Iranian Film Festival Australia

Welcome to the fourth IFFA 2014, Khosh Amadid!

Iranian cinema continues to be a strong one, producing many high quality films, and the Iranian Film Festival is back again this October / November.

There has been an undeniable air of enthusiasm in the Iranian film industry since the 2013 election. Everyone is aware of the constraints placed on filmmakers by the Ahmedinejad government. But one of the first actions by President Rouhani was to attend to the film industry, even apologizing on behalf of the previous government. Permits have been flowing and the good news is that filmmakers are out there shooting an unprecedented number of films.

The 2014 IFFA programme reflects this enthusiasm. Where last year the programme featured masters and veterans, this year the emphasis is on young cinema with many first- and second-time directors.  We are proud to open with I’m Not Angry!, the sensational second feature of Reza Dormishian, whose first feature, Hatred, we screened in 2012. I’m Not Angry!, which premiered at this year’s Berlinale, is a tragic love story set against the vividly painted political and social constraints of the Green Movement. It features an award-winning performance from relative newcomer Navid Mohammadzadeh, who plays opposite Baran Kosari, great contemporary music, and award winning editing from Hayedeh Safiyari. Don’t miss it! We close with Fish and Cat (Shahram Mokri), a single take horror film with no violence! A tour de force lauded at its Venice premiere in 2013 and then round the world. The edgy Kami’s Party and 13 and the elegiac Snow are first and second features by their directors, inscribed by contemporary issues.

While all these are very different, no programme should have just one tone. From established directors come two wonderful films about families - Maziar Miri’s The Painting Pool, starring Shahab Hosseini and Negar Jahaverian who heartrendingly portray a handicapped couple attempting to maintain a normal family life; along with Kianoush Ayari’s The Paternal House, about an honouring kill that reverberates within the family for generations. The latter had been banned under the earlier presidency but can now finally be seen, and debuts at Venice this year.

There’s a nod to the past with two very different films. The delightful evergreen Haji Washington (1982), Ali Hatami’s fictionalized account of the first Iranian Ambassador to the US, a star vehicle for the great Ezzatolah Entezami with cult actor, Richard Harrison, as the American president. It screens with a small gem, the pre-Revolutionary short, P for Pelican, from Parviz Kimiavi.

But a festival is about more than the films themselves. It’s a celebration of film and culture and IFFA’s themed opening night and other events give an opportunity for dialogue, with Iran as the focus. Read more about each film in our Films section and register for the newsletter to get articles and news of additional events.

We are proud to present to you our fourth festival and thank you for your support. We look forward to celebrating with you in October / November! 

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