Ali Soozandeh's Mehtap is showcased in Strasbourg
- The second animated feature project by the filmmaker revealed in Critics’ Week in Cannes in 2017 with Tehran Taboo shines amongst the pitches at the Alentours Forum
Amongst the 25 projects (read the news and the interview with producer Caroline Adrian) selected for the pitches at the Alentours Forum – Rhinish Co-Production Meeting which starts today and will last for three days in Strasbourg, the animated title Mehtap by German filmmaker of Iranian origins Ali Soozandeh stands out.
Highly acclaimed in Critics' Week at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival with his first opus Tehran Taboo [+see also:
interview: Ali Soozandeh
film profile], the director is now preparing Mehtap which intends to tell the horror of war from the point of view of a stray dog. The script focuses on puppy Pegah, who must fight for his survival as war rages in a village in the mountains of the Middle East. Through courage and bravery, but also luck, he joins the "Flaming Hearts" gang, the lords of the dump. His encounter with Sia, the rebels’ wild dog, fills him with joy. But it doesn't last. He is quickly sent to a mine detection dog camp and the survival of an entire unit will depend on his nose...
According to Ali Soozandeh, Mehtap "shows that war does not only affect humans, but also animals and nature. It reminds me of my childhood in Iran, which was plagued by war. I lost friends and relatives. I witnessed the change in society with my own eyes. The military conflict plays an important role in the film, but the story focuses on the world and the feelings of the protagonists. The situation of women in war zones is treated through the eyes of Pegah, the stray dog. They are victims of war, but also of oppression and patriarchy. Animation is a particularly suitable format to illustrate the unusual point of view of a stray dog. It gives a universal aspect to this story of war by proxy, without having to specify a time or place."
The project, led by Felix Glück for the Berlin-based company ArtHood Films (sister company of the international distributor ArtHood Entertainment), is aiming for a production start date in 2023. The various stages of the workflow necessary for the production of an animated film foresee an important role for France, Germany and Turkey, without excluding other countries such as Belgium for example.
Animation is in the spotlight at this edition of the Alentours Forum, as Carlo Vogele's Icare, a co-production involving Luxembourg, Belgium and France, will be the subject of a case study session at the end of today's afternoon, followed by a screening at the opening of the Strasbourg professional event.
(Translated from French)
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