TEHRAN, Jan. 15 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iranian director Rafi Pitz won the New Voices New Visions Grand Jury Prize of At 18th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival for his film "It Is Winter" on Sunday.
The film has been given the award due to a striking blend of raw realism and poetic lyricism showing the effects of poverty, unemployment, rootlessness, shame, and commitment.
"It Is Winter" is based on Iranian author Mahmud Dowlatabadi's story "Journey" and its soundtrack features the song "Winter" sung by Iran's topnotch traditional singer Mohammadreza Shajarian.
The film's title was derived from a poem by Mehdi Akhavan Salis.
The movie is set in the pre-Islamic Revolution era and tells the story of Mokhtar, a young blacksmith, whose workshop is closed and he is forced to reluctantly move to find a job and leave behind his wife and daughter. Months pass and his family hear no word from him.
The movie stars Mitra Hajjar as a professional actress while other cast members, Ali Niksolat, Hashem Abadi, Zahra Ja'fari, and Nasser Maddahi, are amateurs.
It is also on screen in Tehran's theaters.
Pitz previously won the Silver Spike and Best Director of Photography Award of the International Week of Cinema of Valladolid (Seminci) for the film last October.
Totally 300 films were screened over this year's Palm Springs festival from Jan. 4 to 15 at more than a dozen theaters throughout the city in South California.
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