Your Subtitle text

  Films of the 6th Annual


San Francisco  

Discovering the Next Generation of Iranian Filmmakers©

All films are in English or have English subtitles

Meeting Leila

Adel Yaraghi, 2012, Iran, 88 minutes, Cast: Leila Hatami, Adel Yaraghi, Bahareh Rahnama, Screenplay: Abbas Kiarostami & Adel Yaraghi

Screening with: Silk @ 7pm ~ Saturday, September 28

The only nuptial condition an inveterate chain smoker receives from his perfume-testing fiancée is to quit smoking. This poses a problem for the advertising agency ideas man for whom smoking is all part of the creative process.

Festivals: Chicago International Film Festival, USA. / São Paulo International Film Festival, Brazil / Bari International Film Festival, Italy / Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Films, Argentina / Belfast Film Festival, Ireland

Just Like a Woman

Rachid Bouchareb, 2012, France/USA, 88 minutes, Cast: Golshifteh Farahani, Sienna Miller, Bahar Soomekh, Tim Guinee

Screening with: Rounama Dance @ 7:20 pm ~ Sunday, September 29

Just Like a Woman tells the poignant tale of two women, barely more than casual acquaintances, who, upon escaping the prisons of their unhappy marriages, embark on a revealing journey of self discovery which leads them to the importance - and true meaning - of friendship. 

Rachid Bouchareb

Rachid Bouchareb (born in 1953 near Paris) is a French film director of Algerian descent. From 1977 to 1983, he worked as an assistant director for France’s state television production company, Société française de production (S. F. P). Subsequently, he worked for broadcasters TF1 and Antenne 2. Bouchareb began making short films in the 1980s. His featured film debut came in 1985 with Bâton Rouge. Since then his acclaimed films have included Poussières de vie (Dust of Life) (which received an Academy Award nomination in 1995 for Best Foreign Language Film in 1995); Little Senegal (which was shown in competition at the 2001 Berlin Film Festival; and Days of Glory, which received the Best Foreign Language Film nomination in 2006 and also won prizes at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. Bouchareb's films have a following amongst international cineastes. His film, Hors-la-loi, competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival in May. It was the Algerian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards and was one of the five final nominees. Just Like a Woman is his latest film.

An Iranian Film Festival Exclusive

Rounama Dance

Houshang Shafti, 1971, Iran, 18 minutes, Choreographer: Hayedeh Ahmadzadeh

Screening with: Just Like a Woman @ 7:20 pm ~ Sunday, September 29

Rounama Dance depicts the Iranian wedding ceremony and customs prevalent in the old days. The bride is embellished by her sister and friends then taken to a room where the wedding ceremony is conducted. Later, the bridegroom has to present her with a Rounama (a gift) to be able to see her face for the first time.

Houshang Shafti

Houshang Shafti, born 1933 in Tehran, Iran, director and production designer who has made numerous internationally acclaimed documentaries. Shafti studied film in the United States and received his bachelor's degree at Tehran University. Since the 1950s Syracuse University established a branch of the Department of Film Studies at Tehran University Shafti was active in its work. He has directed several documentaries with Iranian themes, including Flaming Poppies in 1962 on nomads in Iran and The Broken Column (Sotun e Shekasteh) in 1964 on Persepolis. Most acclaimed internationally, is his short film Flaming Poppies which won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 1964. He was also production designer for the movie Heroes (1968) directed by Jean Negulesco. 
Filmography: 1962 - Flaming poppies / 1964 - The Broken Column / 1966 - The Poppy Is Also a Flower / 1970 - The Invincible Six / 1974 – Carpet / 1975 - Be omid e didar / 1977 - Iranian Scenes / 1978 - Dances of Khorasan


Majid Barzegar, 2012, Iran, 107 minutes, Cast: Levon Haftvan, Homeira Nonahali, Mahmoud Behrouzian

Screening with: Shirin & Farhad @ 9:20 pm ~ Saturday, September 28

Despite being 50-years old, Parviz still lives off his father and the two men don’t get on very well. Things come to a head when his father tells him he has decided to remarry. Parviz has no other choice but give up his place to his stepmother and leave home. Parviz finds it difficult to get used to this new solitary life far from his neighborhood and the people he knows. He thus concocts a novel way of fighting back against the injustice done to him.

Festivals & Awards: Jury's Special Mention Award, San Sebastian IFF, Spain, 2012; NETPAC Award, Asiatica Film Mediale, Roma, Italy, 2012

Majid Barzegar

Majid Barzegar (born1973, Hamedan, Iran) Barzegar holds a BA in Film and an MA in Dramatic Literature. He has made several short and documentary films. Rainy Seasons (2010), his first feature film, has been in official selection at festivals such as Rotterdam and Montreal.    Filmography: The Alleys of the Wind (1998, short), The Old and Doleful Ballad of Asmar’s Rainy Afternoon (2000, short), Walking in the Fog (2002, short), Rainy Seasons (2010), Parviz (2012).

