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KATYUSHA

Feature Film (Comedy)

a film by Ali Atshani (Iran)

Khalil is a former Iranian soldier who is known as "Khalil Katyusha" on Instagram. He has to spend some days with Arshia who is a rich boy. Their social class differences cause them not to get along with each other well.

DIRECTOR’S BIO

Ali Atshani was born in Isfahan. His first cinematic attempt was during his high school years. It was a short movie called "Namaye Entezar" , which was chosen for the second annual 100 movie festival.

By the time he entered the university to study computer engineering, he had completed some short movies and documentaries. During his college years, he started a student critique association which focused on contemporary Iranian and world cinema. Ashtani continued his cinematic activities during his college years and produced a few more short movies. After graduation in 1999, he moved to Tehran in order to continue his art career at the professional level.

In 2002, Ashtani directed a documentary called "Unfinished" which is about religious rituals in Iran. Because of the high sensitivity of this subject in the Iranian society, the documentary was banned by the government and never distributed in Iran but the widespread reception among the international community gradually helped Atshani establish his reputation as a young talent. When "Unfinished" was screened in countries such as the U.S., England and Estonia, it won the second prize in 2003 Houston Movie Festival.

In 2004 and 2006, Atshani made two long movies called "The Forgotten Positives" and "One step to God" out of his own pocket. This movie was screened in countries such as the U.S., Germany, Uruguay, Egypt, Japan, Hungry, and Italy. After receiving positive reviews from critics, Atshani won the third place award from the Houston Movie Festival in 2005. These two movies faced no legal ban in Iran and were successfully screened and distributed by the national television.

In 2007, Ali Atshani directed another movie called "Banana Skin". This movie is considered his first professional project which featured professional cast. This controversial movie focused on spiritual concepts related to the posthumous life. His movie received mixed reviews and faced legal bans in Iran. This movie was eventually screened in countries such as the U.S., Spain, Hong Kong, and Mexico and received positive reviews.

From 2007 to 2009, Atshani received various awards in the domestic film festivals. In 2009, he directed "Democracy Tou Rouze Roshan" with an outstanding team of Iranian superstars. The movie benefited from surrealistic concepts and is considered an event-grade work in the Iranian cinema. This movie is about one of the military generals in the Iran-Iraq war who fled the service. Once again, this sensitive subject provoked harsh reactions by the clergy in Iran and Atshani was almost arrested. The movie set the record for the highest payroll for an Iranian actor who received $100,000 for only three minutes of screen time. This movie was among the bestselling movies in 2010 and helped Atshani gain a reputation as an accomplished independent movie maker. Another work called "Along City" was made in 2010. This movie was based on the outcomes of 2009 presidential elections in Iran and the related political events. It faced harsh reactions from the government and underwent heavy censorship before screening in 2011.

In 2011, Atshani made "The President's Cellphone" which was considered critical towards the Iranian president in those days. The circle close to the Iranian president did not appreciate this movie and it was declared illegal directly by the president. However, by the end of the previous president's term, the movie was screened and received positive reviews.

Another milestone for Atshani was that he made the first 3D movie in the history of Iranian cinema called "Mr. Alef". This movie did not attract the expected attention in Iran, mostly due to controversies about his previous works. But in the international community, this movie was recognized as an technological and artistic breakthrough for the Iranian and the Middle East film industry. It had a limited screening in Iran, partly as a result of technical deficiencies in the movie theaters. This movie was first screened in 2012 Fajr International Film Festival.

In 2013, Atshani directed his fifth long movie called "Negar's Role". This movie was considered an unorthodox work from the structural point of view. This movie drew special attention because one of the pre-revolution Iranian movie stars, Naser Malek Motiee, was among the cast. This movie also faced a two-year ban in Iran until it was eventually screened in 2015.

In 2015, Atshani directed his sixth movie in Germany called "Paradise". This movie touched a very sensitive subject and attracted many critics. The main theme of this movie is about a young clergy who falls in love with a young German girl through Facebook and the related radical Islamic beliefs existing in the society.