A Dog’s Life (Zendegiye Sagi) by Iranian filmmaker Hana Makhmalbaf has won the Gold “Aleph” for Best Middle-Eastern Short Film at the Beirut International Film Festival.
Makhmalbaf reportedly dedicated the award to Iranian filmmakers currently jailed by the Islamic Republic.
A Dog’s Life portrays the lives of dogs in Iran and the impact of recent bylaws that ban the keeping of dogs as pets and walking them in the city. Iranian city officials justify the new regulations saying the animals are “dirty and dangerous.”
In September, the Fars News Agency reported that a number of films that support the “2009 sedition” have been sent to BIFF.
The Iranian establishment uses the word “sedition” to describe the mass protests that sprang up in 2009 following the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
In reference to A Dog’s Life, Fars wrote: “In this film, Makhmalbaf uses the plan to ban walking and keeping dirty and dangerous animals to attack the pillars of the regime.”
Makhmalbaf’s film Green Days about the 2009 protests previously was banned by the Beirut Festival, while another Iranian film, Nader Davoodi’s Red, White and the Green, which was to be screened as part of the festival’s Middle East Documentary Film Competition was also pulled out. The film focuses on the violent events in the three weeks leading up to Ahmadinejad’s re-election in June 2009.
Fars had called Davoodi’s film “anti-Revolutionary.”