It’s a Dream

Director: Mahmoud Ghaffari, 2012, Iran, 97 minutes, Cast: Hadis Miramini, Elham Kerda, Mehdi Pourmosa, Behrang Alavi 

Screening with: Why this phone doesn't ring? @ 1 pm ~ Saturday, September 28

Roya is a resourceful young single woman who is juggling with loans to pay back a large debt. With her gift of the gab and her determination to fight her way out, she finds herself at the top of a small ponzi scheme that promises to be lucrative, but social and sexual inequality throws a wrench in the works for this fighter. One can never shake off one’s shackles so easily.

Mahmood Ghaffari

Mahmood Ghaffari, born in 1976 in Tehran, entered the landscape of Iranian cinema with a dozen award-winning shorts, some of which received prizes from his home country. Very active on the Iranian television scene, in 2006 he produced two series, The Grey Game and The Admirers of Love. He collaborated with filmmakers Bahman Ghobadi and Asghar Fahradi, among others, before directing his first feature film, It's a Dream.

For Shahrzad

Saeed Nouri, 2013, Iran, 75 minutes, Cast: Ardalan Shoja Kaveh, Shohreh Soltani

Screening with: More then Two Hours + Alzheimer @ 1:10 pm ~ Sunday, September 29

A policeman brings a fainted young woman on the verge of giving birth to the hospital, but the nurse supervisor refuses to confine her if she does not guarantee the medical expenses. The policeman tries to reach someone via the young woman’s cell phone without knowing that her family has serious problems amongst themselves while the girl is waiting for a doctor.

Saeed Nouri

Saeed Nouri was born in1974 in Tehran, studying his PHD on "Iranian cultural film history since 1953” at Versailles University in France. He has made more than ten short and documentary films before his first feature "For Shahzad" and participated in more than 70 film festivals and events since 2000. He has won seven awards for his films: Puzzle, Reattachment, Backwards, Some moments ago, Suddenly Television, Farrokh's era…

Simin, Resident of a Wandering Island

Hassan Solhjou, 2013, UK, 57 minutes, Cast: Simin Daneshavr, Ebrahim Golestan, Ahmad Karimi Hakak, Esmail Khoi, Parto Noori Ala, Simin Behbehani, Sharnoush Parsipour, Abbas Maroufi, Abbas Milani, Ata Mohajerani, Farzaneh Milani, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Nasser Pakdaman, Nasser Zeraati, Narges Tavassolian, Sepideh Farsi

Screening with: Horaman + Beyond the Deadend + When the Curtain Falls @ 3 pm ~ Saturday, September 28

Simin Daneshavr was an Iranian pioneering novelist who lived nearly for a century and under 3 different political regimes. She and her husband, (Jalal Al Ahamd) have been regarded as ''Iranian Simone de Beauvoir, and Jean-Paul Sartre''. But they had a very different fate. Simin's life is a mirror of what has happened to Iranian women through a century, from unveiling the hejab and playing important roles in the society to imposed hejab and staying at home in Islamic regime. This film is looking at her life through history of women movement in Iran. 

Hassan Solhjoo

Hassan Solhjoo, is a producer of a documentary showcase in BBC word service - Persian TV. He started his career as a film maker when he was in his 20's in 1990 and following making some short films in Iran, moved to England and since 2000 has been living there and made 3 documentaries for BBC.  His short films have been awarded in some national and international film festivals. 

An Iranian Film Festival Exclusive

Poppy is Also a Flower

Showtime: 5 pm ~ Saturday, September 28

Terence Young, 1966, UK/US/Iran, 100 minutes, Cast: Yul Brynner, Omar Sharif, Angie Dickinson, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Rita Hayworth, Trevor Howard, Trini López, E.G. Marshall, Marcello Mastroianni, Senta Berger, Anthony Quayle, Eli Wallach, Grace Kelly 

The story is set in Iran and opens as an American undercover agent is murdered in the desert while attempting to buy opium. Two more agents are sent to Teheran to investigate the death and stop the powerful drug ring behind the smuggling. Once there, they run into the dead agent's girlfriend, who soon after suddenly disappears. Unfortunately, they cannot find her and so focus on their other job. To figure out where the drugs are going (and hopefully get a lead on the missing girl) they steal a bunch of opium and lace it with radioactive tracers so they can track it with Geiger counters. They then follow the drugs as they are slowly dispersed throughout Europe. After many twists, turns and blind alleys, the agents eventually succeed. This film contains cameos from many stars who worked for little pay because they strongly supported its anti-drug message. Those stars include Grace Kelly who introduces the film.
This exciting adventure provides an interesting look into the manufacture of opium and heroin. The original story was written by Ian Fleming creator of James Bond.

Terence Young

Terence Young (1915–1994) was a British film director and screenwriter best known for directing three James Bond films, Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), and Thunderball (1965). He made many films in Europe, including The Poppy Is Also a Flower (1966), Triple Cross (1966) starring Christopher Plummer, Mayerling (1968), L'Arbre de Noel starring William Holden (1969), and several films with Charles Bronson including Red Sun, Cold Sweat and The Valachi Papers.  And popular mid sixties work Adventures of Moll Flanders with husband and wife team Richard Johnson and Kim Novak, and Wait Until Dark with Audrey Hepburn.


