Iranian filmmaker Ismail Mihandoust has been awarded at the 5th Noor Iranian Film Festival in Los Angeles for his first feature-length production. The 2012 Noor Iranian Film Festival honored Mihandoust with the Best Director award for his latest film A Very Close Encounter that opened the festival as well. The award was dedicated to the film’s leading actress Anna Nemati during a closing ceremony held on August 9.
The 101-minute drama depicts a car accident between two woman drivers on a highway. Because of the injuries, one ends up in coma. After police investigations, the officer in charge of the case is doubtful about the cause of the accident.Mihandoust’s unusual nonlinear narrative is centered on the close relationship between the two women but also features the hidden mind games of the four main characters. The annual event was held at Laemmle’s Music Hall in Beverly Hills, from August 3 to 8, 2012, in an attempt to educate and inform the non-Iranian community about the Persian culture through the medium of cinema. This year’s festival also hosted panel discussions and workshops with different actors, producers, and directors to help the new generation of filmmakers. As the first Iranian film competition outside Iran, the Noor Film Festival is a unique opportunity for the Iranian and non-Iranian community to mix and mingle with the purpose of viewing films and listening to fresh and important voices that capture the complexity and surprising simplicity of Iran, says the festival website. Iranian cinema has been highly praised in the international arena in recent years, winning numerous high-profile awards for the country’s filmmakers around the world. FGP/SS