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18th Annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema at UCLA: March 14-April 20

UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Bijan and Soraya Amin Foundation present

2008 marks the Archive's 18th annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema, and our program this year is as eclectic and diverse as ever. This year's offerings include seven new features from Iran and the Diaspora, as well as compelling new documentary and short works on film and video.

A major identifiable theme in this year's program is Iranian culture, whether it's pop culture-including a love triangle and murder that rocked Iran in 2002 (The Red Card) and provided steamy headlines for the Iranian tabloids for months; military culture in Night Bus and Those Three; small town culture in Dandelions Dance in the Wind; an irreverent and entertaining "history" of the city of Tehran in Tehran Has No More Pomegranates!; and an ode to one of the world's most important and enduring art forms in Persian Carpet, which features contributions by contemporary Iran's leading filmmakers, from Bahman Ghobadi to Rakhshan Bani-Etemad.

Nevertheless, most of the works in this series are by emerging directors and the program provides audiences with the opportunity to discover new filmmaking talent from Iran. We also hope to welcome several guests to present and discuss their work in person. Please check our website at for updates on in-person guests for this program.

All films are in Persian with English subtitles, unless otherwise noted.

Special thanks to: Mark Amin.

Additional thanks to: Erica Ginsburg; Bo Smith, Rebecca Mercer-Museum of Fine Arts Boston; Barbara Scharres-Gene Siskel Film Center.

Friday March 14 2008, 7:30PM ( Buy Ticket )




Iran's proudest export (besides its cinema) is the focus of this film, which features contributions by 15 leading directors, including Abbas Kiarostami, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, Bahman Farmanara, Dariush Mehrjui and many others. The directors' individual short works and approaches to the subject are as varied as the colors and designs that make up the titular focus of this ambitious omnibus film.

35mm, 109 min.

Saturday March 15 2008, 7:30PM ( Buy Ticket )


(2006) Directed by Massoud Bakhshi

Director Bakhshi's playful "history" of Tehran is an engaging and irreverent take on the sprawling city, its inhabitants, and it's illustrious and complicated past. Aided by rare archival footage, film clips and contemporary snapshots of modern Tehran from it's ancient bazaars, sparkling new shopping malls and congested thoroughfares, Bakhshi's film is a fascinating tour of this great metropolis, past and present.


Screenwriter: Massoud Bakhshi. 35mm, 67 min.


Sunday March 30 2008, 7:00PM* ( Buy Ticket )


(2007) Directed by Kiumars Pourahmad

An unlikely trio of men, including a quick-tempered young recruit, a worldly bus driver and an Iranian Kurd are charged with transporting 38 blindfolded Iraqi POWS from the front back across a landmine-laden landscape to a military base in this engaging anti-war story set during the Iran/Iraq conflict.

Cast: Mehrdad Seddiqian, Khosro Shakibai. 35mm, 90 min.

* Please note the early start time.


Saturday April 5 2008, 7:30PM ( Buy Ticket )

(2006) Directed by Mahnaz Afzali

In 2002, Iran's tabloid press erupted over the celebrity trial of Shahla Jahed, accused of murdering the wife of her soccer-star lover. The public's fascination was fueled by Shahla's brazen behavior in court, smirking, haranguing, cajoling and even cracking jokes with the bemused judge. Documentarian Mahnaz Afzali refrains from imposing an opinion on the case, but instead gives room for us to ponder its uncomfortable ambiguities.
DVcam, 74 min.

Sunday April 6 2008, 7:00PM* ( Buy Ticket )


(2007) Directed by Naghi Nemati

In this spare but entertaining drama, three soldiers gone AWOL soon find themselves in the middle of nowhere during an icy winter. They are subsequently joined by a mysterious pregnant woman also adrift in this no man's land. First-time feature director Nemati paints a visually stunning picture of a group of individuals struggling to survive against the breathtaking backdrop of this forbidding landscape.


Cast: Yousef Yazdani, Esmail Movahedi, Fatemeh Mir. 35mm, 80 min.
* Please note the early start time.

Friday April 11 2008, 7:30PM ( Buy Ticket )

(2007, Iran/Germany)
Directed by Amir Shahab Razavian

A recently divorced surgeon, Dr. Parsa, is called back to Iran from Germany to perform a complicated surgery. While there, his late father's friend (Entezami) urges him to visit his earthquake-ravaged hometown of Bam to save his family's dying palm groves. The resulting film is a compelling portrait of a man grappling with memories of his homeland, his father and a long lost love.

In Person: Amir Shahab Razavian

Screenwriter: Amir Shahab Razavian, Armin Hoffman. Cast: Shahbaz Noshir, Ezatollah Entezami. 35mm, 102 min.

Friday April 18 2008, 7:30PM ( Buy Ticket )

 Join us for an eclectic program of short narrative and non-fiction works on film and video, which document everything from female police recruits to the perils of public transportation in Tehran.

Please check back with us for a complete listing of films, descriptions, and the program's running order.

Various formats, approx. 80 min.


Sunday April 20 2008, 7:00PM* ( Buy Ticket )


(2007) Directed by Mohammad-Ebrahim Mo'ayyeri


Young Davood is a headstrong lad who is being primed for a job in his small town's textile company. When the company withholds the workers' pay, the townspeople take to the streets, and ultimately attempt to start a textile business of their own. This lyrical film is a joy to watch and clearly announces Mo'ayyeri as an exciting new voice in Iranian cinema.

Screenwriter: Mohammad-Ebrahim Mo'ayyeri. Cast: Mosa Khademian, Anahita Ghafarian. DigiBeta, 88 min.

* Please note the early start time.


... Payvand News - 03/13/08 ... --

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