Pulp Farsi

David Vee, 2013, Australia, 56 minutes, Documentary

Screening with: Lady Tehran + Carjack + Arefi @ 3:10 pm ~ Sunday, September 29

Pulp Farsi is not a documentary about politics and religion. It’s is a film about the Persian psyche! Australian filmmaker David Vee spent 2 1/2 years living in the Islamic Republic of Iran as an expat. In Iran ‘the powers that be’ deem it illegal to film on the streets and this is severely enforced! Hence, to obtain his story he used a small hand-held camcorder and filmed Guerrilla Style. If there was one country, where the word dichotomy had to be used, it would be Iran. Paradoxically religion is everywhere, yet nowhere. Pulp Farsi illustrates the bizarre reality of this mystifying and polemic nation.

David Vee

David Vee had a wild ride through Iran, and this is Pulp Farsi!  David Vee  David Vee is a filmmaker, author, musician, born in Sydney. David was lead actor in the Tehran produced short film The Silver Trip, 2011. From February 2003 until July 2006 he lived and worked in Pakistan, writing his first book: A Pakistani House Husband (the beauty & the chaos). He then moved to Thailand for 3 years where he made his first short film. From July 2009 till January 2012 he lived in Iran. In the 80’s David was in numerous Sydney bands, including experimental group Idiom Flesh, who were on the first 2JJ Live at the Wireless album.

Filmography: 2013: PULP FARSI: 1st Feature film - the insight, the culture – the dichotomy. (filmed on location in Iran) / 2012: Safari Jadeyi – short film – a road trip in Iran / 2011: Zoorkhooneh – short – filmed in Iran / 2009: His debut short film ‘Islamabad the Beautiful’ was screened at the 2009 Dungog film Festival Australia.


Baharak Saeid Monir, 2012, Canada, 79 minutes, Cast: Sahar Biniaz, Camyar Chai, Heather Doerksen, Pauline Egan, Tina Milo Milivojevic, Zeus Ghadban

Screening with: Girl in the Lemon Factory + Return @ 5:25 pm ~ Sunday, September 29

A beautiful and talented fashion designer's excitement [Sahar Biniaz, Miss Universe Canada 2012] in landing a dream job is complicated when her new boss takes more than a professional interest in her, which makes her question her own values, threatens her marriage, and ultimately forces her to make a life-changing decision.

Baharak Saeid Monir

Baharak Saeid Monir
is a writer, producer and director. She studied filmmaking and cinematography in Iran in the late 1980s. She then started her own company, producing commercial videos for several years. In 1995, Saeid Monir moved to Vancouver. She received her B.F.A in film production from Simon Fraser University in 2005 and received the SFU Contemporary Arts Award for 2003 and 2004. Saeid Monir also received her Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Film Production from the University of British Columbia in 2013. She has written, directed, and produced several short films, shown at film festivals around the world. Ambrosia is Saeid Monir’s first feature film. The film had its world premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival, its international premiere at Cairo International Film Festival. The film has also been nominated for Best Motion Picture Editing at the 15the Leo Awards.


Catherine Dent, 2012, USA, 16 minutes, Cast: Shohreh Aghdashloo, Saye Yabandeh [in person], David Diaan, Liad Machmali, Sameer Younis

Screening with: Meeting Leila @ 7 pm ~ Saturday, September 28

SILK is the story of Rani, a woman given away by her family at age 10 and forced into marriage. Now a somber middle-aged woman living in Glendale and married to a man she never loved, Rani may have found the perfect opportunity to reclaim a life taken long ago when forced to become a child bride. 

Catherine Dent 

Best known for her role as Officer Danni Sofer in the award winning series, The Shield, Catherine has appeared in many film and TV shows, from 21 Grams, Auto Fo-cus and The Majestic, to NCIS and The Sopranos. She is currently recurring on both The Mentalist and Touch. Silk marks her debut as writer/director/producer. A native of Louisiana, Dent lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.

No Burqas Behind Bars

Nima Sarvestani, 2013, Sweden/Afghanistan/Iran, 77 minutes

Screening with: Parvaneh @ 11 am ~ Saturday, September 28

A feature-length cinematographic documentary that takes viewers inside one of the world’s most restricted environments: an Afghan women’s prison. Through the prisoners’ own stories we explore how “moral crimes” are used to control women in post-Taliban Afghanistan. Women are normally faceless in Afghanistan. Outside the home burqas cover them from head to toe. The all-encompassing burqa completely mask their identity, rendering Afghan women invisible. And voiceless. Except when they are in prison, here they have nothing left to lose. Sima, married at ten, with five children by the time she was 20 years old, is locked away together with her children for 15 years. Her "crime"? Fleeing from an abusive husband, who had already murdered one of his other wife’s and their child. Sara, locked away because she fell in love. Najibeh, Latife, and many more names – they all carry stories that testament the inner strength and dignity of the human being when she faces obscene living conditions.  

Winner of the Paris International Film Festival on Human Rights

Nima Sarvestani

Nima Sarvestani, born 1958 in Shiraz Iran, started his career as a journalist in Iran. Since moving to Sweden in 1984, he has been concentrating on documentary filmmaking. He funded Nima Film Productions, a Swedish independent film production company in 1987. Focusing on social and political issues, he is inspired by those who fight passionately for their cause. ”No Burqas behind Bars” is Nima Sarvestanis fourth film, which has been shot in Afghanistan. He has directed more than ten award-winning films made in Central Asia.

