SGIFF 2017's best film takes place over just one night in Iran
Showcasing 112 feature and short films from 42 countries, the 2017 Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) came to a close, announcing its best film under the Asian Feature Film Competition. Disappearance, Iranian filmmaker Ali Asgari's debut feature, came out tops, handpicked from an international jury headed by renowned director Shekhar Kapur. The Elizabeth director also had help from Hong Kong filmmaker Clara Law, Iranian-American screenwriter and director Ana Lily Amirpour as well as Locarno Film Festival's head of programming Mark Peranson.
A story told over just one night, Disappearance sees two young lovers Sara (Sadaf Asgari) and Hamed (Amir Reza Ranjbaran) who wander into the emergency ward seeking medical aid for the former, who is hurt. The country's complicated and strict bureaucracy comes into play, coupled with secrets surrounding the pair's relationship. The protagonists drive through the night as emotions run wild within a ticking time bomb of sorts as they try to find a solution.
"For telling a story of just one night, with such amazing simplicity truth and compassion, and yet conveying the complexity of a whole culture and human relationships that resonate deeply, whichever culture you belong to," cited the jury. The film was also nominated in the Horizons Competition at the 2017 Venice Film Festival.
The Singapore International Film Festival runs till 3 December 2017.