TEHRAN — The acclaimed Iranian short film “The Fourth Wall” gained further success on Sunday by taking the grand prize in the animation category at the 25th Japan Media Arts Festival.
Directed by Mahbubeh Kalai, the film shows a stuttering boy who transforms an Iranian kitchen into a fantasy cosmos. The father’s body becomes a refrigerator, the mother’s belly a washing machine whose spin cycle gives birth to a screaming baby. Even birds on tiles and detergents have a surprising life.
This exuberant animation, sprinkled with real-life elements – fried eggs, broken plates, pieces of cheese – develops a subtle spirit, ironically about ingrained family patterns.
The film produced at the Center for Documentary, Experimental and Animation Film has already received the Mephisto 97.6 Award for Best Animated Film at DOK Leipzig, Germany’s leading international documentary and animation film festival.
The 31st edition of Animafest Zagreb, a Croatian international animation film festival, awarded the film the Zlatko Grgic award.
The Japan Media Arts Festival is a comprehensive media arts festival (Media Geijutsu in Japanese) that honors outstanding works from a wide range of media – from animation and comics to media art and games.
In the animation category, four anime films and series, including “Dozens of Norths” by Koji Yamamura and “Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko” by Japan’s Sanma Akashiya and Ayumu Watanabe won Excellence Awards.
Additionally, “Pui Pui Molcar,” an anime television series directed by Japan’s Tomoki Misato received the Social Impact Award.
The grand prize in the art category went to ‘Sun and Moon Room’, an interactive artwork created by a team of Japanese artists.
“Naoki Urasawa Presents Manben Neo – Yoshikazu Yasuhiko,” a Japanese TV show by Katsumi Ueda, Mitsuru Kuramoto, Aimi Uchida, Tsutomu Tsukada, and Megumi Maruyama won the grand prize in the entertainment section.
The top prize in the Manga division was awarded to “Golden Raspberry” by Japanese artist Aki Mochida.
“Path of Noise”, an application program by Paul Lacroix from France in the geo-cosmos category, and “Dear Virus”, a video work by Junjie Wang from China in the Dome Theater category, won the Platform Awards.
Photo: “The Fourth Wall” directed by Mahbubeh Kalai.