More Than Two Hours

Ali Asgari, 2012, Iran, 15 minutes, Cast: Taha Mohammadi, Shahrzad Ghasemi, Roshanak Haghighat talab, Safoora kazempoor 

Screening with: For Shahrzad @ 1:10 pm ~ Sunday, September 29

It’s  3 AM, a young couple are wandering in the city. They are looking for a hospital to cure the girl, but it’s much harder than they thought.

Ali Asgari

Ali Asgari was born in 1982, in Tehran, Iran. He is graduated from management in Iran and now he is a student of cinema in Italy. He started his career as an assistant director and worked  in 10 feature films and more than 30 short films. His short films have been screened in many film festivals around the world. In 2013 he participated at Berlinale Talent Campus. His third short film “More than two hours” was nominated for Palme d’or at Festival De Cannes 2013.
Filmography: Tonight is not a good night for dying (2011), Barbie (2012), More than two hours (2013)

Why This Telephone Never Rings?

Hadi Yaghinlou, 2013, Iran, 8 minutes, Animation

Screening with: It's a Dream @ 1 pm ~ Saturday, September 28

In a corner of an old workshop, a repairman is lost in the quiet world of telephones until his calmness is disturbed with continues rings. Fed up with the rings, he starts checking numerous phones to find the ringing one to answer. In his search he gets out of the workshop and all of sudden finds himself in mysterious places. He passes through an endless land of unknown telephones until he sees nothing around him. At this moment he faces the truth. The voice is from inside him.

Hadi Yaghinlou

Hadi Yaghinlou was born in 1974 in Tehran. As a graduate of directing, Yaghinlou started his film making career as the assistant of “Vajiyollah Fardemoghadam” by making some short educational films and commercials. His first film for KANOON was called “The Red Pencil & the Black Crow” in 1998 which brought him the “Golden Bird” prize in the first Tehran Animation Festival. He has been working with Kanoon and the national foundation of computer games since that time as a supervisor.  Filmography: The red pencil & the black crow, 1998 / A precious pal & a delicious bud, 2004 / Fruits’ journey, 2006 / Why this telephone never rings? 2012


Alireza Hashempour, 2012, Iran, 8 minutes, Animation

Screening with: For Shahrzad @ 1:10 pm ~ Sunday, September 29

This is the story about an old man who suffers Alzheimer and lives with his dog. The film shows in a humorous way a day of the life of the two, when causes become consequences and vice versa.

Awards & Festivals: Dok Festival 2012 - Germany (International Program), Tehran International Animation Festival - Iran 2013 (Competition) 8th Athens Animfest 2013 - Greece ( Competition), Monstra Festival 2013 – Portugal (Competition), Holand Animation Film Festival 2013 (Haff Junior), Ani Fest 2013 - Czech Republic (Competition), Golden Kuker 2013 IAFF – Bulgaria (Competition), Golden Prize for the best animation - Tehran International Animation Festival

Alireza Hashempour

Alireza Hashempour was born in Tehran in 1978; he received his B.D as graphic designer from Enghelab University and his M.A as animation director from Tehran Art University. He worked for some magazines and newspapers as a graphic designer and art director. “Alzheimer” is his first short film.


Jeremiah Jones, 2011, USA, 17 minutes, Cast: Marsh Mokhtari [in person], Mo McRae, Skyler Brigmann

Screening with: Pulp Farsi @ 3:10 pm ~ Sunday, September 29

Charlie, a career carjacker, hits an unexpected snag when he jacks a car with a terrified child, Jack, asleep in the backseat. An exciting car chase ensues and Charlie soon realizes that the car's driver, Michael, is not Jack's father at all, but a murderous kidnapper who intends to kill Jack once he gets his ransom money. But Jack finds a new friend and unlikely champion in Charlie, who isn't about to let that happen...

Jeremiah Jones

Jeremiah Jones began his career as a commercial director, working with such talents as Magic Johnson, Cheech Marin and Cedric the Entertainer, eventually earning the ADDY award for Excellence in Advertising. Jones also directed the award winning Heinz Worldwide commercial which premiered during the 2010 US super bowl. He then completed his action packed short film CARJACK which has swept the festival circuit, qualified for the Academy Awards and has been acquired for international distribution by Magnolia Pictures shorts arm, Shorts International. Jones has also been featured as a "Director to Watch" on ABC's Good Morning America, won the 2010 Telly Award and 2011 Summit Award for directorial achievement.


Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, 2013, USA, 17 minutes, Cast: Moe Beitiks, Noah Lepawski, Florence Winners

Part of Shorts Program @ 11 am ~ Sunday, September 29

Young Lilly is going to get her ears pierced. A quarrel between her parents overwhelms the situation and directs it differently...

