Discovering the Next Generation of Iranian Filmmakers©

9th Annual Iranian Film Festival – San Francisco: September 24-25, 2016

Welcome to the 9th Annual Iranian Film Festival – San Francisco, the first independent Iranian film festival outside of Iran. This year, the festival presents 37 films from Iran, USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, India, Czech Republic, and Spain. We are happy and proud to continue our mission to discover and support the next generation of Iranian filmmakers living and working around the world, while we honor the veteran filmmakers for their distinguished careers. Please join us to celebrate the outstanding works of Iranian filmmakers. The festival passes and tickets are on sale now. To purchase your tickets, please click here.

Winners of the 2015 ‘Sepanta Awards’

  • Best Film: Taboo
  • Best Director: Abolhassan Davoodi for Crazy Castle
  • Best Actor: Parviz Parastui for Today
  • Best Actress: Elnaz Shakerdoost for Taboo
  • Best Screenplay: Khosro Masoumi for Taboo
  • Best Cinematography: Nader Masoumi for Taboo
  • Best Documentary: I Want to Be a King, directed by Mehdi Ganji
  • Best Short Film: The Salt Man, directed by Sajad Moosavi
  • Best Director for a Short Film: Hoseyn Aslabdollahi for The Wall
  • Best Screenplay for a Short Film: Kamiar Faroughi & Ali Zarnegar for Transcription
  • Best Short Documentary: My Enemy, My Brother, directed by Ann Shin
  • Best Actor in a Short Film: Julian Glover for Mr. Invisible
  • Best Actress in a Short Film: Hoda Nourizadeh for The Other One
  • Best Cinematography for a Short Film: Vahid Biouteh for The Salt Man
  • Best Music Video: Yar, directed by Amir Soleimani
  • Best Animation: One of Thousands, directed by Baran Mohamad Reihani


A Tribute to Noureddin Zarrinkelk

Noureddin Zarrinkelk, father of animation cinema in Iran, is a renowned Iranian animator. He studied animation film in the Belgium Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Raoul Servais) from 1969 till 1972. Zarrinkelk founded the first school of Animation, which later merged with the prestigious faculty of fine art of Tehran University. He continued being a professor of animation and graphic arts well into his retirement age, and became the president of ASIFA (Association International du Film d’Animation) by his peers in 2003. He was also instrumental in founding the Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA) in Tehran. Iran’s animation owes largely to Noureddin Zarrinkelk. Mr. Zarrinkelk will be present for the Q&A after showing of his films: Bani Adam, Mad Mad Mad World, One Two Three, Duty First, Playground, on Saturday, September 24 @ 5:30 pm.


Remembering Abbas Kiarostami

The world of cinema lost a giant this year. Abbas Kiarostami was one of the most influential and controversial post-revolutionary Iranian filmmakers, as well as one of the most highly celebrated directors in the international film community of the last decade. Although Kiarostami made several award-winning films early in his career, it was after the revolution that he earned a highly esteemed reputation on the stage of world cinema. To celebrate his esteem career, Iranian Film Festival will present one of his rare films made outside of Iran, in Italy, called “Tickets,” directed by two other master filmmakers, Ermanno Olmi, and Ken Loach. This film is scheduled on Sunday, September 25 @ 7:45 pm.



Golshifteh Farahani & Altamira

Iranian Film Festival will present an exclusive screening of Golshifteh Farahani’s latest film, Altamira, with Spanish actor, Antonio Banderas, and Hugh Hudson, British director of Chariots of Fire, based on the incredible true story from late nineteenth-century Spain. The film is scheduled on Saturday, September 24 @ 7:45 pm.



Bahman Ghobadi & Words with Gods

One of the most talked about films of last year was Words with Gods, directed by some of the most talented filmmakers from around the world, including: Spain’s Álex de la Iglesia, Australia’s Warwick Thornton, Brazil’s Héctor Babenco, India’s Mira Nair, Mexico’s Guillermo Arriaga, Israel’s Amos Gitai, Japan’s Hideo Nakata and Iran’s Bahman Ghobadi. This film is scheduled on Saturday, September 26 at 9:30 pm.


Sepanta Award

To pay a homage to the father of sound in Iranian cinema, Abdoulhossein Sepanta [1907-1969], who also made Lor Daughter, Shirin & Farhad…we named our award after his name and presented ‘Septanta Award’ in various categories for the first time in 2013. We will continue this tradition by presenting this award to the participating filmmakers every year.



Documentary & Animation Films

Aside from the fiction, Iranian Film Festival pays special attention to the documentary and animation genres with some of the best young talents Iranian cinema can offer. Films such as: Parviz Tanavoli: Poetry In Bronze, Shahrzaad’s Tales, Atlan, If You Go Away, Amoo Nowruz, The Last Tar, With these Hands, A Sweet Dream, Entracte, Reward….


Support Us!

If you like what we do, to continue bringing the best of independent films made by or about Iranians from around the world, support our efforts by sponsoring, advertising, and your contributions. We, Iranians, need to have a strong voice in our host country by unity and representing the best talents any community can offer. This support can be in variety of ways but for sure it benefits the Iranian community.


New Website!

Our new website, which you are visiting right now, was created by Ali Tassavor of Nika Labs and his talented team. We encourage you to use their expertise for your marketing and web designs. They are based locally but can be reached from anywhere they are needed.
We also use another Iranian company, Kooche Cinema, for our film restorations, whenever we discover a lost film, for their talent and expertise. They can be helpful in your post production needs as well.



Join Us

We know there are many talented Iranian artists out there, aside from those in film that can share their talent with us in visual art. If you are a photographer, graphic artist, musician…join the festival and participate in whatever capacity the festival can offer you. Drop us a note and be a part of our festival.



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