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Festival Reports

Moscow 2011

Aditya Saturday July 9, 2011

Filmmaker Sepideh Farsi (3rd from left), who directed The House Under the Water (Khaneye Zire Âb), received the NETPAC award from Jury members Amer Alwan, Shahid Parhami and Dmitry Karavev.   The NETPAC Jury at the 33rd Moscow International Film Festival presented its award to The House Under the Water (Khaneye Zire Âb), directed Iranian filmmaker, Sepideh Farsi. In its citation, the jury singled out the film for its "achievement in crafting an intriguing story with social consciousness, ethnical sensibility and visual force".  The House Under the Water is an intricately weaved film noir centred on Morteza (Masoud Raygan), an ex-convict accused of drowning a teenager. Filmmaker Sepideh Farsi questioned the meaning of truth to a disillusioned man haunted by the long shadow of his past. The film received support from the Hubert Bals Fund, World Cinema Fund, Hesen Filmforderung and Asian Cinema Fund. Farsi previously made Tehran Without Permission, a 83-minute documentary shot in 2009 using a mobile phone. 

The NETPAC Jury also gave special mentions to three films: White as Snow (Kar beyaz) by Selim Günes (Turkey, Greece), The Dream of Eleuteria (Ang damgo ni Eleuteria) by Remton Siega Zuasola (Philippines) and Postcard (Ichimai no hagaki) by Kaneto Shindô (Japan).

The Jury members were Amer Alwan (Chair), Shahid Parhami and Dmitry Karavev. Iraqi and French filmmaker, Amer Alwan, commended that the festival was well organised, with an interesting selection that gave "a visual mosaic of our contemporary world" and enthralled a participative audience.  The NETPAC competition list of 16 films from Asia covered a wide range of issues on sex, violence, war and extreme poverty. This includes The Wheels of Happiness by Jong Kon Jo from North Korea. 

First organised in 1935, the Moscow International Film Festival saw a rebirth in the 60s when Russian cinema gained international prominence through the works by Andrei Tarkovsky, Sergei Parajanov and Nikita Mikhalkov.  Currently helmed by Mikhalkov himself, the festival incorporated the NETPAC award in 2010 to recognize the creative works of Asian filmmakers. It is noteworthy that 99-year-old Japanese filmmaker Kaneto Shindô  holds the record of winning the Golden George, the top award at the Moscow International Film Festival, thrice: The Naked Island (1961), Live Today, Die Tomorrow (1971) and Will to Live (1999).

This year, Hong Kong filmmaker, Wong Ching Po, won the Silver George for Best Director with Revenge: A Love Story (Fuk Sau Che Chi Sei). 

Please visit our NETPAC Award Winning Films Page for more details.

by Amer Alwan

Congratulations Bong Joon Ho

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