Kurdish Short Film among the Top 18 for Cannes Film Festival’s Cinéfondation Prize

Kurdpa: Koshtargah, directed by Iranian Kurdish film-maker Behzad Azadi, is among the chosen top 18 short films for this year’s Cinéfondation Prize.

The short film is about the harsh realities of life in the streets of the Iranian Kurdistan city of SayinQala, or ShahinDezh in Persian; the story begins in a neighbourhood called Koshtargah, which is also the title of the film.

“I grew up in this neighbourhood, spending most of childhood and teenage life. I went to the school in this neighbourhood. I have seen the experiences of the actors in the movie first hand,” Koshtargah film’s director Azadi explained in an interview with Voice of America.

Looking back at his days he spent growing up in this neighbourhood, Azadi decided to showcase it to the world,“When I entered the cinema world, this experience never left me. I decided it would be really good to produce a movie about my own childhood”, Azadi said.

The story is about four teenage friends who have big plans for their lives. They want to get rich quickly by dealing drugs in their neighbourhood. First, however, they must test the drug they\'ve received from the smuggler, but there’s an unexpected twist in their plan and the situation goes out of control.

The Cannes Film Festival announced this year’s short film competition line-up, as well as, the Cinéfondation selection on Wednesday – a day before the entire festival selection is set to be revealed.

This year, the selection committee received 4,550 short films — 1,000 more than in 2014 — from over 100 countries, and chose eight live-action fiction shorts and one animated short to compete for the 2015 Short Film Palme d’or.

To mark its 18th year at the festival, the Cinéfondation has chosen 18 films — 14 live-action fiction shorts and four animated shorts — from the 1,600 submissions from film schools from around the globe.

The 24 min. Koshtargah was screened on Wednesday on the Cinéfondation section. This film is the director’s third short film.

Writing by Kurdpa Staff Writers and editing by Sharmin Hassaniani.