Fireflies – Mexico, Greece, Dominican Republic 85′ 2018
Director: Bani Khoshnoudi
Writer: Bani Khoshnoudi
Cinematography: Benjamin Echazarreta
Cast: Arash Marandi; Edwarda Gurrola; Luis Alberti; Eligio Meléndez; Ishbel Mata; Eduardo Mendizábal
Producers: Elsa Reyes; Bani Khoshnoudi; Athina RachelTsangari; Israel Cardenas; Laura amelia Guzman; Janya Kralj
When Ramin hid on a cargo ship leaving Turkey, he never expected to end up in Veracruz, Mexico by accident. As a young gay man, he fled the persecution in his home country, Iran, with the hopes of making it to somewhere in Europe. Now, having arrived on the other side of the world, he is desperately looking for a way to travel back across the ocean, while coping with the distance that he has taken with his boyfriend and his past. But the paradox of his feelings is immense. While in a state of longing and nostalgia, Ramin begins to explore local relationships, sometimes full of ambiguity. He lives in a small, family-run motel, where he slowly becomes close with the manager, Leti, a Veracruzan woman in her mid 30s who is also in a sort of limbo. Her boyfriend has not contacted her since going to the United States a few years back, leaving her distraught and abandoned. Now that she hears that he is coming home, Leti is all of sudden confronted with her past as well. In order to save money, Ramin works precarious jobs with other migrants around the city. This is where he meets Guillermo, an ex-gang member from El Salvador who left his country as the only chance to get away from his past and the violence. It is here in Veracruz that they share their solitude of migration, as well as intimate moments in which they understand that their plight may be different, yet quite the same.
Bani Khoshnoudi was born in Tehran in 1977, and moved to the United States. She is a filmmaker, visual artist and writer whose approach to film comes from a background in photography & architecture and often deals with themes related to revolution and modernity and its impact on memory, exile and migration. After finishing studies at the University of Texas at Austin, she moved to France in 1999, where she would live for 10 years.
Awards and nominations – Fireflies
- 2018 – Miami Film Festival – winner
- Rotterdam International Film Festival
- Göteborg Film Festival
- Dubai International Film Festival