10 Days of Iranian Cinema

12. – 21.06.2020

The question of whether to resist or escape is one that the Iranian population is continually grappling with. Iranian cinema, renowned for its avant-garde and popularity, has always reflected and considered this dilemma. Our series “10 Days of Iranian Cinema” is an online look at Iranian cinema.

Graphic logo of the film series “10 Days of Iranian Cinema” with the title of the series in Persian as golden yellow light in front of a door opening.

The film series consists of two sections: “Displaced Realities” is a programme of fictional and documentary feature-length films and “Fight or Flight” presents a series of short films. These programmes will be complemented by talks with filmmakers and experts in Iranian cinema: Bahram Beyzai (film & theater director & professor at Stanford University, USA), Rakhshan Banietemad (film director and screenwriter, Tehran), Mohammadreza Farzad (film director, Tehran), Daniel Kötter (film and theatre director, Berlin ), as well as Afsun Moshiry (curator, Berlin/Tehran) in conversation with Vivien Buchhorn (curator and scholar) and Reza Haeri (film director, Tehran) about the legendary Iranian film director Sohrab Shahid Saless.

Curated by Afsun Moshiry and Berliner Festspiele

“The period before and after the Islamic revolution (1978–1979) is critical to understanding Iran’s current problems.”
Interview with the curator Afsun Moshiry on the Berliner Festspiele Blog

The featured films examine both the effects of continually having to deal with chaotic changes and rapid living conditions in Iran and with cultural and social issues: the role of women in society, traditional father-son relationships, family, friendship, raising children and models of human relationships.

Aspirations to enact or document Iranian everyday reality the way it is actually lived and experienced through film are severely constricted by political censorship in the country. Furthermore, social taboos lead to self-censorship and thus to double standards that form an obstacle to an unequivocal social concept of reality.

The selected films deal with this divide between a slightly more liberated private life and a constricted public existence by picturing diverse relationships between people and a wide range of behaviours and moral dispositions, thus enabling us to observe these rifts.

This incongruity creates a tension that generates challenges for film makers: How to portrait intimacy except in the form in which it is experienced? Does oppression produce a vitality or intensity that makes Iranian films so fascinating to us?

Graphic logo of the film series “10 Days of Iranian Cinema” with the title of the series in Persian as golden yellow light in front of a door opening.

10 Days of Iranian Cinema. Trailer. Editing: Ygor Gama

© Berliner Festspiele

Displaced Realities
Yek ettefāq-e sāde (A Simple Event)

English subtitles available by clicking the CC button of the player.

Yek ettefāq-e sāde (A Simple Event)

Iran 1973
78 min, Farsi with English subtitles
Written and directed by Sohrab Shahid Saless
Camera: Naghi Massumi
Cast: Ane Mohamad Tarikhi, Habibollah Safarian, Hedayatollah Nawid
Available 12 June, 14:00 – 21 June, 13:59

The everyday life of a ten-year-old boy in a harbour town on the Caspian Sea: His mother is ill, his father makes a living on the black market for fish and drinks. The boy goes to school, but he is not a good student. His mother dies and their attempt to buy a suit for the boy fails.

Watch a clip

Sohrab Shahid Saless

There are two distinguishing features about the life and work of Sohrab Shahid Saless (1944–1998) that are not widely known in these parts: For one, he is one of the most important filmmakers of modern Iranian cinema. With “A Simple Event (Yek ettefāq-e sāde)” from the year 1973 and “Still Life (Ṭabiʿat-e bijān)” from 1974, he created two films that have had an epochal impact on intellectual Iranian cinema regarding both their form and their content – their deliberate bleakness and stasis and their focus on the simple, difficult lives of poor people, on their speech- and helplessness. His inspiration by European cinema, such as François Truffaut’s debut “Les Quatre Cents Coups” (1959) can already be traced in his early films. And on the other hand, Saless is also a protagonist of New German Film. Born in Tehran in 1944, he lived in Vienna and Paris from 1963, where he studied film, until 1968, when he returned to Iran to make documentary films for the Iranian Ministry of Culture. After both his Iranian feature films had received several international awards – including the Silver Bear of the Berlinale – Saless, whose politics leaned towards the left, decided to go into exile in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1974. Here, Saless shot 13 feature, television and documentary films, with a focus on German and Russian literature. For “Grabbes letzter Sommer”, based on Thomas Valentin, he received the Grimme Award in Gold for the best screenplay, the best performance of a male actor and as the best director. In 1981, he paid homage to his greatest teacher, as Saless once called him, in “Anton P. Čechov”. In 1984, Saless became a member of the Berlin Academy of the Arts, in the section Film- and Media-Art. In 1991, he returned to Germany after a six-year sojourn in Czechoslovakia, only to leave the country again four years later, when he headed for the USA. As if his cinematic work had been completed, Saless received the Great Prize of the Foundation Verlag der Autoren in late 1994 for his oeuvre. In 1998, he died in Chicago.

