Zār is the story of a woman who finds herself being danced around by the invisible hands of the puppet master. While being dragged around against her will, she rises up to the situation and tries to take control of her body in her own hands.​​​​​​​
The film is a stop motion animated dance performance based on the Zār rituals of southern Iran: a series of ceremonial events held by locals for people who believe they have been possessed by evil spirits. In areas where psychological and family pressures of traditional gender roles keep women constrained to their social position, these rituals act as a role of liberation and freedom for women. She is naked while wearing a traditional mask, representing a conflicted contemporary woman: one that tries to hold on to tradition while fighting against gender-based social roles and attire. The ownership of power shifts when the protagonist starts to fight against the outside forces and takes the matters into her hands; a battle that ends in her failure and in her falling into the same position that she started in.​​​​​​​
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2020,12th Annual Stop Motion Montreal Festival, Montreal
2019,13th Yellowknife International Film Festival, Yellowknife
2019,12th Lancaster International Short Film Festival, Lancaster
2019, Anim!Arte - International Student Animation Festival of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro
2019, 14th South Dakota Film Festival, Aberdeen
2019, 13th Annual TAIS Showcase, Toronto
2019, 6th Insomniac Film Festival, Toronto
2019, 104th OCAD University GradEx
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Interview with Stop Motion Montreal festival:​​​​​​
A chat with Marie Valade of Stop Motion Montreal Festival about the concept and process of making Zār
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Featured on:
CBC Arts: Exhibitionists series S05 E07
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OCAD University's 104th Graduate Exhibition:
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Published on:
The Artist and The Viewer Toronto Art Newspaper, Issue number 3, May and June 2019
Andrew King & Octavio Villamil, The Artist and The Viewer, Toronto Art Newspaper
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