5 documentary films in the running for top SIFF award

Xu Wei
Five documentary films "Anxious in Beirut," "Leap of Faith," "Moses' Spies," "The Caravan," and "The Passion of Mahmoud" have been shortlisted for the Golden Goblet Awards.
Xu Wei
5 documentary films in the running for top SIFF award
Ti Gong

Documentary filmmakers share their stories with members of the media on Thursday.

5 documentary films in the running for top SIFF award
Ti Gong

Yang Lina (left), Davoud Abdolmaleki (center) and Zakaria Jaber at the press conference

The 25th Shanghai International Film Festival has shortlisted five documentary films for Golden Goblet Awards.

They are "Anxious in Beirut," "Leap of Faith," "Moses' Spies," "The Caravan," and "The Passion of Mahmoud," with the filmmakers sharing their experiences and stories with the media.

Davoud Abdolmaleki, Iranian director of "The Passion of Mahmoud," centered his story on a middle-aged guy and his strange family life. The film combines acting with a documentary format and attempts to raise philosophical issues.

"The man's past experiences had a significant impact on his life," Abdolmaleki said. "I wanted to depict the lives of emotionally troubled people and talk about the impact of the past on a person. We live in the present, but also in the past and in the future. Each of us is a complicated person."

Zakaria Jaber's film "Anxious in Beirut" examines various facets of Lebanon's economy and society and tries to explain how the country functions.

"A lot of people in my hometown are anxious," Jaber remarked. "The rich are concerned about money, while the poor are worried about food. I wanted to make a film about these people."

Yang Lina's "Leap of Faith" follows four teenage female equestrian competitors as they train to win accolades and awards.

The hazards of equestrianism are presented through Yang's eyes, with the girls frequently falling from horseback. She also captured their vibrant relationships with the horses to highlight the beauty of equestrian life.

"This is a film about youth, growth, and sports," Yang explained. "Before this film, I photographed orphans and the elderly. Diverse groups of people comprise our society."

The Chinese filmmaker urged aspiring filmmakers to make documentaries before making feature films.

"They can gain a lot of training and experience from documentary filmmaking practices," Yang said. "The entire filming process usually does not require a large budget, which gives young directors more creative freedom."

"The Caravan" explores the issue of migration in Central America through the eyes of two European directors, Nuria Clavero and Aitor Palacios.

Itzik Lerner's "Moses' Spies" is about recruiting spies for the Jewish General Security Services.

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