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Michael Moore's Film Festival to Feature "Greetings from Tehran"

TEHRAN, July 17 (Mehr News Agency) -- Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival is dedicating special sections to films from the Middle East in "Greetings from Tehran" and "Palestine and Vine".

The "Greetings from Tehran" section of the festival features Asghar Farhadi's "About Elly" a film which starts as an innocent weekend on the Caspian Sea but turns mysterious when Elly disappears, and "Football Under Cover," a family film about a women's soccer team.

"Palestine and Vine" features four Palestinian movies, including "Laila's Birthday," about a dad trying to keep his promise to bring a cake home for his daughter's birthday, and "Rachel," a documentary about Rachel Corrie, the 22-year-old American who was killed while trying to stop an Israeli bulldozer from demolishing Palestinian homes in the Gaza Strip. Corrie's parents will be here for the screening, Moore said.

Documentaries and movies from Tehran, Texas and Norway, and short movies by filmmakers help make up the lineup of 121 movies this year. There are 71 features and 50 shorts on this year's schedule. The film festival runs from July 28 to August 2.

About Elly

(Iran, 2009, 119 mins)
In Persian with English subtitles
Directed By: Asghar Farhadi

A group of college friends reunite with their families for an outing by the Caspian Sea with the aim of setting up their recently-divorced friend Ahmed with Elly, a young kindergarten teacher. Their seemingly innocent holiday turns into a gripping mystery after Elly vanishes in a troubling incident. The fourth feature from Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi (whose last film "Fireworks Wednesday" played in TCFF07), "About Elly" sheds light on the issues of class and gender in middle-class Iranian society with a tight script and a superb cast led by Mani Haghighi ("Men at Work," TCFF06). Farhadi's remarkable storytelling abilities are on full display here as his characters weave a web of deceit that leads to catastrophic consequences. Winner of Best Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival. In Persian with English subtitles. Not Rated

Erik Poppe's "Troubled Water" (De Usynlige) will serve as the opening-night film of Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival in Michigan. The Norwegian film centers on a young man, just released from prison, who is forced to confront his past.

"It's an almost perfect piece of filmmaking," said Moore, founder of the film festival, now in its fifth year. "It's the best drama I've seen this year."

Among the filmmakers who will be here for the new TCFF Film School, daily panels and question-and-answer sessions are Paul Mazursky, the focus of this year's tribute and director of such films as "Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice" and "Enemies: A Love Story"; Jim Czarnecki, who produced "Bowling for Columbine" and "Fahrenheit 9/11"; and directors from France, Burma, Palestine, Norway and Iran.

Football Under Cover

(Germany, 2008, 86 mins)
In English, Persian, German with English subtitles
Directed By: David Assmann, Ayat Najafi

An exhilarating look at the first-ever match played by the Iranian national women's soccer team in 2006, this empowering documentary follows the efforts of the women in Tehran and an amateur club from Berlin who joined forces to fight the Iranian bureaucracy for the right to set up the match. Overcoming the sensitive problem of gender roles in Iranian society, the women succeed in playing a match in front of a crowd of over 1,000 exhilarated female fans who had previously never been allowed to attend a soccer game in their native country. An energetic, crowd-pleasing testament to the power of women's determination, this uplifting documentary took home the audience award and best documentary prizes at the Berlin Film Festival. (Finally, a soccer movie at the TCFF that you can take your kids to see!) In German, English and Farsi with English subtitles. Not Rated

Among the environmental films is "The Cove," winner of the Sundance Film Festival's Audience Award, which follows a group of activists as they document fishing practices that annually result in the deaths of thousands of dolphins. "The Garden," nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary category, is about a community garden in south-central Los Angeles and "Food, Inc." delves into agribusiness.

Moore, who says he's about 75 percent done with editing his own movie, due out Oct. 2, didn't put the as-yet-unnamed documentary on the film festival schedule. There's still "Mike's Surprise," scheduled for the last night of the festival.

... Payvand News - 07/17/09 ... --

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