NY Film Festival 2024


Movie Name: Symbiosis (Nominee)

Directed by: Raz Merhav

Country of Origin: Israel

Runtime: 9 minutes

Naupe, an albino child, born in an African tribe where it is widely believed that albinos are demons and evil spirits. Therefore, his life is in danger. Vita, his mother, realizes she has to hide him in order to save his life. She finds a refuge in a barn protected by Mlinzy, a gurdien cow. Similar to the human mother,Mlinzy also protects her baby. Tatu, a three-legged calf. The baby and the calf grew up as brothers, hidden and isolated from the village life that takes place outside. When Naupe grows up, he crosses the border between their tiny world to the village. The result of his act appellant this relationship and his own identity.

Raz Merhav is a student of Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design and this is her student project.

Movie Name: Bird Drone (Nominee)

Directed by: Radheya Jang Jegatheva

Country of Origin: Australia

Runtime: 8 minutes 55 seconds

A heartfelt story of unrequited love explored through a lonely seagull struggling to accept that his newfound object of affection is a human-operated drone with a limited battery life.

Radheya Jegatheva is an Oscar-qualified and AACTA-nominated filmmaker from Perth, Western Australia. Born in Malaysia at the turn of the century, Radheya’s films have have garnered 34 Academy Award-qualifying Festival selections. He has spoken to thousands of school students over the years with an aim to encourage young people about being involved in the arts, and his works have been used as an educational tool in schools and universities around the world.

Movie Name: Tangle (Award Winner)

Directed by: Maliheh Gholamzadeh

Country of Origin: Islamic Republic of Iran

Runtime: 7 minutes 35 seconds

“Tangle” is about the people who lost their homes in the war and was forced to leave all their memories and loved ones behind. It is also about life and striving to survive on the geographical borders of hope and depression while reaching for all the things that can connect us to this water and land in spite of constantly getting ignored and interrupted.

Maliheh GholamZadeh, born in 1983, Iran
– Master of Directing Animation, Sooreh University, Tehran
– Bachelor of Graphic Arts, University of Applied Science and Technology (Neyriz branch)
– Director of two short animations
– Award winner of national and international festivals


Movie Name: Sangha (Nominee)

Directed by: Nick Pilgrim

Country of Origin: Canada

Runtime: 13 minutes

“Sangha” means the Buddhist community. This film is a meditative look into the lives and philosophy of the patch robed monks and nuns at the Segyu Gaden Phodrang Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Nick Pilgrim is a director from Toronto, Canada

Movie Name: Parole (Nominee)

Directed by: Lázaro J. González

Country of Origin: Cuba

Runtime: 24 minutes 55 seconds

Amidst the bustling streets of San Francisco, WhatsApp audio messages become my sole connection to my mother after several years of exile. Now, her yearning for reunion hinges on the fragile hope of the Biden Administration’s Humanitarian Parole for Cubans. Despite everybody around her leaving, she urges me to listen to what I left behind. As I wrestle with the dissonance of academic challenges and the relentless hum of rent worries, my response takes the form of a love letter that echoes my present.

Lázaro J. González (b. 1990) is a Cuban filmmaker and Ph.D. candidate in Film and Media Studies at UC Berkeley. He holds a Master of Arts in Literature, Cultures, and Languages from the University of Connecticut and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Havana. González’s academic journey intersects with his creative pursuits. He also honed his craft through training programs at the International School of Cinema in San Antonio de Los Baños and the Sundance Documentary Lab.

In 2022, González served as a Visiting Artist-in-Residence at the Vulnerable Media Lab at Queen’s University, enriching his interdisciplinary perspective. His directorial portfolio boasts acclaimed short films such as “Tatá” (2014), “Masks” (2015), “Pāndèmos” (2021), and more recently, “Parole” (2024). His debut feature, “Villa Rosa” (2016), garnered recognition from the Sparring Partners Fund, the Norwegian Fund for Cuban Cinema, and AMI’s Closing Distances Award. Notably, “Villa Rosa” received the Best Documentary Award at Yale’s Latino and Iberian Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Barcelona International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

Movie Name: This Is Not A Scarf (Award Winner)

Directed by: Somaye Farhan, Soha Ebrahimzandi

Country of Origin: Canada

Runtime: 15 minutes 33 seconds

The voice of a political prisoner, released on bail, unravels the systemic and theocratic oppression in Iran against women. The intervention performance in Montreal by two Iranian artists exposes unprecedented subjectivity experienced by women through three generations. Connecting archives of the revolution of 1979 to the women-led uprise in 2022 foreshadows the story of Yalda Aghafazli, one of many brave young Iranian women who stood for women’s sovereignty.

Somaye Farhan is an Iranian/ Canadian multidisciplinary artist. Her work is focused primarily on the moving image, time-based media, performance, and multimedia installation. A graduate of the Studio Arts program at Concordia University (Montreal, QC), her work is grounded in the subjects of social and gender inequality, feminism, migration, memory, and identity. She has exhibited her works at Siddhartha Art Gallery (Kathmandu, Nepal) and La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse (Montreal, Quebec), among other sites.

Soha Zandi (Born in Iran, grew up in Germany, and currently lives and works in Montreal, Canada) is a multi-disciplinary artist, film director, and screenwriter. He is a graduate of Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema in film production, Concordia University (Montreal, QC). His explorations are within moving images of essay-documentaries, video installations and narrative short films. Thematic and conceptual approaches of his creative process encompass feminism, identity, and socio-political hegemony. He has exhibited her works at Siddhartha Art Gallery (Kathmandu, Nepal) and La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse (Montreal, Quebec), among other sites.

Short Film

Movie Name: Kuduk (Nominee)

Directed by: Zhandos Dzholdoshovich Dzholdoshov

Country of Origin: Kyrgyzstan

Runtime: 12 minutes 25 seconds

The film tells the story of two Central Asian families who are on opposite sides of the border and cannot share the found water and the well between them, because it is right in the middle.

Zhandos Dzholdoshovich Dzholdoshov was born in Issyk-Kul region, Tyup city, Kyrgyzstan. He lives in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Movie Name: Let Her Dance (Nominee)

Directed by: Yadykar Ibraimov

Country of Origin: Kazakhstan

Runtime: 5 minutes

“Let Her Dance” is about freedom of choice. That every woman has her own right to choose. Dance is allegory, dance is ritual, dance is depth.

Yadykar Ibraimov was born and raised in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Finished local film school. Working in film production since 2012.

Movie Name: Suitcase (Award Winner)

Directed by: Saman Hosseinpuor, Ako Zandkarimi

Country of Origin: Islamic Republic of Iran

Runtime: 14 minutes

Far from his own homeland, a Kurdish refugee lives in his suitcase. In it he carries memories of his family. When someone steals the suitcase in the tumult of the foreign city center, he loses his home a second time

Saman Hosseinpuor was born in Saqez, Kurdistan, Iran in 1993. He began acting in theater at the age of 14 and started filmmaking in 2008. During this time, he also began writing short stories. Saman is a director and writer living in Iran. He holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Cinema. He has received over 50 awards from international film festivals for his films. Saman Hosseinpuor has made 11 short films.

Ako Zandkarimi was born in Sanandaj, Kurdistan, Iran in 1993. He started filmmaking at the age of 15 while still a high school student, marking the beginning of his passion for cinema. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Cinema and has received over 50 awards from international film festivals for his films.