UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema 2017

The power of the moving image to connect people otherwise distanced by cultural, political and national divides has been embodied nowhere more profoundly over the last several decades than in the humanism, artistry and courage of Iranian filmmakers. UCLA Film & Television Archive has been presenting the best of their work in this annual survey for almost thirty years and it does so again this year with a renewed sense of purpose.

Our current series includes films from new voices, current masters and a special tribute to one of contemporary cinema’s most influential and important artists, Abbas Kiarostami. 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.

There has always been a vital need for such a cinema, and the Archive will always be a home for it and the artists who create it. It is anticipated that some filmmakers will appear in person, wherever possible, to discuss their work. Please check the UCLA Film and Television Archive website for updates on in-person guests, and to purchase tickets.

All films from Iran and in Persian, except where noted.

Saturday, May 6 - 7:30 p.m.
LIFE AND A DAY (Abad va yek rooz) (2016)
Los Angeles Premiere

2017 UCLA Film Life and a Day

Directed by Saeed Roostaee. Producer Saeed Malekan. Screenplay Saeed Roostaee. Cinematography: Ali Ghazi. Editor: Bahram Dehghan. Music: Omid Raisdana. With: Payman Maadi, Navid Mohammadzadeh, Parinaz Izadyar, Shirin Yazdanbakhsh.

A family beset by long simmering troubles and conflicts struggles to hold itself together after the death of its patriarch in writer-director Saeed Roostaee’s explosive and riveting feature debut.

DCP, color, 115 min.

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Sunday, May 7 - 3:00 p.m.
West Coast Premiere


Directed by Reza Dormishian. Producer: Reza Dormishian. Screenwriter: Reza Dormishian. Cinematography: Ashkan Ashkani. Editor: Hayedeh Safiyari. Music: Keyhan Kalhor. Production Design: Mohsen Nasrollahi. With: Navid Mohammadzadeh, Maryam Palizban, Baran Kosari, Mehdi Kooshki, Bahram Afshan.

Writer-director Reza Dormishian (I’m Not Angry!) intensifies his blistering critique of Iranian society with this jagged crime thriller/social drama mash-up in which a horrific attack on a political activist exposes the tenuous nature of reality itself in a country deeply divided.

DCP, color, 115 min.


Sunday, May 7 - 7:00 p.m.
Los Angeles Premiere

2017 UCLA Film Radio Dreams

Directed by Babak Jalali. Producer: Marjaneh Moghimi. Screenplay: Aida Ahadiany, Babak Jalali. Cinematography: Noaz Deshe. Editor: Nico Leunen, Babak Salek. Music: Mahmoud Schricker. Production design: Laura Lahti. With: Mohsen Namjoo, Boshra Dastournezhad, Raby Adib, Sulyman Qardash, Lars Ulrich. Executive Producer: Neda Nobari Foundation.

Winner of the prestigious Tiger Award at Rotterdam last year, Babak Jalali’s dry culture- clash comedy unfolds over the course of a single day as a Persian-language radio station in San Francisco awaits the imminent arrival of Metallica.

DCP, color, 91 min.

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Monday, May 8 - 7:30 p.m.
BREATH (2016)
West Coast Premiere

2017 UCLA Film Breath

Directed by Narges Abyar. Producers: Mohammad-Hossein Ghassemi, Abouzar Pourmohammadi. Screenwriter: Narges Abyar. Cinematography: Saed Nikzat. Editor: Sajad Pahlevanzadeh. Music: Massoud Sekhavatdoust. With: Sareh Nour Mousavi, Pantea Panahi Ha, Mehran Ahmadi, Jamshid Hashempour, Shabnam Moghadami.

Writer-director Narges Abyar (Trench 143) blends humor and hardship, animation and live-action in adapting her own novel about a young girl’s rural childhood before her world is turned upside down by the Iran-Iraq War.

DCP, color, 118 min.

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Friday, May 12 - 7:30 p.m.
FINALS (Emtehan Nahaee) (2016)
West Coast Premiere

2017 UCLA Film finals

Directed by Adel Yaraghi. Producer: Adel Yaraghi, Mostafa Shayesteh. Screenwriters: Adel Yaraghi, Abbas Kiarostami. Cinematography: Hossein Jafarian. Editor: Adel Yaraghi. With: Shahab Hosseini, Leila Zare.

When his mother (Zare) becomes engaged to his math teacher (Hosseini), Saeed (Salamanti) withdraws deeper into a rebellious, adolescent nihilism that threatens not just his future but his family’s future, as well, in this tense, domestic drama co-written by Abbas Kiarostami.

DCP, color, 94 min.

