Discovering the Next Generation of Iranian Filmmakers©

Coming: 13th Annual Iranian Film Festival – San Francisco: September 19-20, 2020

Call For Entries Open for the 13th 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 2019 ‘Sepanta Awards’

Best Film: Axing
Best Director: Behrooz Shoaibi for Axing
Best Actor: Amin Hayaee for Axing
Best Actress: Sara Bahrami for Axing
Best Screenplay: Hossein Torabnezhad & Azita Irani for Axing
Best Cinematography: Alireza Zarindast for White Fish Season
Best Documentary: Song of God by Aref Mohammadi
Best Short Film: Short Wave
Best Director for a Short Film: Mohamad Esmaeeli by Short Wave
Best Screenplay for a Short Film: Mosayeb Hanaie for Before Darkness
Best Short Documentary: Only Voice Remains by Makez Rikweda
Best Actor in a Short Film: Arshia Zeinali for In Perspective
Best Actress in a Short Film: Linda Kiani for Driving Lesson
Best Cinematography for a Short Film: Behdash Kameh Zari for Drowned
Best Children’s Film: Absent by Ali Khamehparast
Best Music Video: Badi Baram by Pooya Misaghi
Best Animation Film: Once Upon a Time by Mahin Javaherian
Best Experimental Film: Let’s Blossom by Delaram Pourabdi


Fahrenheit 451

TThe legendary Iranian director, Amir Naderi [Runner, Tangsir, GoodBye Friend], has joined the talented young Iranian filmmaker Ramin Bahrani [Goodbye Solo, 99 Homes], to recreate and rewrite a modern adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s classic novel Fahrenheit 451 set in a future America. The film stars Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther) and Michael Shannon (Oscar® nominee for “Nocturnal Animals” and Golden Globe nominee for “99 Homes”) depicting an alternate tomorrow in which media is an opiate, facts and history are rewritten, and “firemen” burn books. Fahrenheit 451 is scheduled on Sunday, September 29 at 9:30 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: Once Upon a Time, The Sixth String, The Damn Junks, Papital, The Fence, Tree, Parivash, One Person….


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: Song of God, Only Voice Remains [about the famous Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad], Embassy [about the 1979 U.S. hostages in Iran told by the Swiss diplomats for the first time], Hidden Drummers of Iran [about the traditional Tonbak players in Iran], Forty Keys, Iran Tour…


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: Short Wave, Drowned, Let’s Blossom, The Pains of the Sea, Delay, In Perspective, At the Edge of Death, The Horse, America, Nightmare…
The Shorts Programs are scheduled on Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29 at 11:00 AM.


Music Videos

This year, the Iranian Film Festival received the highest number of music videos showing that the music is alive and well in the hearts of Iranian people specially the younger generation. Among those chosen are: Run Run Run [by the only girl band in Iran today, The Finches], Kaziwa, The Dead Are Selfish, Badi Baram, Asheghaneha [by the new leading generation of Afghan singers, Ramsha], Ishq Beekar [by Bollywood star, Iranian Elnaaz Norouzi], Anahita…


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 Seyyedmehdi Mousavi, a professional Graphic Designer, who created his design based on the history of ancient Persia.


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.


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