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"Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness" wins grand prize at Sundance Film Festival


"Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness" directed by Iran's Masud Bakhshi received the "World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic" award at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Saturday February 1st, 2010.

The World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to: Massoud Bakhshi, for Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness / Iran, France, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg (Director and screenwriter: Massoud Bakhshi, Producers: Jacques Bidou, Marianne Dumoulin)

Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness:

Maryam is a young woman who has been sentenced to death for murdering her husband, Nasser. Iranian law allows for the victim's family to forgive her and spare her life, so Maryam's fate will be decided by Nasser's daughter, Mona, on the country's most popular televised reality show. In front of millions of viewers during Yalda, the winter solstice celebration, Maryam and Mona discover that forgiveness can be difficult as they relive the past.

Filmmaker Massoud Bahkshi brings aesthetic energy and dramatic intensity to a story that unfolds over a few hours and almost entirely within the studio. Compelled by the social complexities of contemporary Iran, Bahkshi started as a documentary filmmaker, during which time he met several women who had murdered their husbands. Their stories stayed with him as he developed this powerful exploration of women characters. Although Maryam and Mona are condemned in some way and subject to Iran's profound patriarchy, they find agency, moral authority, and freedom within those confines. Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness elucidates Iran's vibrant, modern identity alongside its deeply traditional culture.

Cast: Sadaf Asgari, Behnaz Jafari, Babak Karimi, Fereshteh Sadr Orafaee, Forough Ghajebeglou, Fereshteh Hosseini.

Artist Bio:
Born in Tehran, Iran, in 1972, Massoud Bakhshi has worked as film critic, scriptwriter, and producer, before making 12 documentaries and short films that were awarded internationally. His first feature film, A Respectable Family, screened at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival Directors' Fortnight. Yalda is his second feature film.

YEAR 2019
CATEGORY World Cinema Dramatic Competition
COUNTRY Iran/France/Germany/Switzerland/Luxembourg
RUN TIME 89 min
SUBTITLES Yes with English subtitles
COMPANY Pyramide International

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