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Iran's Mina Sadati wins supporting actress Tiantan for "Searing Summer"

- Mina Sadati has won the Tiantan for best supporting actress for her role in Iranian drama "Searing Summer" at the Beijing International Film Festival in China. She received the award during the closing ceremony of the event in the Chinese capital on Sunday, the organizers announced. - 4/23/18

John Oliver and James Van Der Beek Launch a Mock Podcast About Iran on Last Week Tonight

- On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver turned his attention to diplomacy, a.k.a. "the thing that keeps us from immediately going to war with our enemies and from telling Lichtenstein how we really feel." -TIME - 4/23/18

Iranian Pakshoo Brand Wins New York Festival Award

- An Iranian company has outperformed global brands, winning silver and bronze World Medals at an internationally recognized festival for corporate film production, the first in Iran's advertising industry. Pakshoo industrial Group was awarded the Corporate Image Film and Writing distinctions for its Your Story Is Our Story film on April 10 at the 2018 New York Festivals World's Best TV & Films competition. - 4/18/18

First Ever Release of 1978 Farah Choir Recording

- After 40 years, a never-before-heard recording of the Farah Choir, which was supported by the former queen of Persia Farah Diba (Pahlavi), has been released in Europe. The release of the recording, which contains seven Persian folk songs, was planned for 1978, but was halted due to the Islamic Revolution. - 4/17/18

Cannes Festival To Feature Films By Dissident Iranian, Russian Directors

- France's Cannes film festival has made a show of support for dissident directors in Iran and Russia in unveiling its selection of films to compete for the festival's Palme d'Or prize. Festival director Thierry Fremaux included films by Iranian director Jafar Panahi, who has been banned from leaving Iran, and Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov, who is under house arrest in Russia. - 4/13/18

Iranian movies line up for Atlanta Film Festival

- Six movies from Iranian filmmakers will be competing in the 42nd Annual Atlanta Film Festival in the United States. "Disappearance" directed by Ali Asgari will be screened in the Narrative Features section, while five other films will compete in the shorts section. - 4/12/18

American director Oliver Stone to attend Iran's Fajr Film Festival

- Oscar-winning American filmmaker Oliver Stone will be attending the 36th Fajr International Film Festival, the secretary of the festival, Reza Mirkarimi, announced in a press conference on Wednesday. The Fajr festival will be running in Tehran from April 19 to 27. - 4/11/18

Deutsche Grammophon releases Persian Compositions for Cello and Piano

- The German Classical Music Records Lable Deutsche Grammophon has released Kian Soltani's debut album which contains works by Schubert, Schumann and Persian composer Reza Vali. The young Persian-Austrian cellist Kian Soltani was born in 1992 in Bregenz. His parents Khosro Soltani and Farzaneh Navai used to work with Tehran Symphony Orchestra for a while and shortly after the Islamic Revolution in Persia moved to Austria. - 4/9/18

Preview Screening Of Two Feature Films 'Man' & 'Three Worlds' By Amir Motlagh At Chicago Filmmakers

- LA based, award winning Iranian-American filmmaker Amir Motlagh along with producing partner and Chicago based filmmaker Charles Borg are set to preview two new feature films - MAN, Three Worlds in a double feature screening hosted by Chicago Filmmakers on April 21st, 2018 at 6 PM in Chicago, IL. - 4/9/18

'Everybody Knows' by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi to open Cannes 2018

- The Spanish-language psychological thriller, written and directed by Farhadi, stars the Oscar-winning Penelope Cruz as a mother (Carolina) who travels with her family from Buenos Aires back to her small hometown outside Madrid, Spain, for a celebration. The family's trip is plagued by unexpected events that threaten to tear the loved ones apart. The film also stars Javier Bardem as Carolina's husband. - 4/5/18

Metal Band Member Sentenced to Six Years Prison in Iran Accused of Creating "Satanic Music"

- Nikan Khosravi, a member of the Iranian metal band "Confession," left Iran for Turkey to avoid being imprisoned for six years for producing metal music, he told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on March 29, 2018. "The interrogators had translated my English lyrics [into Farsi] verse by verse and were asking questions about this and that word and told me I was a Satan worshipper and didn't believe in God," Khosravi told CHRI. - 4/2/18

