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Double Feature sff:

TEHRAN DERBY & THE LIVES OF MECCA

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TEHRAN DERBY
Germany, Iran 2016 / 20 min / DCP / OV with English subtitles
Director, Script: Simon Ostermann; Cinematography: Johannes Greisle; Editor: Martin Wunschick; Sound: Karl Gerhardt; Production: Marie-Luise Scharf, Josephine Weyreuther, Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf & rbb

Red or blue? Esteghlal and Perspolis are rivaling football clubs in Iran. Millions of fans come to Tehran to support their team at the derby. Both sides have their lead fans, Abbas Esmailbeggi and Mohammad Ghasemi, who are responsible for the fan support as well as their actions: “We come from the fan block. We weren’t born as leaders.” For them it is a great honor to serve their team, and football is an essential part of their lives. This being a male domain, Abbas keeps one wish though: to take his daughter with him to the arena one day.

THE LIVES OF MECCA
Switzerland, Italy 2015 / 54 min / DCP / OV English with German subtitles
Director, Script: Stefano Etter; Cinematography: Mariangela Marletta; Editor: Amos Pellegrinelli; Sound: Nick Bedo; Production: Nicola Genni, Domenico Lucchini, Enrica Viola

“This is therapy. This is the Mecca.” On Coney Island there is a court where a group of men comes together every single day: American Handball is their sport and passion. Others just come for watching, betting and crossword puzzles. At first glance they are social outcasts gathering here. Filmmaker Stefano Etter found ex-prisoner Tom, drifter Patrick and “Crazy” Johnny among them. Alternately they tell their stories about living in problematic areas, where violence, drugs and solidarity play a major role in everyday life. For them, handball doesn’t just mean leisure time. The court becomes the center of their lives and the support they need to cope with their problems.