Be part of the Sneak Peak of this engaging documentary about the lives of four girls living at the margins of Iranian society, at the Seventh Biennial of Iranian Studies in Toronto, 1 August 2008, 7pm.
The fringes of Iranian society can be a lonely place, especially if you are a teenage girl with few resources to fall back on. The Glass House follows four girls striving to pull themselves out of the margins by attending a one-of-kind rehabilitation center in uptown Tehran. Forget about the Iran that you've seen before. With a virtually invisible camera, the girls of The Glass House take us on a never-before-seen tour of the underclass of Iran with their brave and defiant stories: Samira struggles to overcome forced drug addition; Mitra harnesses abandonment into her creative writing; Sussan teeters on a dangerous ledge after years of sexual abuse; and Nazila burgeons out of her hatred with her blazing music. This groundbreaking documentary reflects a side of Iran few have access to or paid attention to: a society lost to its traditions with nothing meaningful to replace them and a group of courageous women working to instill a sense of empowerment and hope into the minds and lives of otherwise discarded teenage girls.
Followed by a Panel Discussion with Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh, Farnaz Aliakbar-Gordan, Marjaneh Halati (chair), Melissa Hibbard, Ladan Zahra Kani, and Hamid Rahmanian.
Presented by Fictionville Studio A film by Hamid Rahmanian and Melissa Hibbard USA/Iran, 91 minutes, ©2008 For more information about the film, visit www.fictionvillestudio.com
Filmmakers Hamid Rahmanian and Melissa Hibbard have created three documentaries on video: BREAKING BREAD (2000), SIR ALFRED OF CHARLES DE GAULLE AIRPORT (2001) and SHAHRBANOO (2002). In 2003, they co-founded a non-profit organization - ARTEEAST - its mission statement to promote the arts and cultures of the Middle East and it's worldwide diasporas in the United States. In 2005, Hamid Rahmanian made his directorial début with the narrative feature DAY BREAK (Dame Sohb), which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and went on to win several awards at festivals around the world. THE GLASS HOUSE is their latest narrative documentary, which will premiere in the Fall 2008.
Omid e Mehr was established in 2004 in Iran to strengthen the social, emotional, and economic competencies of disadvantaged young women (aged from 15 to 25), and provide them with a sense of self-worth and with the opportunities to experience a full range of life options through self-empowerment, education and training. Our clients have typically either been put into care from an early age, or run away from abusive homes, or live in extreme poverty. They often suffer from severe mental health and emotional difficulties, mostly stemming from their experiences of neglect, physical and sexual abuse, and exposure to drugs and violence. Despite their past difficulties, and the obstacles still facing them, our young clients have dreams. They yearn to participate in life, and to make meaningful contributions to the world around them. Omid's holistic approach provides these young clients with the opportunities to realize such dreams. They are offered the tools, structure and support to help them succeed. And, above all, we offer them the chance to be heard. The cornerstones of this approach are self-empowerment, education and training, supplemented by effective work placement, counselling and assistance.
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The screening will be part of the Seventh Biennial Conference on Iranian Studies held at the Park Hyatt Toronto, which will bring to Toronto approximately 250 scholars from various parts of the world for the presentation of their current research on Iran. This is the largest international gathering of scholars who study, teach and write on Iran.
Conference dates: 31 July - 3 August 2008
Screening date and time: 1 August 2008, 7pm
Venue: Park Hyatt Toronto Hotel, 4 Avenue Road, Toronto, Canada
Admission: Free for registered conference delegates, 10 Canadian Dollars for all others.
Admission and conference registration/information: Shabina Moheebulla at email@example.com
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