Discovering the Next Generation of Iranian Filmmakers©

Coming: 16th Annual Iranian Film Festival – San Francisco: September 16-17, 2023

Welcome to the 15th Annual Iranian Film Festival – San Francisco, the first independent Iranian film festival outside of Iran. This year, the festival presents 50 films from Iran, USA, Italy, France, Luxembourg, Greece, UK, Canada, Australia, and Denmark…, ranging from fiction, documentary, short, animation…. to the music video. 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. Please join us to celebrate the outstanding works of Iranian filmmakers.


Winners of the 2022 ‘Sepanta Awards’

Best Film: Soundless
Best Director: Behrang Dezfoulizadeh for Soundless
Best Actor: Mohsen Tanabandeh for 3 Puffs
Best Actress: Haniyeh Tavassoli for Soundless
Best Screenplay: Masoud Farjam for Azar 7:00 am
Best Cinematography: Mohammad Reza Jahanpanah for Soundless
Best Documentary: Harman directed by Mohammad Farajzadeh
Best Short Film: The Book
Best Director for a Short Film: Farzad Foroughi for The Book
Best Screenplay for a Short Film: Farzad Foroughi for The Book
Best Actor in a Short Film: Hamidreza Karami for Daily Massacre in Tehran
Best Actress in a Short Film: Nika Shahbazzadeh for The Untouchable
Best Cinematography in a Short Film: Daily Massacre in Tehran by Vahid Ebrahim
Best Children’s Film: Wolf Cubs of the Apple Valley
Best Children’s Short Film: Daily Massacre in Tehran by Hessam Hamidi
Best Music Video: Freedom directed by Kamran Rasoolzadeh
Best Animation Film: The Past directed by Hamid Mohammadi
Best Experimental Film: Just a Walk directed by Masoud Moein Eslam


Animation Films

The history of animation films in Iran goes back to the 1950s, decades after it was invented. Since then, despite all the obstacles from lack of equipment to lack of knowledge, animation films have still been 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: My Brain Burst Out Laughing, The Past, Rain, Red Oxygen, Dream, Parchin, Woodpecker, The Sprayer, Traffic Signal Story…


Documentary Films

Aside from fiction, the Iranian Film Festival pays special attention to the documentary genre with some of the best young talents Iranian cinema can offer. Films such as: Break Dance[about this street style of dancing], Harman [narrates the philosophy of Kurdish dance and its traditional dress], Seventh Day [about a large gathering and ceremony on the 7th day of Ashura], Qizlar [about a wedding ceremony in central province], My Iran [about Iranian customs and their national alliance]…


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, it gives them the time management to work within that time frame. For that reason, 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: Kefsan, Daily Massacre in Tehran, Dog, Now You See Me, The Book, Bench, A Photo of Us, Money Room, The Untouchable, Checkpoint…The Shorts Programs are scheduled on Saturday, September 17, and Sunday, September 18 at 11:00 AM.


Music & Dance Films

This year, the Iranian Film Festival received the highest number of music videos showing that music is alive and well in the hearts of Iranian people, especially the younger generation. Among those chosen are: A Chronicle of a Chemical Collapse [directed by Ramin Koupaee], Freedom [directed by Kamran Rasoolzadeh], My Iran [directed by Reza Majlesi], Sargashteh [Nader Khaledian], Hasti [Aren Bayadyan], Isolation [directed by Soheil Mosharraf], Goltam [directed by Susanna Beltrami ], Vayu [Sina Mohammadi], Just A Walk [Masoud Moein Eslam]…


Films for Children & Young Adults

For the past few years, the Iranian Film Festival – San Francisco, has paid more attention to films about children and young adults. These are some of the films that are selected for this year: Wolf Cubs of Apple Valley [directed by Fereydoun Najafi], The Winner [directed by Ali Keyvan], Singo [directed by Alireza Mohammadi Rouzbahany], Aion [directed by Giulio Meliani], Daily Massacre in Tehran [directed by Hessam Hamidi] …


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 Zahra Khadem Shariat, who created her design based on a tree for growth, and traditional Persian art.


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 the Festival

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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