Bashu, gharibeye koochak (Bashu, the Little Stranger)

Bashu, gharibeye koochak (Bashu, the Little Stranger). Film still

Bashu, gharibeye koochak (Bashu, the Little Stranger)

Iran 1989
120 min, Farsi with English subtitles
Written and directed by Bahram Beyzai
Camera: Firouz Malekzadeh
Cast: Susan Taslimi, Parviz Pourhosseini, Adnan Afravian, Bashu, Akbar Doodkar, Farokhlagha Hushmand

This film is an important part of the film series, but unfortunately cannot be shown online due to licensing reasons.

Ten-year old Bashu loses his family and his home in an air raid during the war between Iran and Iraq. He manages to take refuge on the loading space of a truck and is taken from southern Iran all the way to the north of the country. He ends up in a village, where a mother of two children takes him in and cares for him. But the other villagers are not happy about this newcomer who doesn’t speak their language and whose skin is darker than theirs. And the husband of Bashu’s saviour also wants to get rid of him as fast as he can. This touching drama was originally funded by the Iranian regime, but later it was banned because of its critical stance towards war and intolerance.

Interview with Bahram Beyzai (in Farsi with English subtitles)

Bahram Beyzai

Bahram Beyzai is one of Iran's most acclaimed filmmakers, playwrights, and scholars of the history of Iranian theater, both secular and religious. He was a leader of the generation of filmmakers known as the Iranian New Wave, beginning in the late 1960s, and has since directed more than a dozen prize-winning films. He has also conducted pioneering research into the roots of ancient legends ancient legends like “Shahnameh” derived from Indo-Iranian mythology. He is that rare artist who is also an erudite critic and scholar of his myriad crafts.

Born in Tehran, Beyzai was for many years the head of the Theatre Arts Department at Tehran University. His two volume study of the history of Iranian theatre is still considered the authoritative account of this history. Since his arrival at Stanford as the Bita Daryabari Lecturer of Persian Studies, he has staged several of his plays and given workshops on Iranian mythology and cinema. He currently teaches courses on Iranian theatre and cinema.

Banoo-Ye Ordibehesht (The May Lady)

Banoo-Ye Ordibehesht (The May Lady)

Iran 1998
88 min, Farsi with English subtitles
Written and directed by Rakhshan Banietemad
Camera: Hossein Jafarian
Cast: Golab Adineh, Minoo Farshchi, Mani Kasraian, Baran Kosari, Atefeh Razavi
Available 12 June, 14:00 – 21 June, 13:59

“The May Lady” portrays the struggles of a 42-year-old divorcee who is caught between motherhood and womanhood in a society where moral values are constantly changing. Forugh Kia is a documentary filmmaker and a well-educated middle-class woman who has reached a dilemma in both her personal and professional life. She has set aside her own projects in order to make a TV-documentary about the Iranian representation of motherhood and women’s role in society. Meanwhile, she tries to seek balance between her son’s possessive tendencies and personal challenges in her life.

Watch a clip
Interview with Rakhshan Banietemad (in Farsi with English subtitles)

Rakhshan Banietemad

Rakhshan Banietemad, born in 1954 Tehran, began to make documentaries for the Iranian National Television in 1979, right after graduating from the University of Dramatic Arts, Tehran. From 1979 to 1987, she focused on making only documentaries. In 1987, she directed her first feature film “Off the Limits”. In 1991, she became the first woman recipient of the Best Director award for “Nargess” at the Fajr International Film Festival in Iran. In 1995, she won the Bronze Leopard for “The Blue Veiled” at the Locarno Film Festival. “Under the Skin of the City”, her next film, was the highest grossing film in Iran in 2000. This film, along with “Gilaneh” (2005) and “Mainline” (2006), garnered major awards at more than 50 film festivals.

While Banietemad’s feature films have been acclaimed and honoured worldwide, her documentaries have also been successful and popular internationally. “Our Times …” was the first documentary ever to be released in the movie theatres in Iran in 2002. It was also screened at highly prestigious and prominent festivals and TV channels such as IDFA, Sundance Film Festival and by ARTE.

