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SA produced feature is Australia’s choice for 2022 Academy Awards

25 October 2021
When Pomegranates Howl, image supplied
When Pomegranates Howl, image supplied.

South Australian produced and SAFC supported film When Pomegranates Howl has been selected as Australia’s official submission for Best International Feature Film at the 2022 Academy Awards

Written, directed and produced by Iranian-Australian Granaz Moussavi (My Tehran for Sale), and produced by South Australian producer Christine Williams (Deafinition), this unforgettable anti-war drama, which was shot in Afghanistan, follows Hewad, an irrepressible nine-year old boy who hustles on the streets of Kabul selling everything from pomegranate juice to protection from the evil eye. 

Portrayed by Arafat Faiz, an untrained young actor, Hewad is a quick-witted, street-smart kid, who seizes every chance and dreams of becoming a movie star to support his mother and sister.  When an Australian photojournalist befriends Hewad and starts documenting his life in order to create an empathetic depiction of children in a war-torn society, Hewad is hopeful that his luck may finally be changing.

An Australian/Afghanistan co-production, When Pomegranates Howl was financed with the assistance of the Adelaide Film Festival and the South Australian Film Corporation, with post-production by Adelaide’s Artisan Post Group.

The film also recently garnered a nomination for Best Youth Film at the 2021 Asia Pacific Screen Awards, which will announce winners on 11 November.

SAFC CEO Kate Croser said: “The SAFC is incredibly proud to have supported this important film, and we are thrilled to see it chosen as Australia’s official submission for the 2022 Academy Awards. I congratulate writer, director and producer Granaz Moussavi, South Australian producer Christine Williams and the entire creative team on this distinguished honour, and look forward to seeing the film recognised on the international stage at the world’s most prestigious screen awards.”

When Pomegranates Howl is the latest film from Moussavi, a graduate of AFTRS and Adelaide’s Flinders University, who immigrated to Australia from Tehran with her family in the late 1990s. Since that time, she has distinguished herself as a contemporary poet, film director and screenwriter. Her award-winning debut feature film My Tehran for Sale, which she wrote, directed and produced alongside South Australian producers Julie Ryan and Kate Croser, was also supported by the SAFC.

Distributed in Australia by Bonsai Films, When Pomegranates Howl will next be seen at the 2021 Sydney Film Festival along with a late November preview season in Sydney and Canberra, prior to a select theatrical release in the first quarter of 2022.

When Pomegranates Howl was produced by Parvin Productions in association with Sterga Productions with additional financial assistance provided by the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund and the South Australian Film Corporation, as well as support from the Netherlands Embassy, Kabul. Producers Granaz Moussavi, Baheer Wardak, Christine Williams and Marzieh Vafamehr.

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