Iranian Film “The Old Bachelor” Wins Prestigious Award at 53rd International Film Festival Rotterdam

Rotterdam, Netherlands – The winners of the 53rd International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) were revealed on Friday during the IFFR Award Ceremony. Among the top honorees was the Iranian film “The Old Bachelor,” written and directed by Oktay Baraheni.

The 192-minute drama, which had its world premiere at the festival, was presented with the VPRO Big Screen Award. The jury praised the film for its gripping narrative that delves into themes of patriarchy, misogyny, love, violence, and tragedy. They described it as a masterclass in storytelling, highlighted by its nuanced dialogue, attention to detail, and gradual buildup of tension.

“The Old Bachelor” revolves around two middle-aged brothers who live with their domineering father. The father’s abusive behavior leads to the departure of his second wife, and now he targets his eldest son. However, when a young woman moves into the apartment above them, the older son’s growing attraction to her adds strain to the already fractured family dynamic.

The movie features a talented cast, including Leila Hatami, Hamed Behdad, Hassan Pourshirazi, Mohamad-Reza Davoudnejad, Reza Rouygari, Mohammad Valizadegan, and Babak Hamidian.

As the winner of the Big Screen Competition, “The Old Bachelor” will receive a guaranteed theatrical release in the Netherlands and will be broadcast on Dutch TV by VPRO and NPO. In addition, the filmmaker and distributor will be awarded €30,000 ($32,500) to support the film’s release.

In the Tiger Competition section of the festival, which celebrates emerging filmmakers, three films stood out. “Rei” by Tanaka Toshihiko from Japan received the Tiger Award, while “Kiss Wagon” by Midhun Murali from India and “Flathead” by Jaydon Martin from Australia were honored with Special Jury awards.

Since its establishment in 1972, the IFFR has given a platform to independent and experimental filmmakers, showcasing both new talents and established auteurs. This annual event has also become known for its dedication to cutting-edge media art and arthouse cinema. With a scale comparable to other major European festivals like Cannes, Venice, Berlin, and Locarno, the IFFR has solidified its status as a prominent international film festival.

The recent recognition of “The Old Bachelor” and other outstanding films at the 53rd IFFR highlights the festival’s ongoing commitment to promoting diverse and thought-provoking cinema.