UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema 2019

Farhang Foundation is proud to collaborate with the UCLA Film & Television Archive to present the Archive’s long tradition of celebrating the best cinema from Iran and the Iranian diaspora with the latest edition of its annual survey of works by Iranian filmmakers, past and present.

This year, the program illuminates the latest cinematic trends with several comedies and out right satires appearing in the line-up alongside gripping dramas and documentaries that explore the complex realities of Iran’s contemporary moment and the difficult history that shaped it.

We are also pleased to present new restorations of two landmark works by two founding filmmakers of the pre-revolution Iranian New Wave, Forough Farrokhzad and Ebrahim Golestan, whose significant contributions have been overlooked owing to the inaccessibility of their films.

All films from Iran and in Farsi with English subtitles, except where noted.

Saturday, April, 27 – 7:30 pm

Tehran: City of Love

Iran/UK/The Netherlands 2019

Los Angeles Premiere

2019 UCLA Film - jaberansariScheduled to appear: Writer-Director, Ali Jaberansari

Three lonely hearts—a bodybuilder, a receptionist and a religious singer—navigate the chilly waters of romance in an alienating urban landscape that puts the irony in the title of writer-director Ali Jaberansari’s second feature. Jaberansari’s deadpan humor and a wry visual style make this an offbeat romantic comedy that suggests it's the absurdity of pursuing love, not its triumphs, that really makes us human.

Director: Ali Jaberansari
Screenwriter: A. Jaberansari, Maryam Najafi
Cast: Forough Ghajabegli, Mehdi Saki, Amir Hessam Bakhtiar

DCP, Color, 102 min.

Preceded by

Tariki (Umbra)

Los Angeles Premiere

2019 UCLA Film - Tariki
2019 UCLA Film - Tariki

A young woman walks out into the street at night in search of her lover but encounters a mysterious, threatening stranger instead in this short that premiered at Cannes in 2018.

Director: Saeed Jafarian
Screenwriter: S. Jafarian, Fatemeh Abdoli
Cast: Mahsa Alafar, Banipal Shoomoon

DCP, Color, 15 min.

Buy Tickets

Sunday, April, 28 – 3:00 pm

Sly (Marmouz)

2018

West Coast Premiere

2019 UCLA Film - Sly
2019 UCLA Film - Sly

Political satires are rare in Iranian cinema—to say the least—so it’s especially refreshing to come across one as openly and broadly comical as Sly. Qodrat (Behdad) dreams of high office while delivering fiery conservative speeches in his garage to his 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.

Director: Kamal Tabrizi
Screenwriter: Aidin Sayar Sarie
Cast: Hamed Behdad, Vishka Asayesh, Azadeh Samadi

DCP, Color, 90 min.

Buy Tickets

Sunday, April, 28 – 7:00 pm

Hendi and Hormoz (Hendi va Hormoz)

West Coast Premiere

2019 UCLA Film - Hendi and Hormoz
2019 UCLA Film - Hendi and Hormoz

Rugged and delicate beauty exist side-by-side on the red sand island of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf where 13-year-old Hendi is married off to the 16-year-old Hormoz on his promise of a job at the local mine. When the job falls through, the young couple must struggle to make their way against difficult odds in a land as spellbinding as it is unforgiving.

Director: Abbas Amini
Screenwriter: Hossein Farrokhzadeh, A. Amini
Cast: Hamed Alipour, Zohreh Eslam, Asma Daneh-chin

DCP, Color, 88 min.

Preceded by

Temporary

Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival 2018 - Second Prize Winner

2019 UCLA Film - Temporary

Shot with a piercing frankness, Temporary confronts us with the hard choices to made by a young, single mother and the willingness of a religious establishment to condone her exploitation.

Director/Screenwriter: Behzad Azadi

DCP, Color, 16 min.

