About our festival
Originating in Queensland, the Iranian Film Festival Australia (IFFA) is the only nation-wide Australian festival dedicated to Iranian cinema. Through the presentation of contemporary Iranian cinema, IFFA uses the film medium to entertain and educate audiences and introduces Iranian culture to other Australians, fostering greater cultural awareness. The festival is committed to encouraging audiences comprising both Iranians and non-Iranians, and providing a platform for dialogue about Iranian culture through film screenings, educational workshops, audience engagement opportunities and other cultural activities.
Many Iranians consider IFFA the key Iranian cultural event in Australia.
Iranian cinema is stereotypically praised for its humanitarian values, a characteristic contradictorily arising from the demands of a constraining cinema code. Iran celebrated its acknowledgement in the international film scene in 1997 with Abbas Kiarostami’s receipt of the Palme d’Or for A Taste of Cherry. Since then the national cinema has been showered with silver and golden cameras, bears, lions, leopards, and most recently an Oscar for Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation. But despite ‘punching above its weight’ in the international awards arena, Iranian cinema rarely gets more than a nod in Australian festivals.
The Iranian Film Festival Australia (IFFA) addresses that, giving audiences an opportunity to view the broad ranges of aesthetic styles and themes embraced by contemporary Iranian cinema.
The Iranian Film Festival Australia was established in 2011 is the only national touring festival established in and run from Queensland. The festival tours to 5 capital cities across Australia; Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide and Melbourne.
It is built on a sound partnership between Armin Miladi and Anne Démy-Geroe whose combined assets include an Iranian background, a strong knowledge of Iranian cinema, arts industry management and film festivals.
IFFA is committed to building that cultural confidence by celebrating Iranian culture with audiences comprising of both Iranian and non-Iranian members, in the hope that people become aware of situations different to their own, and converse with each other, leading to better understanding and relationships. IFFA presents Australians with an alternative view of Iran from what is presented through mainstream media.
Our 2015 team
- IFFA Team - Shannon King (Festival Manager), Kris Tweedie (Program Coordinator), Brock Taffe (Festival Coordinator), Martin Ingle (Screen Production), Lily Gardiner (Administration Coordinator), Rachel Liviero (Events Coordinator), Nick Jolly (Copywriter)
Publicity - P4 Group
Projection Consultant - Michael Brooks
Sydney IFFA Coordinator - Pegah Shahrokhi
Media/Public Relations (Iran) - Hamdam Haghgoo
Thank you to all our volunteers who contribute to our festival.
Anne Démy-Geroe is a scholar and programmer of Asian cinema, specializing in Iranian Cinema. She received her PhD in cinema from the University of Queensland. and teaches Asia Pacific cinema at Griffith Film School.
Anne has worked on numerous special film events, festivals and conferences including the annual Queensland New Filmmakers Awards, silent and regional film festivals. She has been a judge on the prestigious Queensland Premiers Literary Awards, a past Council Member of the National Film and Sound Archive and currently serves on the Nominations Council for the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. She has served on international juries from Hawaii to Tehran. She is a board member of NETPAC, the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema. In 2003 Anne was awarded an Australian Centenary Medal for services to the film industry.
Award winning Iranian-Australian filmmaker Armin Miladi has a strong background in the arts. After graduating from Tehran University with a Bachelor of Science and Engineering, Armin developed a keen interest in cinema and started working as a film critic for a number of major publications in Iran. He has also made a number of short films and documentaries. Found, his first short film has screened at festivals around the world, winning several awards.
In 2010, Armin co-founded the first Iranian Film Festival in Australia. Following its success and global interest in Iranian cinema, in 2015 he established Daricheh Cinema to focus on distribution of Iranian films. Armin’s strong believe in tolerance through cultural understanding has been his driving force in establishing these two organisations.
Past years programme highlights
The 2013 festival was launched with writer-director-actor, Payman Maadi (lead actor: A Separation), presenting the international premiere of his directorial debut feature, Snow on Pines, in Brisbane. It also included 2013 veteran directors Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Jafar Panahi and Bahman Ghobadi. A retrospective title from the legendary director, Bahram Beyzai, restored by Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation, was a special highlight.
In 2011 IFFA opened with A Separation, straight from its Berlin Golden Bear win and before its Oscar coup! In 2012 IFFA expanded to travel to all East Coast capital cities and featured an exciting mix of contemporary features starrinng Iran’s major actors, shorts and documentary. Our opening night was once again a resounding success in every city – a great film, The Last Step, starring Leila Hatami and Ali Mosaffa, and fabulous food and music at every venue.
• The NETPAC Award for Best Film
In 2013 IFFA introduced the internationally recognised Netpac Award under the auspices of the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema, established in India in 1990 through UNESCO, and of which IFFA co-Director Anne Démy-Geroe is a board member.
• IFFA Pomegranate Audience Award
We value our audience participation. They can have their say by voting for their favourite film of the festival. The winner is selected after considering the votes from all around Australia.
• Past Years Award Winners
2014 Netpac Award Winner: Fish & Cat, Directed by Shahram Mokri
2014 Audience Award Winner: I’m Not Angry, Directed by Reza Dormishain and Painting Pool directed by Maziar Miri
2013 Netpac Award Winner: The Wedlock, Directed by Rouhollah Hejazi
2013 Audience Award Winner: Rhino Season, Directed by Bahman Ghobadi
2012 Audience Award Winner: Facing Mirrors, Directed by Negar Azerbayjani