With its endearing story of brotherly love and the sacrifices a family makes, The Apple Day from Iran Monday received overwhelming responses from the youth jurors of the Special Edition of the 10th Ajyal Film Festival.
The film is the story of a woman’s redemption after attempting to hide a truth. The documentary is about a field worker at an excavation site and his relationship with his family as they attempt to find security in uncertain times.

The Apple Day

In their interaction with Mahmoud Ghaffari, the film director, the youngest Mohaq jurors, aged 8 to 11, asked him about the choice of his story to the challenges in producing the film.
Explaining that the film – a tale of kinship, brotherly love and perseverance – was shot in 20 days, Ghaffari said The Apple Day is a personal ode to the place he grew up. He drew his characters from children he had met and also chose for his child actor lead, a young boy who was a real-life fruit-seller on the streets of Tehran.


Ghaffari said he was inspired to become a director after watching a film crew. The Apple Day, he said, was made for all cross-sections of audiences, and is his commentary against societal injustices, especially how men hesitate to take responsibility and how they turn a blind eye to the needs of their children.
Ali Asgari, whose two short films were nominated for Palme d’Or at Festival de Cannes, and the director of Until Tomorrow (Iran, France, Qatar/2022), a film supported by the DFI, told Hilal jurors, aged 13 to 17, that making the film had its challenges. He was asked to cut certain scenes, and as he insisted on having them, the film is awaiting release in Iran.

Hilal jurors attend a screening at Ajyal 2022

The film is about Fereshteh, a young mother facing a serious dilemma. On the surface, she is relatively happy, studying and working in a print shop in Tehran. But her parents are coming to visit, and she has kept a secret from them — her two-month-old daughter.
Asgari said the film, a portrait of the millennial generation and how they are re-examining the value system, has a core message. “It is about personal salvation, about how a woman discovers reserves of courage within her to stop hiding a truth,” he said.
The senior Bader jurors, aged 18 to 25, discussed the documentary Hafreiat (Spain, Qatar, Jordan/2022) directed by Alex Sardà. The film is about Abo Day, a fugitive from Amman who lives in Gneyya, a small village in northern Jordan. He is one of the Jordanian workers hired for a Spanish archaeological expedition. The empathetic documentary chronicles a man’s relationship with his family.
Sarda said the film was the result of a series of coincidences, meeting with the protagonist, and forming a bonding with him.