Cast members Lily Farhadpour and Esmail Mehrabi hold a picture of directors Maryam Moghaddam and Behtash Sanaeeha as they attend a photocall to promote the movie 'My Favorite Cake' ('Keyke mahboobe man') at the 74th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, February 16, 2024.

Iranian Films Awarded At Berlin International Film Festival

Saturday, 02/24/2024

Two Iranian films have been awarded prizes at the 74th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) with one of them secretly made focusing on the topic of hijab.

The movie "My Favorite Cake," crafted by Iranian directors Behtash Sanaeeha and Maryam Moqadam, has been honored with the prestigious International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) award.

Despite encountering travel restrictions, Moqadam and Sanaeeha's second collaboration at the Berlinale captivated audiences and critics alike, earning recognition for its portrayal of contemporary Iranian life and defiance of mandatory hijab.

It depicts the everyday lives of Iranians free from governmental censorship, portraying scenes that were previously considered cinematic taboos, such as men and women shaking hands, touching, embracing, and consuming wine.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Moqadam and Sanaeeha expressed their gratitude for the accolade, lamenting their absence during the ceremony due to travel constraints. Actress Leili Farhadpour, representing the filmmakers, delivered their sentiments during the FIPRESCI award presentation.

Simultaneously, "Shahid," directed by Narges Kalhor, claimed the Forum section award, marking a historic moment as the first Iranian film to win the distinction since its introduction in 1986. "Shahid" delves into dark comedy, drawing from Kalhor's personal narrative as she confronts bureaucratic hurdles in Germany while seeking to shed the title "Shahid" from her family name.

Exploring themes of women's rights within a patriarchal religious society, both "My Favorite Cake" and "Shahid" illuminate the complexities of Iranian existence, resonating with international audiences at the Berlin International Film Festival.

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