Sep 21, 2019, 1:28 PM
Journalist ID: 2379
News Code: 83483408
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"Finding Farideh", a tale of peace and humanity

Tehran, Sept 21, IRNA – Directors of the now-famous documentary "Finding Farideh", which is introduced by the Iranian Committee for the 2020 Academy Awards, say that it carries the ultimate message of peace and humanity.

The documentary is the first-ever film in Iran's cinema history produced through crowdfunding. 

Azadeh Mousavi, 39, and Kourosh Ataei, 29, have offered their views on the content and form of their unique creation in an exclusive interview with IRNA.

Mousavi and her fellow director say that they first encountered Farideh accidentally.

Mousavi said, Farideh runs a weblog where she shares poems from top Iranian poets including Hafez and Sa'adi with her readers.

Farideh was found abandoned at Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad, northeastern Iranian city, forty years ago. After being transported to a Tehran orphanage where she was adopted by a Dutch couple when she was only six months old, she was taken to the Netherlands.

Farideh always wanted to travel to Iran since she was 18, but, the visit was postponed until she became 40.

Directors of the documentary say that they accompanied Farideh from the Netherlands and started filming her life from the point of their departure.

Farideh and her companion directors traveled to Iran where three Iranian families welcomed her at the airport as they had claimed that Farideh was their own.

Asked to outline the procedure of selection of "Finding Farideh" as Iran's representative at the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film, Mousavi explained that there is a committee in the country whose members have the Academy Awards confirmation and in the first stage consider any movie which is picked up to be introduced by Iran to the Oscars.

The directors also commented on their reasons for not introducing a happy ending for their film as, at the end, Farideh is unable to find her family because DNA test revealed that none of those families were hers. As Ataei said, the question was not about finding her family, but about finding part of her identity she had left in Iran.

"Farideh was fundamentally to find part of herself [left in Iran."

Asked why "Finding Farideh" attracted foreigners and was introduced to Oscars 2020, Ataei said that the film is a story of humanity; a story that is understandable for anyone in every part of the world.

" 'Finding Farideh' is a universal story."

As Ataei said, their documentary shows cultural diversity.

About the history of Iran's presence in the most-watched event of the year- Academy Awards, Ataei said it goes back to 1977. During all these years, only three Iranian films have been nominated for Oscars and just two won the precious Award.

First, "Children of Heaven" by Majid Majidi was nominated for Oscars in 1998, and later two movies directed by Asghar Farhadi "A Separation" and "The Salesman" won Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film in 2011 and 2016 respectively.

Meanwhile, this is the first time that a documentary is introduced as Iran's representative at the Academy Awards for the Best International Feature Film, Ataei said.

As the two directors noted, they worked together on making Doc "From Iran, a Separation" in 2013, while "A Separation" by Farhadi had won Academy Award in 2011, and now it is very interesting that their documentary is introduced to the Oscars 2020 and is

hopeful for receiving the award.

"And this is a good happening

"Finding Farideh" created by crowdfunding with the help of 300 individuals has been screened in different international festivals including Istanbul Film Festival in Turkey and International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in Kiev, Ukraine.

Finding Farideh has won the award of the 5th International Women Film Festival in Heart, Afghanistan, on August 26-29 as well.

Directors of the feature-length documentary, "Finding Farideh", say:

"The Farideh who entered Iran [after forty years] is not exactly the one who leaves it for her own country [the Netherlands]."  

Although she could not find her family, she takes back hospitality, peace and humanity to the Netherlands as souvenirs from Iran.

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