Discovering the Next Generation of Iranian Filmmakers©

Coming: 12th Annual Iranian Film Festival – San Francisco: September 28-29, 2019

Call For Entries Open for the 12th Annual Iranian Film Festival – San Francisco, the first independent Iranian film festival outside of Iran. To submit your film, please click here.


Winners of the 2018 ‘Sepanta Awards’

Best Film: Disappearance directed by Ali Asgari
Best Director: Ali Mohammad Ghasemi for Dogs and Fools
Best Actor: Mehran Ahmadi for Hunting Season
Best Actress: Mahya Dehghani for Hunting Season
Best Screenplay: Payam karami for Searing Summer
Best Cinematography: Ali Mohammad Ghasemi for Dogs and Fools
Best Documentary: Inheritance by Cambiz Amir-Khosravi
Best Short Film: The Sea Wells by Amir Gholami
Best Director for a Short Film: Amir Gholami for The Sea Wells
Best Screenplay for a Short Film: Mohamad Reza Tehrani for A Simple Idea
Best Short Documentary: The Iran Deal by Pearl Forss
Best Actor in a Short Film: Reza Amouzad for Turquoise
Best Actress in a Short Film: Marzieh Vafamehr for Gaze
Best Cinematography for a Short Film: The Hunt by Masoud Kazerouni
Best Children’s Film: Are You Volleyball? by Mohammad Bakhshi
Best Music Video: I’m on Fire by Payam Ghorbani
Best Animation: Mr. Deer by Mojtaba Mousavi
Best Experimental Film: Redemption Walk by Mohammad Hassan Zadeh


Shirin Neshat

Shirin Neshat, an internationally major artist working in the media of photography, film and video, was born in Qazvin, Iran. She came to the US as a teenager. She studied painting at the University of California at Berkeley, where she earned an MFA. After a decade-long hiatus from the art world, she emerged again as photographer and filmmaker and in 1996, Neshat began working with film, eager to create more poetic, open-ended works. She produced a trilogy of split-screen video installations: Turbulent (1998), Rapture (1999), Soliloquy (1999), followed by: Fervor (2000), Passage (2001), Tooba (2002), and her first feature film Women Without Men (2009). Her work has appeared in biennial shows in cities around the world, including Sydney, Istanbul, Venice, Johannesburg, and New York. Iranian Film Festival – San Francisco is delighted to present her latest film Looking for Oum Kulthum on Saturday, September 22 at 7:30 pm.


Animation Films

History of animation films in Iran goes back to 1950’s, decades after it was invented. Since then, despite all the obstacles from lack of equipment to lack of knowledge, the animation films still were made by aspiring filmmakers all the way through the present time. With the latest technology and dedicated filmmakers, the highest number of animation films are being made today in Iran. Iranian Film Festival dedicates its Spotlight on Animation Cinema in Iran, created by a group of talented artists by showing: Run Rostam Run, the International, Mr. Deer, Bystander, Alphabet, Saba, Mind.


Documentary Films

Aside from the fiction, Iranian Film Festival pays special attention to the documentary genre with some of the best young talents Iranian cinema can offer. Films such as: Ranger and Leopard, Conduct, Inheritance, Cypher and Lion (Noghteh Va Shir), The Iran Deal, One Day in Tehran….


Short Films

The genre of short films, if we can call it that, is a platform for the filmmakers to tell a story with a beginning, middle and end in a short amount of time. While they can be under time pressure to tell their whole story, but it gives them the time management to work within that time frame. For that reason, the short films are always the jewel of filmmaking, and we are happy to present a fraction of a large number of short films we received this year, among them: The Sea Wells, Gaze, The Camel Boy, Karma, Speaker, Hunt, The Blue Sky, A Simple Idea, Exit Toll, Downfall, Too Close, Exist, Bog, Orange Man Dreams, He, Turquoise, The Beekeeper…..
The Shorts Program is scheduled on Saturday, September 22 at 11 am.


Music Videos

This year, the Iranian Film Festival received the highest number of music videos showing the music is alive and well in the hearts of Iranian people specially the younger generation. Among those chosen are: I’m on Fire, Adineh [Friday], I Am Happy, Vesal [Union], Ashoob [Chaos]…


Poster Contest

Iranian Film Festival- San Francisco holds a contest for its annual poster in order to introduce some of the best graphic artists working in the field in Iran. The winner of this year’s poster contest is Hamed Masudifar which he based his design on the image of the Cyrus the Great, the first person who wrote the declaration of human rights in history.


Sepanta Award

When the Iranian Film Festival decided to give awards, the first name came to mind was Abdolhossein Sepanta [1907-1969], the father of sound in Iranian cinema. Sepanta, was also a director, screenwriter and producer who made The Lor Girl (1931), Ferdowsi, Shirin-o-Farhaad, Black Eyes, and Leyli o Majnun (1936). In honor of his role in Iranian cinema, the Iranian Film Festival chose his name for its awards in 2013, and presents the Sepanta Award every year in various categories.


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.


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.


Our Sponsors

logo-slider