Play on role of women of Tabriz in Constitutional Movement to go on stage in Ankara

- "Pasha" ("Pasa"), an Iranian play that sheds light on the role of women in Tabriz in the Constitutional Movement (1905 to 1911), will be performed at the 12th edition of the Ethos Ankara International Theater Festival, which is scheduled to open in the Turkish capital on Tuesday. - 3/26/18

Crossroads: New play written and directed by Bahram Beyzaie

- Approximately year eighty of the Persian calendar. In a busy crossroads of Tehran, a woman and a man run into one another, torn apart by the events of the last fifteen years! March 23rd-April 1st at Stanford University - 3/22/18

Iranian-Armenian actor Levon Haftvan dies at 51

- Levon Haftvan, the Iranian-Armenian actor who played roles in acclaimed movies such as "Kupal" and "Parviz," died of heart attack on Saturday. He was 51. Haftvan suffered a heart attack on Friday night while acting in a scene in the TV series "Bride of Darkness" and was taken to the hospital where he passed away the next day, Persian media reported. - 3/11/18

Iranian cinema returns to Edinburgh as tribute to female directors

- Beginning with the works of young filmmaker Ida Panahandeh, the audience experienced love and loss as two former lovers are reunited after a fatal accident in Israfil (2017). Panahandeh's Nahid (2015) addressed the social challenges faced by a single mother who wants to settle down with her new boyfriend. The 2015 feature introduced the Iranian concept of temporary marriage, or 'sigheh', an Islamic law allowing a man and woman to legally couple without an official change of marital status. -Sara Konradi, Student Newspaper - 3/6/18

"The Rock" by Iranian Director Hamid Jafari Wins Best Short Documentary Award At Irvine International Film Festival

- The Rock by Hamid Jafari has won the Best Short Documentary at 7th annual Irvine International Film Festival. Also at the same category which Iranian short film competed, the 'Knife Skills by Thomas Lennon won the 'Honorable Mention.' - 2/23/18

Film Review: Tehran Taboo

- The fascinating animated drama Tehran Taboo doesn't dismiss outright the reality that many residents of the Iranian city might enjoy happily devout or mundane lives, going about their business by the strict codes and regulations of the Islamic Republic. However, this film, written and directed by Ali Soozandeh, is wholly disinterested in those who are leading devoutly moral lives. -Film Journal - 2/14/18

Iranian War Movie "The Lost Strait" Named Best at Fajr Film Festival

- "The Lost Strait", a drama produced by Saeid Malekan on an epic battle by Iranian combatants during the last days of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, was crowned best at the 36th Fajr Film Festival on Sunday night. The film's director Bahram Tavakkoli and Ebrahim Hatamikia, whose Daesh drama "At Damascus Time" premiered at the festival, shared the Crystal Simorgh for best director during the closing ceremony of the event that was organized at Tehran's Milad Tower. - 2/12/18

A New Film on Ancient Persia: "Taq Kasra: Wonder of Architecture"

- World Premiere of the film "Taq Kasra: Wonder of Architecture" will take place at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London on 1 February 2018. The film - which is the first-ever documentary on this iconic monument - is directed by Pejman Akbarzadeh, based in the Netherlands. - 1/25/18

She Studied Singing in College But is Banned From Performing on Stage in Iran

- "I am a professional Iranian singer but I am only allowed to work if I perform with a man, which is something I have never wanted to do," female vocalist Sepideh Jandaghi told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) in an interview. A vocalist with 12 years of training in traditional Iranian music, Jandaghi spoke to CHRI on January 22, 2018, about discriminatory state policies banning women in Iran from performing on stage except in rare circumstances. - 1/25/18

Symposium at Yale University explores impact of popular music on Iranian society

- "Popular Music & Society in Iran: New Directions," a two-day symposium examining the social and political significance of music in Iran, will take place at Yale University on Jan. 26-27. "The political and sociological study of music in contemporary Iran is a growing field, and this event is the first of its kind to bring together researchers and academics working on the topic," said symposium organizer Nahid Siamdoust, a postdoctoral associate and lecturer in Iranian studies at the Council on Middle East Studies at the MacMillan Center at Yale. - 1/24/18

