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Farideh Naderi Depict!
CREDIT: Farideh Naderi

Iranian short film wins RPS award in DepicT! competition

In less than 90 seconds a filmmaker from Iran sends a message of hope across a divided society

A Kurdish director has won recognition for a short film focusing on young people breaking down barriers through a game of volleyball.

The DepicT! Royal Photographic Society Cinematography Award, which offers a £1,000 prize, went to The Wall by Farideh Naderi, a director based in Sena, Iran, with cinematography by Hamid Ghavami, who is based in Kurdistan.

The selector of the RPS award, cinematographer Annemarie Lean-Vercoe FRPS, responded to The Wall’s stirring style and message, describing it as “visually striking”. She added: “Each shot used light and framing to drive the narrative forward to create a poignant portrait of a society divided.”

Speaking in August 2020 about her experience of filmmaking in Iran, Naderi said: “I gather my topics from my surroundings. I reflect on them and weave them into stories based on what I see around me. Iranian society has so many issues, and Sena as a Kurdish city has much more because of political reasons.”

She added: “I am particularly interested in women’s rights, and how the abuse of women affects me. I concentrate on issues affecting my society and my city.”

Every year DepicT! challenges emerging filmmakers from around the globe to create an original and imaginative short film of 90 seconds or less. The shortlist of 23 films was compiled from more than 1,360 entries by filmmakers from 80 countries.

British filmmaker James Skinner received the main DepicT! award of £1,500 for Fabulous, described by the jury as “a wonderfully cheeky and inventive piece of work”.

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