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Forest Lovers (Short Film Screenplay)

Updated: Feb 14


Today is the wedding day. Charlotte is about to marry Arthur when she suddenly spots Ladan, an Iranian woman she knows from their virtual connection. They had a deep connection and were in love, but Charlotte thought Ladan couldn't leave Iran. Ladan encourages Charlotte to run away from her. Charlotte and Ladan flee the wedding and escape into the forest. Arthur tracks them down. He confronts Charlotte, telling her she has made a mistake. He reveals that Ladan died in a plane crash several years ago. In reality, Charlotte has a mental health issue, and Ladan is merely an illusion, not a real person. Charlotte realizes her error, though she dislikes accepting it. She escapes to the forest and leaves Arthur because she believes in her dream. Charlotte and Ladan laugh as they run through the forest. In the distance, Ladan fades away and Charlotte runs alone.

Our Review

Stories are voices that can delicately portray experiences and emotions. Asadollah Gholamali beautifully and sensitively narrates the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community. We must understand and appreciate the rich diversity of people that comprise our society. The writer has portrayed the suppression faced by this community by skillfully weaving together the horrific blast of an aircraft and the sheer madness of human loss. The attempt to tell the story through Charlotte and Ladan, rather than addressing the entire issue directly, truly demonstrates the art of storytelling. Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky as Charlotte to have a supportive person like Arthur in their life.

Writer Biography - Asadollah Gholamali

Asadollah Gholamali is a Canadian-Iranian filmmaker born in Bookan. He lives in Montreal now. He graduated with a Ph.D. degree in Art studies from Tarbiat Modares University. From 2012 - 2022, he taught at Iranian universities. His research focuses on diaspora cinema, philosophy and film, Iranian cinema and Film Festivals. He has translated and published several books and articles. In 2019, he published his latest book "Philosophical Causality in Cinema". He published a novel; "Here is the cabinet of Dr. Caligari". Aside from his research, he also made short films. His movies have participated in several international film festivals. As a panellist and workshop presenter, he has taken part in many discussion panels. His professional experiences include jury member at the sixth ASSK Film Festival (2023, Montreal). His movies (short films) were selected by International film festivals.

Writer Statement

In Iran, LGBTQ individuals face persecution as their identities are considered criminal offences. Iranian LGBTQ individuals emigrate from the country due to the regime's oppressive treatment. The Iranian government has a history of targeting and subjecting individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) to discrimination and harm.

On a different note, this screenplay touches upon the tragic incident involving Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 (PS752/AUI752) was a scheduled international civilian passenger flight travelling from Tehran to Kyiv, operated by Ukraine International Airlines. On January 8, 2020, shortly after takeoff, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft was tragically shot down by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), resulting in the loss of all 176 passengers and crew members on board.

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