Tedium (Khastegi), the debut film of Iranian director Bahman Motamedian, is the first of two surprise films to be added to Venice's Horizon's line-up, the Biennale announced today.

The Tehran-set film follows the experience of seven transsexuals within the confines of Iran's conservative culture. The film's title underscores the public and personal estrangement these individuals feel as they work out their identities within Iran's restrictive and traditional social mores.

'Making a film about transsexuals and their problems in Iran was a difficult task. And it became something of a challenge as I could see myself more and more as a fighter than as a filmmaker. I had to be able to show the multi-dimensional and fluctuant aspects of my society and its phenomena. I especially wanted to demonstrate the society's position towards transsexuals,' the director said.

Prior to Tedium, Motamedian directed theatre, in particular plays by Eugene Ionesco; he also holds a degree in photography from Terhan's Youth Cinema Institute.