'Atlan', an Iranian documentary directed by Moein Karimoddini, has won the Best Documentary Award from Rural Route International Festival in New York, as the event celebrated its 12th edition.
The festival was held July 29-31 and the Iranian film competed with 20 leading documentaries of the world focusing on rural issues.
Atlan narrates the life story of Iranian Turkmen horse-riding instructors named Ali and Ilhan in the northeastern Iranian region of Turkmen Sahra.
Ali plans to marry with the money Ilhan wins in horse racing, however, it is not going well, Ilhan is put under unforeseen conditions and Ali has to fight for his horse's championships.
'Atlan' director Moein Karimoddini
(photo by Mehr News Agency)
Atlan is named as the most successful documentary film of Iranian cinema over the past few years.
The movie has so far received many awards at international film festivals, including the best documentary award at the Cinema Verite and Crystal Simorgh for Best Documentary Film at the Fajr International Film Festival.
ATLAN. Dir. Moein Karimoddini. 2015, 62min. Documentary. Turkmen Sahra, Iran
Ali’s 90-year-old grandfather always told his family, “A Turkmen without a horse in front of his house is not a Turkmen at all.” The whole family lives by this motto; every day, twenty-something Ali, his brothers and their father work as horsemen, training and caring for these noble beasts. In this portrait of Ali, he’s convinced that his favorite horse Ilhan will bring him victory at the horse races. After a few wins, however, Ilhan becomes unmanageable, and no one knows why. Atlan follows Ilhan, Ali and the other riders and stable hands over several seasons: at home in the stalls and during training, as well as at important races - where time and again Ilhan refuses to perform [In the Turkmen language, the word Atlan means “get on your horse and get going.”]. While Ali talks in voice-over, the diary-like narrative is accompanied by beautiful, broad vistas showing the inhospitable Turkmen landscape, impressions of the well-attended races and images of powerful horses. The montage showing the endless efforts to get the recalcitrant Ilhan back to work is particularly impressive. At times, it seems that even the cameraman is in danger. What will it take to lift the curse from this horse, and how long can Ali try to keep his favorite in the race - or even in the stables?
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