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Saturday, May 13 - 3:00 p.m.
TEN (2002)

2017 UCLA Film Ten
Directed by Abbas Kiarostami. Producers: Marin Karmitz, Abbas Kiarostami. Screenwriter: Abbas Kiarostami. Cinematography: Abbas Kiarostami. Editor: Vahid Ghazi, Abbas Kiarostami, Bahman Kiarostami. With: Mania Akbari, Amin Maher, Kamran Adl, Roya Akbari, Amene Moradi.

A work of stylistic daring and thematic power, Ten is a mid-career masterpiece that found Kiarostami working at the height of his powers even as it points to his bold new directions to come. This special screening will be followed by a conversation about Kiarostami’s life, work and legacy.

35mm, color, 94 min.

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Saturday, May 13 - 7:30 p.m.
West Coast Premiere

2017 UCLA Film 76 Minutes
Directed by Seifollah Samadian. Producer: Seifollah Samadian. Screenplay: Seifollah Samadian. Cinematography: Seifollah Samadian. With: Abbas Kiarostami, Juliette Binoche, Massoud Kimiai, Jafar Panahi, Ali Reza Raiesian.

Acclaimed photographery Seifollah Samadian, a long-time collaborator with Abbas Kiarostami, turns years of behind-the-scenes footage shot during their close creative partnership into a beautiful, understated and inspiring tribute to this giant of cinema by simply allowing us to watch, without commentary, Kiarostami at work.

DCP, color, 76 min.

Preceded by:
West Coast Premiere

Directed by Abbas Kiarostami. Editor: Adel Yaraghi. Music: Peter Soleymanipour. With: Biagio di Tonno.

Produced in Italy, Kiarostami’s delightful, beguiling final film evokes The Red Balloon by way of Italo Calvino when a young boy loses control of a soccer ball that then bounces down a seemingly endless series of stones steps.

DCP, B/W, 16 min.

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Sunday, May 14 - 7:00 p.m.
STARLESS DREAMS (Royahaye Dame Sobh) (2016)
Los Angeles Premiere

2017 UCLA Film Starless

Directed by Mehrdad Oskouei.

Documentarian Mehrdad Oskouei crafts a delicate but powerful portrait of young Iranian women struggling with abuse and addiction at a detention facility where they share with his camera their stories of pain, hope and resilience.

DCP, color, 76 min

HEY, HUMANS (2016)

Directed by Rakhshan Bani Etemad.
Producer: Rakhshan Bani Etemad.
Cinematography: Mohammad Reza Jahanpanah, Mohammad Hadadi.
Editor: Shirin Barghnavard.
Music: Siamak Kalantari.

The latest documentary from master filmmaker Rakhshan Banietemad (Tales, Nargess) quietly extolls the tireless work of the Chain of Hope Institute, which connects Iranian children in poverty who have serious heart and orthopedic conditions with international doctors who perform the life- saving surgeries they need.

DCP, color, 66 min.

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Thursday, May 18 - 7:30 p.m.
DAUGHTER (Dokhtar) (2016)
West Coast Premiere

2017 UCLA Film Daughter

Directed by Reza Mirkarimi. Producer: Reza Mirkarimi. Screenwriter: Reza Mirkarimi. Cinematography: Hamid Khouzouei. Editor: Meysam Movini. Music: Mohammad Reza Aligholi. With: Farhad Aslani, Merila Zarei, Mahour Alvand, Mehran Kashani.

In defiance of her traditional father (Aslani), Setareh (Alvand) sets out for on a day trip to Tehran from Abadan to attend a friend’s going away party, triggering a family crisis that engulfs multiple generations in writer-director Reza Mirkarimi’s richly shot and wonderfully acted story of the intersecting divisions that mark contemporary Iran.

DCP, color, 103 min.

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Friday, May 19 - 7:30 p.m.
West Coast Premiere

2017 UCLA Film Inversion

Directed by Behnam Behzadi. Producer: Behnam Behzadi. Screenwriter: Behnam Behzadi. Cinematography: Bahram Badakshani. Editor: Meysam Molaei. Music: Shar Sakhaei. With: Sahar Dowlatshahi, Ali Mostaffa, Setareh Pesyani, Alireza Aghakhani, Roya Javidnia.

Nilafoor (Dowlatshahi) believes she’s in control of her life – running her father’s business, beginning a new relationship – until her mother’s illness prompts her siblings to start making decisions on her behalf and she’s forced to fight back in writer-director Behnam Behzadi tightly drawn family drama which premiered in Un Certain Regard at Cannes last year.

DCP, color, 84 min.

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Event Details

Event Starts 05/06/2017
Event Ends 05/19/2017
Individual Price $10 Online / $9 Box Office - General Admission / Alumni, Student, Senior Discounts
Location Billy Wilder Theater - Hammer Museum