The House Is Black Media Project

- The House is Black is Iranian American artist Sussan Deyhim's multimedia examination of the work of Forough Farrokhzad, one of Iran's most influential feminist poets and filmmakers. Travel through a visual, sonic and theatrical journey into the heart of Forough's prophetic vision, which is as relevant today as it was half a century ago. This thrilling production, first seen at Royce Hall in 2015, features a Persian and Western-influenced score by Deyhim and Golden Globe-winning composer Richard Horowitz. - 1/24/18

Play brings trans people into public eye in Iran

- A play that spotlights transsexuals in Iran was staged during the 36th Fajr International Theater Festival in Tehran on Friday night. "The Blue Pink" was staged by a cast of nine actors helmed by the promising young director and writer Sanaz Bayan at Paliz Theater. - 1/22/18

Iranian Actress Baran Kowsari appointed new ambassador of Yari Foundation

- Actress Baran Kowsari has been appointed the ambassador of the Yari Foundation, an Uppsala-based charity organization founded by Iranian expatriates living in Sweden, the organization has announced. -Yari supports street children in Iran, enabling them to attend school, and also raises funds for construction of schools and libraries for children in the country. - 1/22/18

Female Musician Prohibited From Performing on Stage in Isfahan, Iran

- Iranian singer Salar Aghili performed in the central Iranian city of Isfahan on January 12 and 13, 2018, without the female members of his band due to interference by local officials at the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. - 1/20/18

German quartet pays tribute to Iranian sailors at Fajr Music Festival in Tehran

- The fifth night of the 33rd Fajr International Music Festival was host to brilliant performances by the Klenke quartet from Germany. The program paid tribute to Iranian sailors and crew who lost their lives in a shipping incident off the Sea of China earlier this week. The program was held at Niavaran Cultural Center in Tehran. - 1/16/18

Acclaimed Iranian singer Iraj to perform in Shiraz

- Acclaimed traditional singer Hossein Khajeh-Amiri, better known as Iraj, will hold his first ever concert in Shiraz, Fars Province, on January 21. Iraj will be accompanied by Nima Nour Mohamadi as conductor of musicians, in the performance at the amphitheater of the cultural complex of Shiraz University. - 1/16/18

International sports film festival opens in Tehran

- Dozens of sports films are competing in the 11th Tehran International FICTS Festival that opened at Felestin Cinema on Monday. A lineup of feature-length, short and documentary films from around the world will go on screen during the 4-day event. - 1/15/18

Iranian Authorities Confiscate Passport Of Prominent Director Rasoulof, Ban Him From Making Films

- Award-winning director Mohammad Rasoulof has revealed that he has been banned from making films in Iran and is not allowed to leave the country. "As soon as I arrived at Tehran's international airport [on September 11, 2017], two individuals came to me at the passport checkpoint and took me to a room where they confiscated my passport and personal belongings," Rasoulof told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on December 23, 2017. - 12/27/17

Iran Extends Film Censorship Reach Beyond Its Borders

- Iran has taken its cultural censorship efforts to new levels by pressuring a filmmaker to cancel the screening of one of his films in Canada. The film, Delighted, by Abdolreza Kahani, was due to be screened last month at an independent theater in Toronto. But Kahani decided to cancel the screening after receiving a warning from Iran's Culture Ministry. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 12/24/17

Italian musician sisters to perform duet in Tehran

- The Italian musician sisters, violinist Natascia Gazzana and pianist Raffaella Gazzana, will perform a duet at Tehran's Niavaran Cultural Center on Saturday. - 12/21/17

Iran's Culture Ministry Successfully Pressures Iranian Director to Cancel Film Screening in Canada

- Iranian director Abdolreza Kahani cancelled a screening of one of his films in Canada after Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance threatened to ban his next film if he refused to comply, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. - 12/19/17

IRGC Commander Turned Musician Says He Was Banned From Producing Music by the Intelligence Ministry

- Iranian singer and songwriter Hossein Zaman, a former Revolutionary Guards commander who has been banned from producing or performing music for more than 15 years, says the ban was put in place because Iran's Intelligence Ministry wants to intimidate him into refraining from expressing his political views. - 12/11/17