Festivals & Awards: Winner of 2013 Cinefondation Award at Cannes Film Festival 

Anahita Ghazvinizadeh

Anahita Ghazvinizadeh (b1989, Tehran, Iran) is a filmmaker and writer. She got her BFA in cinema from Tehran University of Art and her MFA in studio arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Anahita has studied with Abbas Kiarostami and is influenced by his cinematic style. Being inspired by the rich culture of children’s cinema in Iran, she started to work on a trilogy of short films with children as the main characters. When the Kid was a Kid (2011, Iran) and Needle (2013, US) are the first two finished pieces of series. Needle was in the Cannes Film Festival, Cinefondation selection in 2013 and won the first prize there, which guarantees the screening of her first feature film in the Cannes Film Festival’s selection in the future. Anahita is also the co-writer of the acclaimed feature film, Mourning (2011). Childhood and parenthood, family theater, and exploring notions of growth and gender identity are the main themes of her work.


Director: Dariush Ghazbani, 2013, Iran, 11 minutes, Cast: Abbas Barooni, Hoda Nourizadeh, Ebtesam Baghlani, Yousef Yazdani

Screening with: Simin @ 3 pm ~ Saturday, September 28

Khoramshahr is invaded by Iraqi troops. Abbas and Zeinab are fleeing the city when they are confronted by a pregnant Arab woman and her young daughter; they try to save them from a sniper near by…

Dariush Ghazbani

Dariush Ghazbani born in 1975 in Abadan (A southern city in Iran). He grew up in Bushehr and made many short films in Iranian Youth Cinema Society (IYCS). In 2000 he moved to Isfahan and studied Cinema directing in Sooreh University in Isfahan. He works in Iranian independent cinema as director, screenwriter and actor. 
Filmography: Sister Sabrina (2002), Grave Refugee (2004), Story of that Night (2005), A Reality of a Dream (2006), The Old Man and the Sea (2011), Event of that Day (2011), Hannaneh (2013)

Everything is Fine Here

Pourya Azarbayjani, 2012, Iran, 75 minutes, Cast: Marziyyeh Valipoor, Erfan Naseri, Pantea Siroos, Nader Mashayekhi, Daryoosh Faezi, Shaqhayeq Rad

Screening with: Turn @ 9:30 pm ~ Sunday, September 29

On the verge of her marriage, Arghavan, 25, is gang-raped in a deserted area of Tehran. In a strict, conservative society where young women are expected to be virgins before marriage, this is a crime and a catastrophe. The crime is that of her assailants; the catastrophe is hers. Overwhelmed by rumors, her life begins turning into a nightmare.

Festivals: 2013 Montreal Film Festival [August]
Pourya Azarbayjani

Born in Tehran, Iran in 1981, Pourya Azarbayjani graduated in theater directing from Soreh College in Tehran and began making shorts, including Autumn Travelers (2000), Contrast (2001), A Street with No Number (2004), For Two Cups of Tea (2004) and I Had Come to Have a Cup of Tea with Earth (2004). UNFINISHED STORIES (2007), his first feature, was shown in numerous international festivals.

Beyond the Deadend

Director: Pouria Heidary Oureh, 2012, Iran, 15 minutes, Cast: Mohammad Yasin Ardehi, Abdalghader Baraji,  Salman Sakhtyanchi, Bahman Mohammadzadeh, Sama Mousavi

Screening with: Simin @ 3 pm ~ Saturday, September 28


A homeless vagabond becomes obsessed with a pair of shoes. 

Awards & Festivals: Canne Film Festival Short Film Corner, Woodstock International Film Festival, Accolade Competition Winner of Excellence Short Film Award

Pouria Heidary Oureh

Pouria Heidary Oureh, born in 1984 in Tehran, Iran. A graduate of digital films from SAE, started his filmmaking career in 2008, made his first film in 2012: Beyond the Deadend, which has won over ten awards at various film festivals.


Director: Pourya Berjis, 2012, Iran, 10 minutes, Cast: Soroush Ghasemi, Hasan karami, Saleh Taghipour

Part of Shorts Program @ 11 am ~ Sunday, September 29

There is a social political interaction on a public bus and a kind of friendship between a little boy and an elderly man. 

Pourya Berjis

Pourya Berjis was born In Isfahan in 1987. He stared his career in radio, studied film, directed his first film "Dead Melody" (2010), which was chosen for Iranian Short Film Festival. Trying to follow his career, he directed his second film "Charisma" with a social theme which was shown at Croatia Film Festival.


Katayoun Afrooz, 2013, Iran, 13 minutes, Documentary

Screening with: Simin @ 3 pm ~ Saturday, September 28

Horaman or Oraman is a village in Kurdistan, Iran. A magnificent village with rich history and unique ceremonies.

Katayoun Afrooz

Director/producer, born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Katayoun Afrooz undertook her formal education and training in film in the United States. She holds a Degree in both Cinema and TV Production. She is now living in Iran and works as a professional filmmaker, photographer and video artist.


Talkhon Hamzavi, 2012, Switzerland, 25 minutes, Cast: Nissa Kashani, Cheryl Graf

Screening with: No Burqas Behind Bars @ 11 am ~ Sunday, September 29

Parvaneh is a young Afghan immigrant who recently arrived at a transit centre for asylum seekers in the Swiss Alps. The only things she has got to know yet are the rural area surrounding the centre and the centre itself. When she receives a phone call about her father’s bad health condition, she decides to send all her illegally acquired money to her family. Therefore, she must travel to Zurich. On arrival she is overwhelmed by the hectic of the city, the mass of advertisement and the noise of the streetcars. As she doesn’t own a valid passport, she is unable to make the money transfer on her own. In broken German, she asks various people to help her out. But the only one caring is a punk girl called Emily. This starts a series of unusual encounters, as she explores the unknown city and culture with Emily and leads into a new perspective and an unusual friendship. 

