11th Annual Short Film Festival Top Six Finalists Announced

The 11th Annual Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival Announces Its Top Six Finalists

Top 6 Slide 2019 02

The only short film festival in the world celebrating Iranian cinema and culture returns for the eleventh year with a red carpet awards ceremony on September 28 at UCLA's Schoenberg Hall

Tickets: $25-$45, available online via Ticketmaster or in person at the UCLA Central Ticket Office.

LOS ANGELES, CA (September 3, 2019) - The Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival is pleased to announce the six talented finalists competing for three cash prizes at the eleventh annual film festival. All six films will be screened at the awards ceremony on September 28, with the top three winners announced and awarded. Iranian American comedian and actress Melissa Shoshahi (FOX, Laugh Factory, Nickelodeon) will be returning to host the ceremony for the third consecutive year. This red-carpet event is followed by an exclusive cocktail reception in honor of the filmmakers.

MelissaIranian cinema continues to act as an international force, and the annual Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival highlights this growing film industry as well as the pool of talented filmmakers working around the world who focus on themes of Iranian culture. Since 2009, the festival has awarded $198,000 to filmmakers around the world, including many from Iran.

The short film festival is devoted to fostering cultural understanding and awareness of Iranian art and culture. It has also become a launching pad for filmmakers who have gone on to produce feature films and other larger projects after participating in the festival. "Over the past eleven years, the Farhang Short Film Festival has persistently grown, and each year we continue to receive more masterful and compelling short films. I am so proud of the many powerful films that were in competition this year, and it is just a testament to the vast pool of talent that exists amongst Iranian filmmakers" said Mark Amin, Farhang Foundation vice chairman, and jury chair.

This year the award ceremony returns to UCLA's Schoenberg Hall, at the prestigious Herb Alpert School of Music, home of Farhang Foundation's newly established Iranian Music degree program.

The selected top six films cover the gamut of genres -narrative drama, experimental, and animation. As a group, they reveal a culture rich in film and storytelling. "This year's collection of films in competition by far surpassed all our expectations, and really demonstrated the power of short films and the incredible talented filmmakers that exist both inside and outside of Iran" said Alireza Ardekani, executive director of Farhang Foundation.

The Top Six Official Selection Finalists

2019 FFF Top6 The Baby

THE BABY by Ali Asgari

The Baby (Bacheh), is the story of a young female student in Tehran who has recently given birth to an illegitimate child, and is trying to keep the baby a secret from her family. The film follows her as she tries to find a place to hide the baby while her family is visiting from out of town.

2019 FFF Top6 Family of Too Many

FAMILY OF TOO MANY by Maaman Rezaee

Bahar, an 8-year-old Iranian girl, believes she has caused the death of her grandmother. As she deals with her feelings of guilt, her parents decide to steal grandmother’s body. As Baha’is living in Shi’a Iran, the family risks everything when they steal the body away in the middle of the night so that they may perform their prohibited religious rituals and burry the body in the proper cemetery.

2019 FFF Top6 Fried Fish

THE FRIED FISH by Leila Khalilzadeh

The fried fish is laid on a plate ready to be eaten and is yearning to see the sea once again. He asks a cat, a mouse, a dog, and a crow for help to get him back to the sea, however, one after another they each eat a part of his flesh and carry him only some distance down the path, and drop him before making the final destination. In the end, a group of ants throw what is left of the fish’s skeleton into the sea. The fish happily swims away in the deep blue sea.

2019 FFF Top6 Malum

MALUM by Ehsan Soltani

Ages after ruining their civilization, weak-kneed and hollow people, who used to have possessed a great culture and civilization, are now caged and encircled with their traditional customs, which are raised from superstition. A severe drought has enfolded their land, and now they are boasting to the sky, expecting it to rain, and trying to carry out the rain prayer custom.

2019 FFF Top6 Story Man Without Lips


The film centers on a young man who has no lips to laugh with. So he steps into a journey and asks for lips from various individuals, but they all refuse to give him one while listing their reasons why. Eventually, he returns home after the long journey understanding that being cheerful depends on a happy heart after all.

2019 FFF Top6 The Wireless

THE WIRELESS by Majid Kalantar & Saman Salehi

An artillery scout gets stuck in an impasse situation without any water. While accidentally eavesdropping on a military transceiver, he realizes that the enemy soldier is in a similar condition nearby, except he is without any food, so he decides to communicate and exchange food for water and plans to meet the enemy in person.

The Farhang Short Film Festival is open to filmmakers of any background. The only requirement is that the films pertain to an aspect of Iranian culture, such as the arts, history, lifestyle, crafts, geography, and politics. The top three winners will receive cash prizes of $10,000, $5,000, and $3,000. The films are all subtitled in English and can be screened by the public at FarhangFilmFest.org.

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The 2019 jury panel included the legendary father of Iranian animation, Dr. Noureddin Zarrinkelk, Golden Globe-winning composer Richard Horowitz, screenwriter, and playwright Dr. Naghmeh Samini, award-winning actor and writer Saber Abar, and jury chair Mark Amin, CEO of Sobini Films.

Tickets for the September 28th Award Ceremony and after-party start at $25, and can now be purchased via Ticketmaster or in person at the UCLA Central Ticket Office.


Farhang logo 

Farhang Foundation is a nonreligious, nonpolitical 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 celebrations of Nowruz and Mehregan, theater, 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. However, the content, viewpoints, or biases expressed by individual artists, academics, institutions, or events supported by the foundation belong solely to each individual party and do not necessarily reflect the views of Farhang Foundation.