Iranian films “Starless Dreams” and “Sonita” won awards at the 19th Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina, U.S., the organizers announced on Sunday.
Directed by Mehrdad Oskui, the film won the grand award of the festival which was sponsored by the Reva and David Logan Foundation.
In the documentary, young women in an Iranian juvenile detention center reflect on the crimes they have committed and the harsh circumstances that have shaped their lives.
“We are presenting the Grand Jury Award to a film that took us into a world we are not normally privileged to see,” The jury composed of Rachel Boynton, Margaret Brown, and Ricki Stern stated.
“Beautifully crafted with tenderness and enormous respect for the people in it, this film left us with a bracing emotional punch,” they added.
“Starless Dreams” also received the Full Frame Inspiration Award, which was sponsored by the Hartley Film Foundation.
The jury in this category, Sarah Masters, Michael Palmieri and Malika Zouhali-Worrall said, “This award is presented to the film that best exemplifies the value and relevance of world religions and spirituality.”
Cinema Guild, the New York-Based film distributor, holds the franchise for distribution of “Starless Dreams” in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.
“Sonita” directed by Rokhsareh Qaemmaqami was presented with the Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award, which was provided by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.
The documentary is about Sonita, an Afghan refugee living in Iran who fights to keep her dream of becoming a rap star alive, while her family attempts to sell her as a bride.
The Full Frame Jury Award for Best Short went to “Clínica de Migrantes: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, directed by Maxim Pozdorovkin from the U.S.
The festival is organized by the Center for Documentary Studies, a tax-exempt nonprofit organization, and receives support from corporate sponsors, private foundations and individual donors.