“My Favourite Cake” Triumphs at 74th Berlinale Despite Filmmakers’ Travel Ban


In a poignant moment at the 74th Berlin International Film Festival, “My Favourite Cake,” directed by Maryam Moqadam and Behtash Sanaeeha, took center stage despite the filmmakers facing a travel ban imposed by Iran’s authoritarian regime. The absence of the directors cast a shadow over the prestigious event, but the film’s presence was strongly felt.

Esmaeel Mehrabi stood in the spotlight during the “Keyke mahboobe man” photocall at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Berlin, holding a poignant photo of the absent creators. Lily Farhadpour, the lead actress, stepped in to read a statement on behalf of the directors, expressing their sadness and exhaustion but emphasizing the unifying magic of cinema.

Film Synopsis: “My Favourite Cake,” a 2024 drama, unfolds the story of Mahin, a 70-year-old woman navigating a solitary life in Tehran after the loss of her husband and daughter. The film explores her journey to rediscover joy during an afternoon tea with friends, starring Lily Farhadpour as Mahin and Esmail Mehrabi as Faramarz.

Production Details: This collaborative effort between Iran, France, Sweden, and Germany marks the third venture for the Iranian duo, Maryam Moqadam and Behtash Sanaeeha. The production faced challenges during post-production when the directors’ passports were confiscated, leading to threats of criminal charges.

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February 16, 2024 | 8:14 pm