- Winner of Student Film Oscar  

Talkhon Hamzavi

Talkhon Hamzavi, born 1979 in Teheran, Iran. In 1986 moved with her parents to Switzerland. In 1998 started an apprenticeship as a medical secretary. 2003 – 2004 Pre-course in Art in Aarau. After that studied creative Vocational Matura in Zürich. In 2006 began studying film at the Zurich University of the Arts. From 2010 to 2012, Master of Arts in Film at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) specializing in screenwriting and directing.

Red Line

Mona Abdollah Shahi, 2012, Iran, 8 minutes, Animation

Part of Shorts Program @ 11 am ~ Sunday, September 29

Red Line is about two friends, a turtle and a lizard, in the middle of a war. Both of them are caught in an unwilling situation. The decision of the turtle would solve the problem; but with a price! 

Mona A. Shahi

Mona A. Shahi was born in September 1983 in Tehran. She holds a B.S. in physics from Sharif University of Technology and received her M.A. in animation from Art University of Tehran in 2012. She illustrates, designs logos, writes short stories and teaches physics and art. She works in a small studio, Barfi, with her friends and makes short and animation films.

Two & Two

Babak Anvari, 2012, UK/Iran, 10 minutes, Cast: Bijan Daneshmand, Ravi Karimi, Pouyan Loti

Part of Shorts Program @ 11 am ~ Sunday, September 29

In a drab, anonymous gray school governed by a strict authoritarian regime, an apparently unremarkable day is turned on its head following a seemingly ridiculous announcement. Disbelieving at first, the all male, identically uniformed pupils are informed that what they had always been taught as fact is no longer true. When the incredulous students speak out, what initially seems laughably absurd becomes desperately real as they are forced to question how far they will go to stand up for their beliefs. Two & Two is an allegory for the absurdness of dictatorship and tyranny - and the resilience of the human spirit. 

Babak Anvari

Babak Anvari is an Iranian born filmmaker who is living and working in London. Since the age of 16 he has been involved in the production of many short films and video art pieces that have been screened in different venues around the world. He graduated with a BA in Film & Television Production from Westminster Film School. His award winning graduation film, What’s Up With Adam?, has been screened at many international festivals and also been commercially distributed in German speaking countries. His second successful short narrative film, Solitary, has been showcased at various human rights events, including a few organized by Amnesty International. Babak currently works for MTV UK & Ireland. He is one of the directors for MTV Live Sessions, an ongoing live music franchise, which airs on various MTV Networks channels around the world as well as online and has directed live performances for renowned artists such as Lady GaGa, Florence & The Machine, Deftones, etc.

Shirin & Farhad

Majeed Beenteha, 2013, USA, 2 minutes, Animation

Screening with: Parviz @ 9:20 pm ~ Saturday, September 28

This short animation was inspired by a Persian love story known as "Khosrow and Shirin". The story of Shirin & Farhad is one of many chapters of this story/book. A version of the story was versified by Nizami Ganjavi, the 11th century Persian poet. In brief, Farhad (A stone cutter) falls in the love with Shirin (Princess of Armenia). However, his love rival (King Kusrow) sends him a messenger who tricks Farhad into believing that Shirin has died. Upon hearing this news, Farhad throws himself off the cliff and commits suicide. In short, he never reaches the object of his desire.

Majeed Beenteha

Majeed Beenteha, a self-taught aspiring photographer and filmmaker was born in Esfahan, Iran. His first foray into filmmaking was a short experimental piece entitled Cirque Shab (Night Circus), a film that dealt with the place and role of women in Iranian society. During the making of this film, he met the Iranian artist and scholar Iraj Anvar, with whom he collaborated to produce two additional films. The first was a short film entitled Naqqali Shemr & Daughter of Iran, the second film was a documentary entitled Intoxicating Rhymes & Sobering Wine. Majeed’s mixed-media, video, and photography works have been exhibited at various galleries around the world, including the Whitebox, Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller, and Gershwin galleries in New York, and the Other Gallery in Shanghai. As well, Majeed has written plays, short stories, and poetry in English, in addition to publishing a children’s book entitled Once Upon a Star. Majeed’s latest project is a short animation film entitled Shirin & Farhad.

Lady Tehran

Camille Simony [in person], 2013, France, 9 minutes, Music: Mohsen Namjoo, Cast: Amir Yazdani

Screening with: Pulp Farsi @ 3:10 pm ~ Sunday, September 29

This movie encompasses the look of a taxi of a taxi driver in the city of Tehran. From land to sky, we pass by the streets and the residents; we discover a surreal and poetic Teheran, described by an man who crosses this city by thought. This movie questions the imagination of words, the link between sound and picture, between the visible and invisible. What do we take away from what’s visible on screen? What do we really see? The universe of sound takes the spectators away to a world that is only fiction when pictures show otherwise. Based on the narration «Tehran Banou» - Manzoomé Tehran, from Mohammad Ali Sepanlou - the words of this man takes away, suggests, describes and gives life to a Tehran invisible on the screen. 

