Criminalized Kurdish director’s ‘Drum’ to be screened in Venice Film Festival

A new movie by a Kurdish director who was previously sentenced to six years in prison and 223 lashes in Iran, is to be screened at the Venice Film Festival next month.
author_image Ava Homa

VENICE, Italy (Kurdistan24) – A new movie by a Kurdish director who was previously sentenced to six years in prison and 223 lashes in Iran, is to be screened at the Venice Film Festival next month.

The Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week will screen “Drum,” the debut feature film of Keywan Karimi, along with eight other international first works.

Keywan Karimi, an independent Kurdish filmmaker from Baneh, Kurdistan Province, was charged with “insulting sanctities” for his documentary “Writing on the City.”

The documentary presented the political graffiti in Tehran objecting to the suppression in the country from the 1979 Islamic Revolution through Iran’s 2009 post-presidential election crisis.

Karimi whose sentence was later reduced to one year is now free pending appeal.

He made the black-and-white “Drum” recounting the story of a lawyer in Tehran who receives a package in the mail that creates an upheaval in his life.

In 2013, Karimi spent 15 days in solitary confinement for “insulting religious values.” He was subsequently tried and convicted but continued his filmmaking.

“I have no intention of leaving the country and shall serve the sentence,” he said.

His conviction was a cause célèbre during the Cannes Festival in May.

Karimi is known among international film critics for his 2013 black-and-white minimalist film “The Adventure of the Married Couple.”

The film played in some 40 festivals, winning prizes in Spain and Colombia.

In Venice, all entries will compete alongside titles in the official selection for the $100,000 Golden Lion of the Future prize.

Venice Critics’ Week films will be voted on by festival-goers rather than a jury.

 

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany