The PHAROS SHIVER SCREEN AWARD, presented for the first time at this year’s Hof International Film Festival, goes to Iranian director Arian Vazirdaftari for his film BI ROYA - WITHOUT HER.
"In this, his first feature-length film, the director masterfully combines elements of the psychological thriller and dark drama to create a dense web of suspense and emotions. In this way, he not only sends shivers down our spines but also induces goose bumps of fear which are hard to banish, even after leaving the cinema. Through skilful play with reality and illusion, an atmospheric tension develops right from the start. The main character Roya stands up for her principles, but she is soon forced to realize that her individual freedom of choice is no more than an illusion. And although she seems to have lost everything in the end, there remains a glimmer of hope that she will not lose herself. Her struggle for identity and her powerlessness also subtly reflect the social situation - which has made the film even more explosive in recent weeks. We keenly anticipate the director's next works. Congratulations, Arian Vaziradaftari on this film and on the Pharos Shriver Screen Award 2022!"
The statement from jury members Anna Roller (director), Katharina Schöde (author) and Moritz Hemminger (The Playmaker Munich)
The PHAROS SHIVER SCREEN AWARD is presented to a film from the fields of thriller, horror, action and science fiction. The €2,500 prize can be awarded to an international or national short, or to a first or second feature film. The prize is supplemented by mentoring with an option for world distribution rights by The Playmaker Munich, a first look at world distribution for a planned feature-length film project, as well as co-production through Media Services and networking with potential distributors. The award is intended to offer a broader platform to genre films and to promote up-and-coming genre filmmakers.
Arian Vazirdaftari was born in Tehran in 1988; he studied industrial design and subsequently directing at Tehran Film School, and received his Master's Degree from Tehran University of Dramatic Arts. He works as a writer, director and producer. After several short films, including the highly acclaimed NOT YET (2016) and LIKE A GOOD KID: MESLE BACHE ADAM (2018), BI ROYA is his first feature-length film, which was immediately invited to the Orizzonti Extra section in Venice.