The issue of immigration and refugees seems to dominate many headlines across the world these days, with elections and civil wars threatening to displace thousands of people. 2015 graduate Aboozar Amini’s short film ANGELUS NOVUS asks how young children are affected by being made homeless by war. Trying to tread the fine line between documentary and fiction, filmmaker Amini is keen to follow Dostoyevsky’s mantra of “there is nothing more fantastic than reality itself”.
Amini’s graduation film focuses on Afghan youngster Ali and his younger brother, who now reside in Turkey with their parents. After school, they shine shoes for a living, hoping to use the money to trace their uncle who was last seen heading West with human traffickers. However, one day they arrive at their usual spot to find another boy working the area. A fight breaks out, leading to the encroaching child being kicked badly. While they regain their spot, the young boys lose a sense of peace from their inner child, a lose made more powerful when Ali finds out that the badly beaten boy is also a refugee.
After several festival appearances, which included winning Best Short Film Against Violence at the Tehran International Short Film Festival, Best Short at the Middle East Now Film Festival while also being screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Short Shorts Tokyo, the Seoul International Short Film Festival, ANGELUS NOVUS is currently appearing at the 15th Pune International Film Festival (PIFF). Amini will be hoping for another award, as his film is shortlisted in the Live Action category of the Student Section.
Click here to watch the trailer for ANGELUS NOVUS.
With the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) being a part of the city, as well as the National Film Archive of India (NFAI), Pune is a celluloid lover’s paradise. Both a stone’s throw away from each other, they hold an important role in the cinematic journey of the country, one with its ability to churn out the industry’s most talented filmmakers, actors and technicians and the other a museum of sorts, housing rare and critical artefacts tracing the history and birth of cinema in India.
With all these factors in mind, the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF) was born in 2002. The aim was to attract the best in celluloid to the city, a task that it has achieved over the last 14 years. Today PIFF is an important date on the calendar for film buffs, filmmakers and all from the film fraternity not only across Pune or India, but the globe.
Photo Credit: Dawood Hilmandi
Written by Ben Corbett