Buy Tickets

Friday, May, 3 – 7:30 pm

Sunset Truck (Yek Camion Ghoroob)

2018

U.S. Premiere

2019 UCLA Film - Sunset Truck
2019 UCLA Film - Sunset Truck

Deep in the desert a multi-generational family operates a vacation oasis for wanderers and dreamers who come to experience what its new social media campaign promises are the most spectacular sunsets in the world. 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.

Director: Abolfazl Saffary
Screenwriter: A. Saffary, Sajad Afsharian
Cast: Pejman Bazeghi, Roshanak Gerami, Nader Fallah

DCP, Color, 81 min.

Buy Tickets

Saturday, May, 4 – 3:00 pm

Before Summer Ends

West Coast Premiere

2019 UCLA Film - Before Summer Ends
2019 UCLA Film - Before Summer Ends

Director Maryam Goormaghtigh weaves a most beguiling blend of fiction and non-fiction in this semi-documentary feature about a trio of Iranian ex-pat bros who take a road trip through the shimmering French countryside before one of their own returns to Iran. The expected riffs on male obsessions—women, partying, women—come finer-edged with melancholy, regret and loneliness as the friends also reflect on their lives in self-imposed exile.

Director: Maryam Goormaghtigh
Cast: Arash, Ashkan, Hossein

DCP, Color, 102 min.

Preceded by

Scent of Geranium

2018

Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival 2018 - First Prize Winner

2019 UCLA Film - Scent of Geranium

A young woman reflects on her mother’s gardening lessons in Tehran as a path to understanding and accepting her own experience as an immigrant in director Naghmeh Farzaneh’s wonderfully animated short.

Director: Naghmeh Farzaneh

DCP, Color, 5 min.

Buy Tickets

Saturday, May, 4 – 7:30 pm

Sheeple (Maghz-haye Koochak Zang-Zadeh)

2018

West Coast Premiere

2019 UCLA Film - Sheeple
2019 UCLA Film - Sheeple

Navid Mohammadzadeh stars as the slow-witted, grasping brother of Shakur (Aslani), a meth dealer and procurer who acts as reigning patriarch for both their impoverished neighborhood and their highly dysfunctional family. When rumors about their sister are exposed, a violent, domestic power struggle breaks into the open. Writer-director Hooman Seyedi doesn’t pull any punches in this sordid tale of corruption that culminates in one of the best action set pieces in contemporary Iranian cinema.

Director/Screenwriter: Hooman Seyedi
Cast: Navid Mohammadzadeh, Farhad Aslani, Farid Sajjadi Hosseini

DCP, Color, 102 min.

Preceded by

Turquoise (Firouzeh)

2018

Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival 2018 - Third Prize Winner

2019 UCLA Film - Turquoise

The residents of a rural village are infected with greed and paranoia when rumors of a buried treasure drive them to tear up their own fields and eventually turn on each other but what seems like a case of local madness proves part of a much larger mystery.

Director: Roozbeh Misaghi
Screenwriter: Sama Raufi, Roozbeh Misaghi

DCP, Color, 15 min.

Buy Tickets

Sunday, May, 5 – 7:00 pm

Ali Aqa

Switzerland/Iran 2017

2019 UCLA Film - Ali Aqa
2019 UCLA Film - Ali Aqa

In his previous works Dingomaro and My Name Is Negahdar Jamali and I Make Westerns— which screened in the 2014 and 2015 Celebrations—documentarian Kamran Heidari established a reputation as a peerless cinematic portraitist of eccentricity. With Ali Aqa, Heidari turns his penetrating but empathetic lens on an aging pigeon fancier whose hobby has become an all-consuming obsession.

Director: Kamran Heidari

DCP, Color, 82 min.

Preceded by

Waterfolks

2018

Los Angeles Premiere

2019 UCLA Film - Waterfolks
2019 UCLA Film - Waterfolks

Every day for twenty years, Sakineh has gone fishing, often with her friend Sobra, to make a living for their families. They are two members of a small community of fisherwomen on Hangam Island in the the Persian Gulf who are the subject of Azadeh Bizgariti’s Intimate and beautiful documentary. Winner of the best short documentary film from Cinema Verite Tehran.

