and have shared our fears and hopes. I need to say a special thanks to the health workers. They are really tired. They are the dear individuals who have cured our dear ones in these hard days. They have no more energy,” she said.
“This virus is living with us now and will still be living with us, and we must learn to take care of ourselves. I ask people to have mercy on each other and observe the health protocols. This is the only way we can go through these hard days. We shouldn’t be indifferent,” she stressed.