German electronic band to give first Western pop concert in Iran in 39 years

- German electronic musician Christopher von Deylen and his band Schiller will become the first pop group to perform in Iran's capital, Tehran, since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. -Deutsche Welle - 12/11/17

Iran's Culture Minister Says He's Trying to "Transform" Conservative Clerics' Views on Music

- Before musicians can perform concerts in Iran without the threat of the authorities suddenly canceling them, someone has to convince conservative Shia Muslim clerics that music is not un-Islamic. "Some of the things that have happened to these artists is because of the views expressed by some religious leaders," said Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Abbas Salehi in an interview - 12/9/17

Tallinn Film Review: 'Asphyxia'

- Fereydoun Jeyrani's elegant black-and-white thriller refracts Iranian gender politics through the prism of a twisty Hitchcockian noir. -Jessica Kiang, Variety - 12/5/17

Iranian, Italian orchestras to take "Divine Martyrs" to Rome church

- The Tehran Symphony Orchestra choir and Italy's World Youth Orchestra will perform "Where Art Thou, Divine Martyrs" composed by Hushang Kamkar, at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome on December 3. The joint concert is scheduled to be repeated in Tehran on December 6, Iran's Rudaki Foundation announced in a press release on Monday. - 11/28/17

Iranian teenage musicians to perform in Denmark festival

- A group of Iranian teenage musicians will perform at a music festival in Denmark later this month. The young musicians will perform at the NYT music festival and the University of Copenhagen on November 25 and 27. - 11/22/17

Iranian video games scoop awards at IMGA

- Three Iranian games have won four out of a total of nine main awards at the International Mobile Gaming Awards (IMGA) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). "4Wheelers" from Ordibehesht Studio was picked as the Best Multiplayer Game while "Mafioso" from Paeezan Game Studio received the Excellence in Art Award. - 11/16/17

Shahram Nazeri, Kamkars team up to give benefit concert for quake victims in Kermanshah, Iran

- Legendary Iranian vocalist Shahram Nazeri and the Kamkars will join together in a concert to raise funds for the victims of the devastating earthquake that hit their homeland Kermanshah in western Iran on Sunday. Following the devastating earthquake, numerous Iranian artists have announced that they would organize various programs to help the victims of the natural disaster. - 11/15/17

Iran's first Oscar submission directed by woman causes stir

- A movie about a young girl whose fantasy world helps her escape the hard realities of growing up in the countryside near Tehran in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution is Iran's first-ever submission for the Academy Awards' foreign film directed by a woman. But not everyone is celebrating. -Amir Vahdat, AP - 11/10/17

INTERVIEW-Oscar-nominated Iranian director challenges Trump to watch her film

- Iran's first Oscar-nominated female director has challenged President Donald Trump to watch her film to see if its portrayal of ordinary Iranians' experience of war and revolution will change his views of her country. -Parisa Hafezi, Reuters - 10/31/17

Stanford To Host New Play By Reza Allamehzadeh: "The War Owl"

- The War Owl looks at the evils of war as initially rendered in Iran's grand epic poem, Shahnameh, and revisited by Bahar, the country's twentieth century master lyricist. The play is written and directed by Reza Allamehzadeh, with the solo performance of Hamid Abdolmaleki and live musical accompaniment by Faramarz Aslani. - 10/19/17

Tehran Prosecutor: Streaming TinyMoviez Website Shut Down For "Indecent" Content

- The popular Iranian streaming movies website, TinyMoviez, which featured pirated material, was shut down for distributing "indecent" foreign films, announced Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi on October 10, 2017. The prosecutor was responding to media reports that the TinyMoviez website was shut down by a judicial order in response to complaints from the owners of a rival website seeking to take down its competition. - 10/16/17

Iranian Baha'i Singer Facing Prison Time After European Concert Tour

- After being repeatedly interrogated while spending a month in solitary confinement, Iranian singer Behnam Rohani-Fard was released on 100 million tomans bail (approximately $30,156 USD) from Tehran's Evin Prison on October 3, 2017. - 10/10/17

