“Tatami,” the latest film by Oscar-winning director Guy Nattiv about female Iranian athletes, has been added to the shortlist of 40 features up for nomination at the 2023 European Film Awards, akin to the American Oscars.
Dani Rosenberg’s “The Vanishing Soldier,” nominated for Best Picture at Israel’s Ophir Awards, is also on the European Film Awards shortlist.
Rosenberg’s film is about a soldier who goes AWOL to be with his girlfriend in Tel Aviv but discovers the army thinks he was kidnapped during battle.
The official nominations of the European Film Awards will be revealed on November 7, with the awards ceremony on December 9 in Berlin.
“Tatami” is also included in the 36th edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), set to run from October 23 to November 1.
“Tatami,” the term for the traditional Japanese mat used in judo matches, follows a single night in the lives of judoka Leila Hosseini (played by Iranian Chilean Arienne Mandi) and coach Maryam Ghanbari (Zar Amir Ebrahimi).
The movie was filmed in the fall of 2022 in Tbilisi, Georgia, chosen for its close proximity to both Iran and Israel. Ebrahimi, who won Best Actress at Cannes in 2022 for her role in “Holy Spider,” co-directed “Tatami” with Nattiv, making it the first feature co-directed by Iranian and Israeli directors.
At the Venice Film Festival in early September, “Tatami” received a standing ovation and has so far been sold to eight countries.