Announcing: UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema

April 21, 2017
For media inquiries contact:
Kelly Graml - UCLA Film & Television Archive/ / 310-206-8588
Roxie Sarhangi - Roxie PR | Farhang Foundation / / 310-666-1546

Cultural Exchange:
UCLA Film & Television Archive and Farhang Foundation Present
UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema, A Rare Look into Contemporary Iran

2017 UCLA Film 01

The Film Series Begins on May 6th and Concludes on May 19th, 2017 – Featuring New Voices, Current Masters and a Special Tribute To One of Contemporary Cinema's Most Influential Artists, Abbas Kiarostami

WHAT: UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema sponsored by Farhang Foundation
Most films originate from Iran and are in all Persian. English Subtitles.
WHEN: May 6 - May 19, 2017
TICKETS: Regular screenings: $10 general admission available here.

FARHANG OPENING VIP RECEPTION: Tickets available at  for $100.

LOS ANGELES, APRIL 21,2017 - For almost thirty years, the UCLA Film & Television Archive has annually showcased the power of films from Iran to connect people otherwise distanced by cultural, political and national divides. In partnership with Farhang Foundation, this year's UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema offers Los Angeles the chance to experience new voices, current masters, and a special tribute to Abbas Kiarostami, one of contemporary cinema's most iconic and influential artists. Each, in their own way, reflects the complex realities of contemporary Iran and the Iranian diaspora, while their storytelling resonates beyond specific contexts to universal experiences that unite us all as viewers and human beings.

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The celebration and opening reception begins on May 6th with the Los Angeles premiere of Life and a Day, 2016 winner of eight awards at the 2016 Fajr Film Festival in Tehran, including Audience Award, Best Director and Best First Film. Life and a Day follows a family beset by long simmering troubles and conflicts struggling to hold itself together after the death of its patriarch. This is writer-director Saeed Roostaee's explosive feature debut. View the trailer here.

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The two-day tribute to Abbas Kiarostami begins on Friday May 12th, with the west coast premiere of Finals, a domestic drama from director Adel Yaraghi, co-written by Abbas Kiarostami.

Abbas Kiarostami began his career leading the Iranian New Wave generation of the 1960s, and is often credited as being the first filmmaker to give Iranian cinema an international profile. Kiarostami has won over seventy international film awards including the prestigious Cannes Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. This past February, the Writers Guild of America West selected Kiarostami as the recipient of the Jean Renoir Award for International Screenwriting Achievement.As Martin Scorsese put it, Kiarostami is "one of those rare artists with a special knowledge of the world."

On Saturday, May 13th, audiences can revel in a rare screening of Ten, Kiarostami's mid-career masterpiece that found him working at the height of his powers. This special screening will be followed by a conversation about Kiarostami's life, work, and legacy.

The tribute concludes with a dynamic double bill featuring two west coast premieres, beginning with Kiarostami's final masterpiece Take Me Home. Produced in Italy, Take Me Home evokes Albert Lamorisse's classic The Red Balloon by way of a young boy who loses control of a soccer ball that bounces down a seemingly endless series of stone steps. 76 Minutes and 15 Seconds is directed by acclaimed photographer Seifollah Samadian, a long-time collaborator of Kiarostami. Samadian turns years of behind-the-scenes footage of their beautiful relationship into an understated and inspiring tribute, without commentary, of the great master Kiarostami at work.

Other highlights of the film series include: Lantouri, by writer-director Reza Dormishian, a blistering critique of Iranian society set against an horrific attack on a political activist; Radio Dreams, winner of the top prize at last year's Rotterdam International Film Festival, director Babak Jalali's dry culture-clash comedy unfolds as a Persian-language radio station in San Francisco awaits the imminent arrival of Metallica;
Breath, by writer-director Narges Abyar which blends humor, hardship, animation and live action; and Starless Dreams, the award-winning documentary by Mehrdad Oskouei featuring a delicate but powerful portrait of young Iranian women struggling at a detention facility.

General admission tickets are $10. For a complete schedule of films and to purchase tickets, visit UCLA Film & Television Archive.
For reception tickets, visit

Films will screen at UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, located at 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024.


UCLA Film 

UCLA Film & Television Archive is renowned for its pioneering efforts to rescue, preserve and showcase moving image media and is one of the largest repositories of film and television materials in the world, with more than 450,000 holdings. For almost 40 years, UCLA Film & Television Archive has been at the forefront of introducing U.S. audiences to important, new filmmakers and movements worldwide.  Previously unknown directors whose works were first screened to U.S. audiences by the Archive include some of the most important names in international filmmaking: Alfonso Cuarón, Claire Denis, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Abbas Kiarostami, Hayao Miyazaki, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Arturo Ripstein, Aleksandr Sokurov, Béla Tarr, Wong Kar-wai and Zhang Yimou.  The Archive continues to showcase a wide range of American and international cinema at its theatrical home, the Billy Wilder Theater.  For more info visit

Farhang logo 

Farhang Foundation is a non-religious, non-political and not-for-profit foundation established in 2008 to celebrate and promote Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large. The foundation supports a broad range of academic activities in Southern California by funding university programs, publications and conferences. The foundation also supports diverse cultural programs such as the celebration of Nowruz, Shabe-Yalda, Mehregan, theater and dance performances, film screenings and poetry readings in Southern California. And, in cooperation with various cultural and academic institutions, Farhang Foundation funds major programs and exhibitions about Iran and its culture and is currently commissioning a monumental gift to Los Angeles celebrating the shared humanitarian values of Cyrus the Great and the Founding Fathers of America. For more info visit and


Images, top to bottom:
Lantouri, directed by Reza Dormishian
LIfe and a Day directed by Saeed Roostaee
76 Minutes and 15 Seconds with Abbas Kiarostami directed by Seifollah Samadian