Iranian Singer Offered Bribes in Exchange for Cooperating with Rouhani Government

- Aramnejad, 34, was briefly detained on February 15, 2010 for his song "Ali Barkhiz" (Ali Rise Up!) in support of the pro-reform Green Movement that arose out of the protests against Iran's disputed 2009 presidential election. He was arrested again on November 8, 2011, for continuing to sing political songs, notably Deltangi (Homesick) in support of Mir Hossein Mousavi, who ran for president in 2009 and has been under extrajudicial house arrest since 2011 for leading the 2009 protests. - 10/5/17

Winners of 2017 'Sepanta Awards' at 10th Annual Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco announced

- Director Parviz Shahbazi's "Malaria" has been crowned best at the 10th Annual Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco. The film also brought Shahbazi the awards for best director and best screenwriter. Ali Mosaffa was picked as best actor for his role in "Duet" by Navid Danesh, while Mitra Hajjar was named best actress for her role in Ali Atshani's "Wishbone". - 10/2/17

Iran's Arrow: Don't miss this documentary about Iran's beloved Hillman Hunters

- We love cars that stay in overseas production for decades beyond what the designers intended; there's the Hindustan Ambassador (a 1956 Morris Oxford, built in India until 2014), the 1960 Ford Falcons built in Argentina through 1991, the Mexican-built Borgwards and many more. One of the all-time greatest -- maybe the all time-greatest -- of these cars is the Iran Khodro Paykan, essentially a 1966 Hillman Hunter, built in Iran well into our current century. -AutoWeek - 10/2/17

What Trump's tough talk on Iran means for human rights

- Iranian-American actress and activist Nazanin Boniadi weighs in on how the Iran nuclear deal has affected humanitarian work, minority representation in Hollywood and more. -Politico - 9/28/17

Iran-Armenia joint production "Yeva" premieres in Yerevan

- "Yeva", a co-production between Iran's Farabi Cinema Foundation and the National Cinema Center of Armenia, premiered at the Moscow Cinema in the Armenian capital of Yerevan on Saturday. Directed by Iranian-Armenian filmmaker Anahid Abad, the film tells the story of Yeva, a young woman who escapes her influential in-laws with her daughter Nareh, after her husband's tragic death, and takes refuge in one of the villages of Karabakh, Armenia. - 9/26/17

Veteran Iranian vocalist Nader Golchin dies at 81

- Nader Golchin died at 81 after a long battle with lung cancer at Tehran's Gandhi Hospital on Friday. He was hospitalized for about one month at the medical center, his daughter Nazanin told the Persian service of ISNA. - 9/23/17

Producer of "Breath" pleased female filmmaker to represent Iran at Oscars

- Mohammad-Hossein Qasemi, the producer of Iran's submission to the 2018 Oscars "Breath", who is also the husband of the film's director Narges Abyar, said on Wednesday that he was pleased Iran has sent a movie by a female filmmaker to the 90th Academy Awards. "Women have a greater potential for making a film and competing at international events," Qasemi told the Persian service of Tasnim. - 9/20/17

Iran Summons Award-Winning Filmmaker To Court

- Iranian authorities have asked award-winning filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof to report to the prosecutor's office after confiscating his passport upon arrival in Tehran. Rasoulof's passport was taken away at Tehran's airport on September 15 as he returned from the United States, where he had screened his latest film, A Man Of Integrity (Lerd), at the Telluride film festival. - 9/20/17

Imprisoned for Producing Music, Yousef Emadi Sentenced to Another Year Behind Bars

- An imprisoned Iranian music producer has been sentenced to an additional year in prison on new charges brought by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. Yousef Emadi was supposed to be released on parole in 2017 after serving one year for producing underground music without a license. His co-defendants, Mehdi and Hossein Rajabian, were granted parole in June 2017. - 9/17/17

"Mississippi Dies Seated" crowned best at Iran's theatrical writers awards

- "Mississippi Dies Seated" based on Swiss writer Friedrich Durrenmatt's play "The Marriage of Mr. Mississippi" was named best play of the year at the 16th Celebration of Iran Critic and Theatrical Writers Society on Thursday. - 9/15/17

