The spotlights and cameras are all in position. The moderator takes a last quick look at his notes. The final seconds of the intro ad roll by – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – and then the reality TV show goes live. Televised on the night of Yalda, of all days, a Persian celebration of the winter solstice. Tonight’s guest is Maryam, a young woman condemned to death. She is accompanied in studio by Mona, who has always been like a big sister to her. Maryam was living with Mona’s father in a temporary, marriage. Now she stands accused of his murder. In front of the camera and millions of viewers, Maryam is supposed to beg for forgiveness and her life. Alluding to a real, popular Iranian TV Show, the television studio serves as a stage for a chamber play that also explores the social dimensions behind the personal drama.
- Grand Jury Prize (World Cinema Dramatic) - Sundance FF
- Special Mention for Best Screenplay - Sofia IFF
- Sadaf Asgari
- Behnaz Jafari
- Babak Karimi
- Massoud Bakhshi
- Julian Atanassov
- Jacques Comets
- PYRAMIDE INTERNATIONAL
- JBA PRODUCTION
Iranian filmmaker Massoud Bakhshi focuses on one woman to highlight wider issues within a patriarchal society.
Massoud Bakhshi was born and lives in Tehran. Between 1990 and 1998 he has worked as a film critic, scriptwriter and producer. He has made ten documentaries and one short film, which have received many prizes. His first feature film, A RESPECTABLE FAMILY, was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes Film Festival in 2012. YALDA, A NIGHT FOR FORGIVENESS (2020) is his second feature, it was selected at the Berlinale Generation 2020.