Director: Azadeh Bizargiti

DCP, Color, 30 min.

Buy Tickets

Friday, May, 10 – 7:30 pm

Bomb, a Love Story (Bomb, Yek Asheghaneh)

2018

In person: Payman Maadi

2019 UCLA Film - Bomb, a Love Story
2019 UCLA Film - Bomb, a Love Story

The epic scope and cinematic ambition of writer-director Payman Maadi’s second feature (following Snow on the Pines which screened in the 2014 Celebration) is evident right from the beginning, a bravura tracking shot through a bustling, rain swept, nostalgic city set that culminates in a scene of horror. This is life in Tehran circa 1988 during the Iran-Iraq War. Maadi and Leila Hatami start as a husband and wife whose personal tragedy becomes entangled in the larger violence surrounding them and the residents of their apartment building whose lives become a prism through which Maadi explores this traumatic period of Iranian history.

Director/Screenwriter: Payman Maadi
Cast: Leila Hatami, Payman Maadi, Siamak Ansari

DCP, Color, 97 min.

Buy Tickets

Saturday, May, 11 – 3:00 pm

Ill Fate

2018

World Premiere

Free admission!

2019 UCLA Film - Ill Fate

This long-overdue documentary explores the role and image of women in Iranian cinema from its beginnings around 1900 up to the year of the Revolution. Fascinating research and insight illuminates dozens of clips from rare and classic titles.

Director: Sahar Khoshnam

DCP, Color & B/W, 88 min.

Saturday, May, 11 – 7:30 pm

The House Is Black (Khaneh siah ast)

1962

West Coast Restoration Premiere

In person: Sussan Deyhim, Dr. Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak

2019 UCLA Film - The House Is Black
2019 UCLA Film - The House Is Black

Forough Farrokhzad was already one of Iran’s leading contemporary poets when she started production on this short documentary about a leper colony in Tabriz with the support of filmmaker Ebrahim Golestan who acted as her producer. Farrokhzad’s only film before her untimely death in 1967, The House is Black is a landmark work of lyrical power and humanity that helped launch the Iranian New Wave in the decade before the revolution.

Restored by the Austrian Film Museum and the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. Print courtesy of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen.

Director: Forough Farrokhzad

35mm, B/W, 20 min.

Brick and Mirror (Khesht va Ayeneh)

1964

West Coast Restoration Premiere

2019 UCLA Film - Brick and Mirror
2019 UCLA Film - Brick and Mirror

Newly restored, writer-director Ebrahim Golestan’s Brick and Mirror takes its rightful place as a milestone of Iranian and international post-war cinema. Already a giant of Iranian letters, Golestan, in his first fiction feature, draws a sharp bead on the self-satisfaction and corruption of Tehran’s intellectual elite through the allegorical story of a taxi driver’s frantic search to find a home for a baby left in the backseat of his cab.

Restored by Cineteca di Bologna.

Director/Screenwriter: Ebrahim Golestan
Cast: Taji Ahmadi, Zackaria Hashemi, Goli Bozorgmehr

DCP, B/W, 126 min.

Dawn of the Cold Season

2019 UCLA Film - Dawn of the Cold Season

Internationally renowned performance artist Sussan Deyhim created a series of four video installations inspired by her personal meditations on Forough Farrokhzad’s life and the potent feminism of her poetry as part of her mixed media performance exhibition Dawn of the Cold Season. We present those video works here before an incisive conversation between Deyhim and one of her key collaborators, Prof. Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, on the contemporary resonance of Farrokhzad’s work and legacy.

Director: Sussan Deyhim

DCP, Color & B/W, 9 min.

Buy Tickets

Event Details

Event Starts 04/27/2019
Event Ends 05/11/2019
Individual Price $10 Online / $9 Box Office - General Admission / Alumni, Student, Senior Discounts
Location Billy Wilder Theater - Hammer Museum