Kurdish actress wins best actor award in Swedish film festival
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Ala Riani, a Kurd born in the city of Mahabad in Iranian Kurdistan now living in Sweden, won the award for best actor in the Stockmotion Film Festival that was held on October 15-16.
STOCKmotion is a ‘short film’ festival for Stockholm-based filmmakers. A total of 118 films were registered for this year's festival, 45 of which were accepted for the festival.
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Riani played the lead role of the short film Leyla (2021), directed by Bahador Shahidi. His movie also got an honorable mention at the festival. The film portrays Leyla, who is struggling with two different cultures in Sweden. It gives an insight into a person's longing and struggles in everyday life.
"Leyla has her roots in a different culture, which she is reminded of daily. For her daughter, it's different. A meeting, really a culture clash, triggers something unexpected," the movie's description says.
"In the part as Leyla Ala Riani portrays both strength, fragility, yearning and lust in a believable and moving way," the jury said.
"This award is truly an honor. I'm very happy and proud of the work that we did with the entire team. Especially the amazing and talented director Bahador Shahidi for writing the story and giving me the opportunity to portray such a complex and full character,' Riani told Kurdistan 24.
Riani previously lived in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq for two years. There she acted in television commercials and her first feature film in the Kurdish city of Duhok in a movie directed by Shawkat Amin. She also sang in the Kurdish-Breton band 'Dengekan' that toured the Kurdistan Region and France.
And she plays a significant role in the award-winning Swedish drama series called 'Caliphate'.
In the program, which premiered worldwide on Netflix on March 18, 2020, her character is the mother of two daughters who become radicalized and run away to join the Islamic State.