November 27, 2020

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Director Roqieh Tavakkoli says “Mehran” portrays Yazd people as hospitable in wartime

TEHRAN – Director Roqieh Tavakkoli who has made all her movies in Yazd has said that her latest film “Mehran” presents the people of the central Iranian city as hospitable during the 1980s when many Iranian people took shelter in the city from the Iran-Iraq war.

The film had its Iranian premiere at Tehran’s Farhang Cinema during the 33rd edition of the International Film Festival for Children and Youth, which is currently underway in Tehran and Isfahan.

Tavakkoli and a number of her crew members attended an online press conference held after the screening, which was arranged with a limited number of filmgoers due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I really wished to be with you at the premiere of ‘Mehran’ but I could not be beside you due to the pandemic,” she said.

She noted, “Whether about the war or children, I have always preferred to make my films in Yazd; I only intend to present the city of Yazd.

“It’s a fact that Yazd was a safe haven during the war, and as a result, a large number of immigrants from across the country took shelter in the city at that time, and most of them continued to remain there after the end of the war.

“The people of my city were really hospitable and helped the war-torn people, and in my film, I tried to portray the cozy intimacy of Iranian homes and I think I have done it well.      

“Apart from this fact that I’ve been raised in the city, I really love it, and I think it has great potentials, especially for filmmaking.”
To avoid any biased attitudes in her film, the 33-year-old director said that she refused to receive any support from private or public organizations.

The story of the film is set in the 1980s and is about a family from Mehran, a small town near the border of Iran and Iraq, which moves to Yazd after the war breaks out. The family also has a son named Mehran.

“I really enjoyed making this film and got a lot of energy and would like to make more films on this subject,” said Tavakkoli, whose previous films have been screened at many international events.

In 2015, actress Sara Bahrami was crowned best at the 10th Porto7 International Short Film Festival in Portugal for her role in Tavakkoli’s drama “You Just Be My Mother”.

Her credits also include “Mothering”, “Hanged” and “6 O’clock”.

Photo: “Mehran” by Roqieh Tavakkoli.


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