THE DOLL Wins Top Prize at 2021 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival

Elahe Esmaili’s short film The Doll focuses on a family and a community whose perspectives differ regarding a 14 year old’s marriage. This documentary short received its World Premiere at Oscar-qualifying Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival 2021 where it won the Best International Short Documentary Award, an Oscar-qualifying Award.

After consulting with his relatives, a 35-year-old father consents to the marriage of his 14-year-old daughter. With individuals having different perspectives, his family grapples with the decision. 

Director/Writer/Producer Elahe Esmaili is currently a MA Student at National Film and Television School (NFTS) and is a BA alumna from Tehran University of Art where since 2016, was ranked 1st among more than 150,000 participants in Iranian Art Konkur (national university entrance exam). She is also a member of Iran’s National Elites Foundation. Esmaili is very passionate about issues concerning children’s and women’s rights; issues like child marriage, child abuse, neglect, or violence by parents, rape, women-against-women, and social inequalities, leading to her to direct her very first short film The Doll.

The Doll was edited by both Delaram Shemirani and Bahram Emran. Delaram started her career in 2015 as editor of short films and assistant editor in feature films. She was the first assistant editor of the Venice nominee film Jst 6.5 by Saeed Roustayi. Bahram started his career in 2015 as editor of short films and assistant editor in feature films. He was the editor of the Cannes nominee short film Lunch Time and was part of the editing department of many feature films including Bomb, A Love Story by Peyman Maadi. 

Cinematographer Emad Arad has worked on many Iranian short-films. He also co-directed the short film Barter that will premiere at the Huesca International Film Festival 2021.

The Doll will be screening at this year’s Oscar-qualifying film festivals Huesca International Film Festival from June 11th – June 19th, and Norwegian Film Festival from June 9th – June 13th. 


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