PHOTOS: Mariwan International Street Theater Festival in northwestern Iran

- The 12th Mariwan International Street Theater Festival has come to an end, with carnivals of Iranian and international artists marking the closing ceremony of the artistic event in the downtown of the Iranian Kurdish city. The four-day festival wrapped up on Tuesday in the northwestern city of Mariwan which is considered as Iran's capital of street theater. - 9/13/17

Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival Announces Its Top Six Finalists That Examine Aspects Of Iranian Culture For 2017 Fest

- The Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival is pleased to announce six talented finalists competing for three cash prizes at its ninth annual cinema event. The films will be screened September 30, with the top three winners announced and awarded. The screenings will be followed by an awards ceremony hosted by Iranian American comedian and actress Melissa Shoshahi (FOX, Laugh Factory, Nickelodeon). This red-carpet event is followed by an exclusive cocktail reception in honor of the filmmakers. - 9/10/17

Iranian Family Launches Protest Over Concerts Canceled By Hard-Liners

- A family of four in Iran has launched a symbolic protest against the cancellation of concerts around the country on religious grounds. Ahmad Mehrchian and his wife, Zohreh Barati, decided to launch their protest after a concert by the veteran traditional musician Shahrem Nazeri (far left) and his son was canceled by authorities at short notice. - 9/8/17

Iranian Actresses Barred From Traveling to Toronto Film Fest

- Two Iranian actresses won't be hitting the red carpet as their drama Ava makes its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on Friday. The Canadian government has denied travel visas to 17-year-old Mahour Jabbari and 18-year-old Shayesteh Sajadi, according to the film's director, Sadaf Foroughi. -Hollywood Reporter - 9/8/17

10th Annual Iranian Film Festival - San Francisco: September 23-24, 2017

- This year, the festival presents 40 films from Iran, USA, Italy, France, Canada.... We are happy and proud to continue our mission to discover and support the next generation of Iranian filmmakers living and working around the world, while we honor the veteran filmmakers for their distinguished careers. Please join us to celebrate the outstanding works of Iranian filmmakers. Passes and tickets are On Sale Now. - 8/30/17

Tehran Green Film Festival announces international lineups

- The 6th edition of the International Green Film Festival in Tehran announced the foreign films for various categories on Tuesday. The festival plans to highlight sustainable tourism this year in line with the UN World Tourism Organization's decision to name 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. - 8/29/17

Iranian Filmmaker Jafar Panahi Refuses to Honour State-Backed Film

- Following the twelfth presidential elections in the Islamic Republic, the history of Iran's post Revolutionary state and political figures has become a hot topic and the government is engaged in glorifying its past actions. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is particularly investing in these films. However, the films are receiving a backlash from dissident film makers in Iran. - 8/25/17

Subversion by Satellite: This All-Female Talk Show Is Making Waves in Iran

- Iran's first all-female talk show judges its success by an unusual measure: how much the government hates it. The pioneering weekly show, Samte No ("New Direction"), launched last October and caused an instant outcry among Iran's religious hard-liners. With a format similar to that of The View, it features three educated, stylish Iranian hosts in Western dress discussing topics ranging from President Donald Trump's state visit to the Middle East to voting rights to fatwas against wearing nail polish or riding a bicycle. -Marie Claire - 8/25/17

48 countries to attend in International Green Film Festival's visual art section

- The 6th Iran International Green Film Festival (IIGFF6) is slated for September 9-15, 2017, with the objectives of recognizing, screening and awarding the best national and international films and visual arts aimed at protecting the environment, natural resources, increasing public awareness and promoting the culture of environmental preservation. - 8/23/17

Pouran Derakhshandeh's 'Under the Smoky Roof' to go on screen in 10 German cities

- Iranian feature movie 'Under the Smoky Roof', directed by Pouran Derakhshandeh, will go on screen at 10 cities in Germany. The film, starring Farhad Aslani and Merila Zarei, is based on the social and emotional dilemma of divorce in Iranian culture. - 8/22/17

