Discovering the Next Generation of Iranian Filmmakers©

Song of God

Director: Aref Mohamamdi, 2018, Canada, 60 minutes, Cast: Bahman Kazemi

When an Iranian-Canadian filmmaker hears the story of Ghadamyar, a Kurdish 120-year-old Tanbūr player, he takes off on a mission to discover more about this spiritual master’s musical and enchanting life. The film follows his journey to Western Iran, where he unearths the ancient traditions and teachings of Ghadamyar’s faith known as Yarsanism, and its relationship to the mysterious Tanbūr as a meditative instrument. The film takes audiences on a musical and visual quest among rugged landscapes of Western Iran to experience undiscovered voices and spiritual awakening. We witness the collective prayer of Yarsani Tanbūrists, as a practice to maintain their spiritual identity and search for inner beauty.

Screening with: Hidden Drummers of Iran + The Sixth String

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Song of God
Saturday, Sept. 28th, 01:00 PM
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Aref Mohamamdi

Aref Mohammadi is an acclaimed Journalist, filmmaker, film critic and TV producer within the Iranian communities outside Iran and is currently working and residing in Canada. He regularly provides editorials in Farsi print media. Aref is the founder and CEO of the New Wave Artistic and Cultural Group in Toronto, Canada since 2004. Through this outlet he has been able to facilitate regular workshops, seminars and ongoing conversations about cinema in Iran and worldwide. Aref’s formal education rages from literature to filmmaking to social work and reflect on his broad base of principles, interests and expertise.

In his native Iran, Aref worked as an assistant director on numerous stage productions and movies. His popular interviews included many established cineastes such as Atom Egoyan, Abbas Kiarostami, Arsinee Khanjian, Oscar nominee Shohreh Aghdashlou, Jafar Panahi, Majid Majidi, Bahman Ghobadi, Samira Makhmalbaf and two times Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi. In 2012, a selection of these interviews was published in a book: Iranian Cinema-Yesterday, Today.

Aref has been successful in making two short documentaries: “The Bus (2005)” is about the first female bus driver, and “New Horizon (2009)”, which explored the life of the first female mechanic in Iran. Aref’s previous documentary is called “A Survivor from Magadan” which depicted a true story of Dr. Ata Safavi, an Iranian activist, whose life was ended by Stalin’s death camps.

This documentary has successfully been screened in Toronto and across Canada, receiving numerous impressive accolades by film critics and dignitaries and possessed several Awards from Festivals. He has utilized every opportunity to remain true to his passion by making the time and providing lectures, courses and programs at many outlets including the U of T’s Agora Philosophy Association, and universities of Toronto, Ryerson, Concordia, Guelph, Calgary and Ottawa.