Camille Simony

After graduating from Fine Art in Nantes (France) in 2009, Camille Simony lives and works in Paris. Since 2010, she is an active member of Rhezome Collective which is aimed at the promotion of young creation and artistic plurality. For two years, she is learning Persian in Paris at INALCO (National Institute of Oriental Language and Civilization). The artistic process of Camille Simony takes different forms: sculpture, installation, photography or movies. Her work questions individual trajectory, absence, displacement and origins, according to the fragments of fantasized situations by spectators. She observes people and objects like the «theater of intimacy». Within a suspended amount of time, her work reveals the poetic nature within the witnesses of unimaginable and brutally time life stories.

The Girl In The Lemon Factory

Chiara Marañón [Spain] & Abbas Kiarostami [Iran], 2013, Spain, 8 minutes, Cast: Julia Scrive-Loyer, Yuri Kobzar

Screening with: Ambrosia @ 9:30 pm ~ Sunday, September 29

A meditation on work and life. Like a battle in which there’s no battle field, only noise. A dissonance.   

Chiara Marañón & Abbas Kiarostami

Chiara Marañón was born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1984. After graduating from Film Studies at Pompeu Fabra University she was accepted at the International Film and Television School of Cuba (EICTV) where she made the short film The Red Balloon (6’) (Gijón Film Festival, ALCINE Madrid) and wrote the feature length script The Malévich Painting, currently in development under the mentorship of Spanish filmmaker Jaime Rosales. At this stage, Chiara was awarded a scholarship for completing an MA Directing Film at the University of Westminster in London, obtaining a distinction at her graduation. The film The Boy Who Never Went Ice Skating, (37’) entirely shot in 16mm in the United Kingdom, with an extreme low-budget, is her most challenging work to date. Chiara was recently selected by the IBAFF International Film Festival to attend a workshop with Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, in which she developed together with him the piece The girl in the lemon factory. Chiara currently is the Content and Acquisitions Manager at MUBI. 

Abbas Kiarostami, born 22 June 1940 is an acclaimed Iranian film director, screenwriter, photographer, film producer, and an active filmmaker since 1970, has been involved in over forty films, including shorts and documentaries. Kiarostami attained critical acclaim for directing the Koker Trilogy (1987–94), Close-Up (1990), Taste of Cherry (1997), and The Wind Will Carry Us (1999). In his recent films, Certified Copy (2010) and Like Someone in Love (2012), he filmed for the first time outside Iran, in France and Japan, respectively. The Girl In The Lemon Factory (2013), is his latest short film.


Roozbeh Jafarrzadeh [in person], 2011, Iran, 4 minutes

Screening with: Everything is Fine Here @ 9:30 pm ~ Sunday, September 29

Turn is about the men who want to be in power, they compete with each other to capture the place in power but for what price? They follow the same destiny as all dictators but will they learn?

Roozbeh Jafarzadeh

Roozbeh Jafarzadeh, born in 1976, graduated with B.A in Graphic Design (Azad Art University) 2002. Member of ASIFA (International Animated Film Association).  He has been active as an advertising consult / art director / graphic designer / commercial TV Director- Editor and creative manage, cartoon and character designer.


Sam Chegini, 2012, Netherlands/Iran, 4 minutes, Music Video, Cast: Linde Nijland, Bert Ridderbos

Part of Shorts Program @ 11 am ~ Sunday, September 29

Story of a traveler who is asking herself symbolic questions about the meaning of life along the road.

Sam Chegini

Sam Chegini (born in Tehran, Iran 1992) is an award winning Iranian Artist. In 2009, Sam made a video art for United Nations Human Settlements Program and IAARA about the reconstruction steps of an ancient Lyre titled “The Lyre of Mesopotamia” which won an award in the 1st Persbook Art Contest judged by Edward Lucie-Smith. In 2010, he made a video art based on Chris de Burgh’s famous song “A Spaceman Came Travelling”. It praised by many well-known artists like Neil Taylor, singer/songwriter and Chris de Burgh’s guitarist as nice, creative and beautiful. In 2011, the video was selected by the jury of the 2nd Persbook Art Contest in video art category.   Later in that year, famous Dutch Singer/songwriter, Linde Nijland, being impressed by this video art asked him to make a music video for her song, “Traveler”. Sam has recently won the Royal Reel Award from Canada International Film Festival for this music video.  Traveler has been the official selection of many prestigious music video and film festivals around the globe and has been screened in different countries in 2013, so far. Also, it was voted no. 1 in Frisian charts in the Klipkar + TV program.

Forget-Me-Not Egg

Director: Mohammadreza Farzad, 2013, Iran, 28 minutes

Part of Shorts Program @ 11 am ~ Sunday, September 29

A short documentary film about the life of "Haj Mammad," an old man makes living with selling eggs in rural regions of Northern Iran. The New Year is approaching; people are painting the eggs to give them to children as gifts. He wonders how he can give a colored egg to his daughter. 