Comedy "1st Born" billed as first Iranian-American film production

- Iranian director Ali Atshani plans to make a comedy project titled "1st Born", which will be the first co-production between Iran and America, the Hollywood Reporter announced on Tuesday. Atshani, renowned for movies such as "The President's Cellphone", "Wish Bone", "Banana Peel", and "Negar's Role" will use a cast and crew from both the U.S. and the Middle East. - 8/16/17

Iran's Beleaguered Music Community Urges Rouhani to Prevent Concert Cancellations

- Members of Iran's music industry are urging President Hassan Rouhani to follow through on his 2017 election campaign promise to uphold citizens' rights by preventing the cancellation of state-sanctioned concerts. The most recent appeal was issued to the president in a letter signed by members of the House of Music, an independent association of musicians based in Tehran, on August 2, 2017 following the cancellation of a concert by a renowned vocalist. - 8/9/17

Frequent Concert Cancellations In Iran Draws Fire From The Music Community

- The musicians in Iran are constantly being harassed and mistreated by the conservatives who are in power in judiciaries, especially in religious urban centers. They are now asking Iranian president to stand up for their rights. A year after 600 Iranian musicians wrote a letter to Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, objecting to increasing mistreatment of the music community and the illegal cancelation of concerts, nearly 100 of them gathered to voice their concerns. - 8/8/17

Why Shirin Neshat complicates 'Aida' at the Salzburg Festival

- New York-based Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat is known for her photography, video installations and films. Her work has largely dealt with women's issues in Iran, exploring taboos and touching on gender and cultural conflicts. At this year's Salzburg Festival, she is the stage director for a new production of Verdi's opera "Aida," starring Russian soprano Anna Netrebko, who debuted in the role to resounding applause on Sunday evening. -DW - 8/8/17

Celebration of Iranian Cinema Returns to UC Irvine

- The 2nd Annual CELEBRATION OF IRANIAN CINEMA in Orange County will be held at the University of California, Irvine August 25-27, 2017. - 8/2/17

Iranian TV Personality Who Promoted Compulsory Islamic Dress Under Fire Over Photos

- A well-known Iranian television personality has been accused of hypocrisy after images of her in which she is not adhering to the country's Islamic dress code surfaced online. Presenter turned actress Azadeh Namdari has for years promoted compliance with the hijab, which in Iran refers to Islamic dress that covers the hair and body. In particular she has touted the wearing of the black chador, a garment that covers women from head to toe, leaving the face exposed. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/26/17

Performance in Stanford: "Autumn Dance" follows three tormented Iranian women experiencing exile...

- Autumn Dance, written and directed by Shabnam Tolouei, follows three tormented Iranian women experiencing exile, even while living in their own country. Bita, a journalist, and Mojdeh, a prostitute, are both imprisoned in Iran's infamous Evin prison. The third, Yekta, lives in exile in Paris. The simple elegance of the play allows the audience to be transported from Tehran to Paris, to uncover the connection between these three women. - 7/20/17

'Game of Thrones' fever grips Iran

- Westeros fever has gripped Tehran and other cities as Iranians eagerly count down the days to season seven of HBO's series to begin on July 16. Some might credit the interest to the fact that its composer Ramin Djawadi is of Iranian descent. Others point to the fictional legend of Azor Ahai - a deity known as the Lord of Light - being inspired by Zoroastrianism... -Holly Dagres, Al-Monitor - 7/14/17

Reza Sixo Safai on his Film "The Persian Connection"

- Samuel Goldwyn Films is releasing its first Iranian film, The Persian Connection this week on July 14th. This stylish neon-noir thriller is set in the opium underworld of "Tehrangeles" and features a protagonist who was a child soldier during the Iran-Iraq War. The film premiered at TriBeCa 2106 to rave reviews. Reza Sixo Safai produced the film and plays the lead role; he spoke with us about it - 7/13/17

'Bodyguard' by Iranian director Ebrahim Hatamikia wins top prizes at VIFF 2017

- 'Bodyguard' directed by Iranian filmmaker Ebrahim Hatamikia won Best Art Direction, Best Supporting Actor (for Babak Hamidian), and Best Director award at the 3rd Vienna Independent Film Festival (VIFF 2017) in Austria. 'Forgiveness' by Iran's Rima Irani also won Best Short Film Award at the festival. - 7/10/17



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