Saturday, May 18, 2024

Oscars: “Red Suitcase” In the Lead for Best Live Action Short from Iranian Director Cyrus Neshvad


Riz Ahmed will be back at the Oscars presenting the award the Best Live Action Short, the award that he won last year for “The Long Goodbye.”  There is a strong possibility that Riz will be reading filmmaker Cyrus Neshvad’s name.  Neshvad’s “The Red Suitcase” is garnering kudos with audiences and critics. 

“Suitcase” is about a 16 year old Iranian girl (Nawelle Ewad) who arrives in Luxembourg to be married to a much older man (Sarkaw Gorany) whom she’s never met.  With the recent protests in Iran decrying the abuse of women, this film has landed with a timely boom in Hollywood.  Iranian born Neshvad left the country with his family and settled in Luxembourg where he still lives. I spoke with Neshvad, the first director from Luxembourg to be nominated, about his journey to the film.

He said: “My mother told me in 2019 that Iranian women were disappearing.  I then wanted to do a film about it.  When we were nearly finishing, then the whole world was talking about it.”  What drives him cinematically?  “The driving force for me is to for the audience to connect with our hero and never to be bored.  For  me it’s 30 percent my ego, 70 percent audience connecting to it. I literally did 40 versions of the film, I kept methodically editing.  I knew I had to catch the audience in 18 minutes.”

He more than succeeded.  “The Red Suitcase” is a powerful and poignant film; packing emotion, suspense and more in its short running time. 

Neshvad already had a feature lined up he’s starting in May.  And odds are that this talented filmmaker will be going home with the golden statue in his hand.

Leah Sydney
Leah Sydney
Leah Sydney writes from Los Angeles for A seasoned journalist with a long history during the halcyon days of the NY Daily News, Leah is a member of the Critics Choice and Rotten Tomatoes.

Read more

In Other News