Mohammadreza Farzad

Mohammadreza Farzad, born 1978. Graduated from Tehran University of Fine Arts with MA in theater study. Started art career as poet and literary translator, translated and published some well-known plays by Woody Allen, Ariel Dorfman, David Ives, Nilo Cruz and introduced to Iranian audiences for the first time some of most the prestigious writers of world literature through his 6 published books. However, two of his past and three of his upcoming books banned to publish now. He launched his film career with acting in some short and feature films and then moved into documentary cinema as researcher and film editor. As a documentary filmmaker he has made several films awarded and screened in national and international film Festivals. His first film “Into Thin Air” premiered at Berlinale 2011, shown in more than 30 film festivals. His second film "Blames and Flames" premiered again at Berlinale 2012 shown in 20 international film festivals. "Forget-Me-Not Egg" is his third film.

Return [Bazgasht]

Soheila Golestani, 2012, Iran, 12 minutes, Cast: Katayoun  Azami, Nessa Ansari, Mina Bakhtiarian, Nahid Bakhshi

Screening with: Ambrosia @ 5:25 pm ~ Sunday, September 29

In the midst of the Iran-Iraq war, A family prepares “Ashe Nazri” (a kind of pottage cooked on various occasions by muslims as a religious offering) while awaiting news from their youngest son who is serving in the military at the battlefront. 

Soheila Golestani

Soheila Golestani is an actress and filmmaker. She is a graduate of theater from the cinema faculty of the University of Arts in Tehran. She has participated in many film festivals. 
Filmography: Vaziateh Sefid, Tunnel, Jaeii ke safar mikonim,

Why Not Kill a Fly!

Farhad Alizadeh, 2013, Iran, 5 minutes, Animation

Part of Shorts Program @ 11 am ~ Sunday, September 29

A fly in a metro station creates problems for the passengers on the train.

Farhad Alizadeh

Farhad Alizadeh was born in 1977, in Ardabil, Iran. He studied graphic designe (B.A) and animation (M.A) at Tehran Tarbiat Modares Art University. Director of three short animations and four TV series.  Filmography: “Metempsychosis” 2004, “She Who is Mother” 2008, “Why Not Kill a Fly!” 2013

After the Class

Fereshteh Parnian, 2012, Iran, 12 minutes, Cast: Fereshteh Sadr Orafaei, Sadaf Sadri

Part of Shorts Program @ 11 am ~ Sunday, September 29

On the same day that Mrs Ansari, a high school teacher, is promoted to be the school`s principle, her young daughter shows up to inform her of her unexpected decision.  

Fereshteh Parnian Zad

Fereshteh Parnian Zad, Iranian film director and editor, was born in 1982 in Tehran, Iran. She entered Tehran’s Art University in 2000 to continue her academic studies in that field. She edited numerous mini series for the Iranian National TV, short and films, video art projects, movie trailers and commercial films. In 2009, she won the Best Editor award for the short film, The Night Symphony, in the International Parvin Etesami Film Festival in Tehran. She directed and edited her first film Happy Birthday in 2010, which won many awards at various film festivals. After The Class (2012) is her second film.

When the Curtain Falls

Director: Alireza Khatami, 2011, USA/Iran, 6 minutes, Cast: Afshin Farhad, Chantel Louise Tattoli

Screening with: Simin @ 3 pm ~ Saturday, September 28

A calligrapher writes to unveil, but he realizes the veil is precisely the nudity itself.

Alireza Khatami

Alireza Khatami is a multicultural filmmaker and digital artist whose works address the questions of memory and trauma, crossing various disciplinary boundaries. Born in Iran in 1980, he began working in the cinema and the advertising industry in his home country, and had worked with several prominent Iranian filmmakers. In 2004 he left Iran for Malaysia where he continued working with well-known Malaysian filmmakers as well as digital artists. He received his BA in Creative Multimedia with cum laude honors and worked as a Visual Effects Supervisor. Awarded a Dean’s Fellowship at Savannah College of Art & Design in 2010, Alireza moved to the United States to study Master of Fine Arts in Film & TV Production. Alireza’s films, installation and writings has been showcased and awarded in many countries all around the world. Currently he lives in United States and works on his first feature film Oblivion Verses.

Arefi, the Shepherd

Daniel Asadi Faezi, 2013, Germany/Iran, 9 minutes, Cast: Mohammad Arefi

Screening with: Pulp Farsi @ 3:10 pm ~ Sunday, September 29

Dasht-e-Kavir. At no other place on this planet you would expect life in the desert of central Iran. But there is one man facing the power of nature: Mohammad Arefi, a passionate shepherd who for more than two generations is doing this hard job. Every day he takes care of over 300 goats and sheep. A fascinating portrait of a quiet but funny person.

Daniel Asadi Faezi

Born 1993, volunteer service at NGO in Kolkata/India 2011-2012, internship at documentary film production in Berlin, 2013 University of Film and Television Munich- Documentary.  Filmography:  Change your view (2012) a documentary on skateboarding / Koora/Trash (2012) a documentary on trash pickers from Howrah/India / Arefi, the shepherd (2013)

Support the Iranian Film Festival – San Francisco 




Website Builder