2019 UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema April 27 - May 11

April 9, 2019
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Roxie Sarhangi | Roxie PR / roxie@roxiepr.com / 310-666-1546

UCLA Film & Television Archive and Farhang Foundation Present the
Best in Iranian Cinema April 27–May 11

2019 0409 UCLA CIC 01Annual UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema opens with the Los Angeles premiere of Tehran: City of Love, and includes restorations of two landmark Iranian New Wave films

WHAT: UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema sponsored by Farhang Foundation. All films originate from Iran and are in Persian with English subtitles.

WHEN: April 27 – May 11, 2019

WHERE: UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum

TICKETS: Regular screenings: $10 general admission available here.

LOS ANGELES, CA, April 9, 2019 — The UCLA Film & Television Archive’s annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema—the first showcase for new Iranian films in the U.S. — marks its milestone third decade with a program that illuminates the latest cinematic trends with comedies and outright satires as well as gripping dramas and documentaries that explore the complex realities of Iran’s contemporary moment and the difficult history that shaped it. The event continues to be a platform for exciting new voices in cinema as well as a dialog to foster cultural understanding.

"Every year putting together the program for the UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema is a journey of discovery,” says Paul Malcolm, film programmer for the UCLA Film & Television Archive. “This year I'm not only excited about sharing every individual film with our audience, but I am also very happy at the range of subject matter and genres that are in the line up this year, from family dramas to romantic comedies to the overtly political satire in Sly. I think our audiences will be pleasantly surprised at what they will discover in this year’s selections.”

“We are delighted to once again join forces with the prestigious UCLA Film & Television Archive to help present this year’s Iranian film series,” says Alireza Ardekani, Executive Director of Farhang Foundation. “The archive's dedication and service to Iranian cinema over the last three decades is definitely commendable, and they should be applauded for what they have achieved in celebrating and showcasing the best in Iranian cinema with the entire community.”

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2019 0409 UCLA CIC 03   The celebration begins on April 27 with an opening reception and the Los Angeles premiere of Tehran: City of Love, the second film by up-and-coming Iranian-Canadian filmmaker Ali Jaberansari. This playful study of three people looking for love in a city where individual liberties can’t be taken for granted, is an all-new view of Iran’s capital and confirmation that Jaberansari is an exciting new voice in contemporary Iranian cinema. The director is scheduled to appear at the screening. View the trailer here.

The film series includes a rare political satire — Kamal Tabrizi’s Sly, screening April 28 at 3 PM. This refreshingly open spoof lampoons former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Qodrat Allah Samadi (Hamed Behdad) is a man who dreams of high office while delivering fiery conservative speeches in his garage to a handful of oddball followers. When a twist of fate launches him into the political mainstream, his increasingly off-the-wall positions threaten to expose the corruption of the whole system. See the trailer.

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Director Kamal Tabrizi's SLY starring Hamed Behdad

Star director Payman Maadi, who wowed the UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema in 2014 with Snow on the Pines will be at the screening of his second film Bomb, A Love Story on May 10 at 7:30 PM This ambitious film of epic scope captures 1980s life in Tehran during the Iran-Iraq war.

2019 0409 UCLA CIC 05Payman Maadi in BOMB, A LOVE STORY

Sahar Khoshnam’s documentary Ill Fate has its world premiere May 11 at 3 PM. The long-overdue look at the role and image of women in Iranian cinema from 1900 to the Revolution delves into rare and classic titles.

Los Angelenos can be the first in the country to see the U.S. premiere of Sunset Truck, which won the award for best script at Armenia’s Golden Apricot International Film Festival last year. When a family’s desert holiday camp finds its clientele drying up, the youngest son drums up business with a Facebook campaign touting the world’s most beautiful sunsets. When Sayeh, a young woman with a secret arrives, however, trouble comes following and the camp’s ragged band of romantics are confronted by the realities of a world they hoped to leave behind in what director Abolfazl Saffary calls a “glorious opera” in a setting where the sky touches earth.

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Abolfazl Saffary's SUNSET TRUCK

Also in the lineup are the engaging top winners of Farhang Foundation’s 10th Annual Short Film Festival, including Scent of Geranium by Naghmeh Farzaneh, Temporary by Behzad Azadi and Turquoise by Roozbeh Misaghi. These promising works reveal intimate aspects of Iranian life and issues.

2019 0409 UCLA CIC 07   The series ends with two rarely screened landmark pre-revolution films that have been painstakingly restored. The House Is Black is by Forough Farrokhzad, who was one of Iran’s leading contemporary poets when she started work on this short documentary about a leper colony in Tabriz. This important work of lyrical power and humanity helped launch the Iranian New Wave in the decade before the revolution. It is also Farrokhzad’s only film, made five years before her untimely death in 1967. Brick and Mirror, writer-director Ebrahim Golestan’s 1964 film, has an urgent street-level feel. After a taxi driver drops off a woman passenger (played by Forough Farrokhzad), he discovers a baby abandoned in the back seat.

Over a single long night, his search for the woman grows increasingly allegorical as it reveals a self-satisfied, corrupt urban elite and intellectual class unable to grasp the roots of its own demise. Restored from the original camera negative, outtakes and a surviving release print, Brick and Mirror returns to the big screen to take its rightful place as a milestone of Iranian and international post-war cinema.

2019 0409 UCLA CIC 08Ebrahim Golestan's BRICK AND MIRROR

Closing night includes two special guests—artist Sussan Deyhim and historian Dr. Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, who will share their insights into the work and lives of Farrokhzad and Golestan, who were close and intimate collaborators.

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Sussan Deyhim


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Dr. Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak

General admission tickets are $10. The complete schedule of films and tickets are available at UCLA Film & Television Archive. Opening reception tickets are available via Farhang Foundation. Films screen at UCLA’s Billy Wilder Theater, located at the Hammer Museum


UCLA Film 

About the 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 cinema.ucla.edu.

Farhang logo 

Farhang Foundation is a nonreligious, nonpolitical and nonprofit 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 and cultural activities in Southern California by funding university programs, diverse cultural programs such as the celebrations of Nowruz, Shab-e Yalda as well as musical performances, film screenings and festivals in Southern California.