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11/27/11

Mehrdad Oskouei's documentary "Last Days of Winter" wins award at IDFA

Source: Tehran Times

Iranian documentary "The Last Days of Winter" has won the BlackBerry Award at the 24th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).

Directed by Mehrdad Oskouei, the film is a portrait of seven Iranian boys in a youth detention center, talking candidly about their lives.

The jury called the documentary "a heart warming and genuine film," in a statement published on the website of the festival.

"The interaction between filmmaker and the characters is straight forward and humorous, but most of all shows us the strength and honesty of the boys," the jury added.

The South Korean film "Planet of Snail", on the everyday life of deaf and blind Young-Chan and the love of his life Soon-Ho, received the IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary.

The Special Jury Award went to "5 Broken Cameras", about a Palestinian village resisting the encroachment of Jewish settlements.

The Last Days of Winter - 2011, color, HD, 52

Synopsis
Seven Iranian boys are in a youth detention center in Tehran, in a special wing for detainees younger than 15 years old. They are there for various crimes, from drug possession to motorcycle or sheep theft. The living conditions are decent and the boys get along fine. They share bedrooms, play and eat together, and mediate when there's trouble in the group. They are isolated from their families and depend on each other, which is perhaps the reason that they seem to so readily accept the presence of the director. The camera is part of the group and the boys are very frank during the interviews. They talk about weighty subjects such as love, God, fears, and dreams. Young as they are, they already have complicated lives: most were either abandoned by their parents or addicted to drugs. They are all lonely. One of them says he doesn't always feel like joining in the activities; he has already suffered so much in his life and he's simply worn out. All the boys feel the need to behave in a mature way, even when they're still dealing with the emotions of the children that they are.

Related website: DreamLab films

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