Film critics commend The Charmer at San Sebastian

AWARD. Milad Alami's "The Charmer" won the European and Mediterranean film critics' Fedeora prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival. The director deals with "one of the biggest challenges in Europe nowadays," the jury stated about Alami's debut feature, which is off next to Chicago and Warsaw.

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THE CHARMER. Swedish-Persian actor Ardalan Esmaili plays the central character of Esmail in Milad Alami's debut feature. Photo: Jason Alami

As this year's San Sebastian Film Festival drew to a close, there was praise for Milad Alami's "The Charmer" from the Fedeora Jury. Representing film critics of Europe and the Mediterranean, Fedeora awarded its 1st prize to Alami's debut feature, recognising the film's qualities with these words:

"In an intriguing study of cultural diversity and family values, this filmmaker deals, in a delicate way, with one of the biggest challenges in Europe nowadays, giving the characters a new ground to show what makes them close to each other rather than what sets them apart. With a smart and mature directing, he portrays a story lived by many, allowing his actors to give the best of themselves."

The film is a psychological drama about Esmail, a young Iranian man who is desperately looking to meet women who can secure his stay in Denmark. As time is running out he unexpectedly falls in love, and his past catches up with him. Read interview with Milad Alami The Riddle of the Stranger

"The Charmer" world premiered as the opening film of the New Directors section at the San Sebastian Film Festival (22-30 September). The film is soon off to Chicago Film Festival (12-26 October), making its North American premiere in the New Directors Competition, and Warsaw Film Festival (13-22 October), selected for the Competition 1-2 dedicated to fresh voices.

"The Charmer" is written by Alami and Ingeborg Topsøe and produced by Stinna Lassen for Good Company Films, with support from the Danish Film Institute's New Danish Screen talent-development scheme. International sales are handled by Alma Cinema, Paris.

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