Zalava (Persian: زالاوا‎) is a 2021 Iranian horror drama film directed by Arsalan Amiri and written by Amiri, Ida Panahandeh and Tahmineh Bahramalian.[1][2] The film screened for the first time at the 39th Fajr Film Festival and earned 6 nominations and received 4 awards.[3][4]

Film poster
Directed byArsalan Amiri
Written byArsalan Amiri
Ida Panahandeh
Tahmineh Bahramalian
Produced byRouhollah Baradari
Samira Baradari
CinematographyMohammad Rasouli
Edited byEmad Khodabakhsh
Music byRamin Kousha
Touba Films
Farabi Cinema Foundation
Evar Film Studio
Göteborg Film Fund
Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum
Distributed byLevelK
Khaneh Film
Release dates
  • February 1, 2021 (2021-02-01) (FIFF)
  • June 29, 2022 (2022-06-29) (Iran)
Running time
93 minutes


  • Navid Pourfaraj as Sergeant Masoud Ahmadi
  • Pouria Rahimi Sam as Amardan
  • Hoda Zeinolabedin as Malihe
  • Baset Rezaei as Younes
  • Fereydoun Hamedi as Amous
  • Shahou Rostami as Khalaj
  • Mahsa Hejazi as Khalaj's daughter
  • Leila Beigi as Leila
  • Zahed Zandi as Sergeant Amini
  • Saleh Rahimi as Arhim
  • Hadi Ahmadi as Soldier
  • Darioush Karim Raouf as Zalava People
  • Salar Zarei as Zalava People
  • Masoud Beigi as Zalava People
  • Kordowan Boustan as Musician
  • Varya Amini as Zalava People
  • Asad Houshman as Zalava People
  • Azin Kananian as Zalava People
  • Romina Haji Hosseini as Zalava People
  • Narin Malek as Zalava People
  • Keyvan Sheikh Ahmadi as Zalava People


Critical responseEdit

The performances of Navid Pourfaraj and Pouria Rahimi Sam garnered critical acclaim and both received Crystal Simorgh nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively, with Rahimi Sam winning.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 89% based on 17 reviews, with an average rating of 7.2/10.

Marking a confident, cinema-literate feature debut for helmer and co-writer Arsalan Amiri, a member of the Iranian Kurdish minority, the film puts a new spin on genre conventions. But perhaps its biggest asset is the performance of tall, toned and impressively mustached star Navid Pourfaraj as the sergeant of a nearby gendarmerie, whose attempts to lay down the law with the trigger-happy residents of Zalava result in unintended consequences.

Variety / Alissa Simon[5]

Amiri has made the village of the film with precise mezzanine, costume design, accent form and behavior and has worked properly on these things.

Haft / Massoud Farasati[6]


Arsalan Amiri winning the Grand Prize Venice International Critics' Week at the 78th Venice International Film Festival.
Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2021 Fajr Film Festival Best Supporting Actor Pouria Rahimi Sam Won [7]
Best Cinematography Mohammad Rasouli Honorary Diploma
Best First Film Arsalan Amiri Won
Best Screenplay Arsalan Amiri, Ida Panahandeh and Tahmineh Bahramalian Won
Best Film Zalava Nominated
Best Director Arsalan Amiri Nominated
Best Actor Navid Pourfaraj Nominated
Sound Recording Rshid Daneshman Nominated
Sound Editing Amir Hossein Ghasemi Nominated
Costume Design Mohammad Hossein Karami Nominated
2021 Venice International Film Festival Grand Prize Venice International Critics' Week Arsalan Amiri Won [citation needed]
FIPRESCI Prize (Parallel Sections) Arsalan Amiri Won
2021 São Paulo International Film Festival New Directors Competition (Best Film) Arsalan Amiri Nominated
2021 Fantastic Fest Next Wave (Best Film) Arsalan Amiri Won
2021 Duhok International Film Festival Best Director of a Kurdish Feature Film Arsalan Amiri Won
Best Actor of a Kurdish Feature Film Navid Pourfaraj Won
2022 Iran's Film Critics and Writers Association Best Actor in a Supporting Role Pouria Rahimi Sam Nominated
Best Sound Rashid Daneshmand, Amir Hossein Ghasemi Won
Best Creativity and Talent (first filmmakers) Arsalan Amiri Nominated


  1. ^ "Zalava". LevelK ApS Film Sales. Retrieved 2021-11-15.
  2. ^ "پخش بین‌المللی "زالاوا" به کمپانی دانمارکی رسید". ایسنا (in Persian). 2021-09-10. Retrieved 2021-11-15.
  3. ^ ".: Iranian Movie DataBase فيلم زالاوا :". Retrieved 2021-11-15.
  4. ^ "معرفی برندگان سیمرغ بلورین سی و نهمین جشنواره فیلم فجر". خبرآنلاین (in Persian). 2021-02-10. Retrieved 2021-11-15.
  5. ^ Simon, Alissa (2021-09-10). "'Zalava' Review: Scientific Beliefs Clash With Superstition in Iranian Horror Entry". Variety. Retrieved 2021-11-15.
  6. ^ "فیلمی که باعث تعجب مسعود فراستی شد!". خبرآنلاین (in Persian). 2021-02-05. Retrieved 2021-11-15.
  7. ^ "اسامی کامل برگزیدگان جشنواره فیلم فجر ۳۹ + لیست و جزئیات". ایمنا (in Persian). 2021-02-10. Retrieved 2021-11-15.

External linksEdit