Banietemad began her work by making documentaries and has never ended the strong connection she has always had with her works. Making documentaries has been her main way of connecting with society and social issues. Her approach towards depicting social issues has been so strong and effective that her works have always resulted in causing change in the lives of her documentaries’ characters.

In 2008, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of London; in 2010, she was awarded the Prix Henri Langlois from the Vincennes International Film Festival. Her latest feature film “Tales” was awarded the Best Screenplay prize in the main competition section of the 2014 Venice International Film Festival. More recently, in 2017, she joined the Writers’ Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars).

Roozi ke zan shodam (The Day I Became A Woman)

Roozi ke zan shodam (The Day I Became A Woman). Film still

Roozi ke zan shodam (The Day I Became A Woman)

Iran 2000
78 min, Farsi with English subtitles
Directed by Marziyeh Meshkini
Written by Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Camera: Mohammad Ahmadi
Cast: Fatemeh Cheragh Akhar, Shabnam Toloui, Azizeh Sedighi
Available 12 June, 14:00 – 21 June, 13:59
Due to license rights this film will be only available for users from Germany.

The film depicts the position of women for whom their gender poses a social problem. The film focuses on the lives of women who are imprisoned in the house, not because they are hated but because they are loved – women who have to forego emotional attachments in order to win individual independence and active social positions.

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Marziyeh Meshkini

Marziyeh Meshkini, born in 1969 in Tehran, is a filmmaker and writer. She is the wife of celebrated Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. She studied Cinema at the Makhmalbaf Film school for eight years. Her first film “The Day I Became a Woman” attended the Critics’ Week category at the Venice International Film Festival in 2000 and won three awards. Her second film “Stray Dogs” competed in the best film category at the 2003 Venice Film Festival and received two awards from this festival as well as many international awards across the world. She has worked as assistant director for Samira Makhmalbaf as well for Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Marziyeh Meshkini is also the scriptwriter of the award winning film “Buddha Collapsed Out Of Shame” by Hana Makhmalbaf, which won the Chrystal Bear from the Berlin International Film Festival, the Grand Jury Award from San Sebastian and was nominated for the Best Asian Film Award at the Hong Kong International Film Festival.

Hashti Tehran

Hashti Tehran

Iran 2016
59 min, Farsi with English subtitles
Written and directed by Daniel Kötter
Camera: Daniel Kötter
Cast: Sara Reyhani, Ramash Imanifard, Alireza Labeshka, Amoo Abbas
Available 12 June, 14:00 – 21 June, 13:59

The film ”Hashti Tehran” portrays the peripheral spaces between urbanity and suburbia just outside the city of Tehran. Daniel Kötter opens up four different spaces of transition on the outskirts and shows parts of the Iran that rarely get to be seen. The slow paced pans of the camera across the buildings and landscapes are accentuated by conversations between real estate agents and clients, or people living in the area who talk about expulsion and migration. ”Hashti Tehran” tells the story of how social spaces are not created due to their centricity, but through the use and occupation by people.

Watch the trailer
Interview with Daniel Kötter (in English)

Hashti, in most traditional houses in Iran, is an octagonal space of distribution and circulation to direct the person towards the various parts of the house, the private (andarouni) and semi-public (birouni) reserved for the reception of visitors from abroad and the access to spaces of service.

Based on the idea that Tehran itself represents a house, so to speak the inner circle of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the outskirts of the city become the space of transition between inside and outside, between urban and non-urban. Thus the film looks at urban developments in four very different areas in the outskirts of Tehran: the mountain of Tochal in the north, the area around the artificial Lake Chitgar in the west, the con-struction of social housing called Pardis Town in the far east, and the neighbourhood Nafar Abad at the southern edges of the city.

Daniel Kötter

Daniel Kötter is an international filmmaker and music theater director. His works alternate between different media and institutional contexts and combine experimental film techniques with performative and documentary elements. They have been shown worldwide at numerous film and video art festivals, in galleries, theaters and concert halls.

His major works include the music theater trilogies “Falsche Arbeit, Falsche Freizeit, Freizeitspektakel” (2008–2010), “KREDIT RECHT LIEBE” (2013–2016) and “STADT LAND FLUSS” (2017–2019, all with Hannes Seidl), the multi-channel trilogy “Arbeit und Freizeit” (2009–2011) as well as the film, performance and discourse series “state-theatre” about the urban conditions of performativity in the cities of Lagos, Tehran, Berlin, Detroit, Beirut, Mönchengladbach (2009–2014 with Constanze Fischbeck). His extensive film and text work “KATALOG” (2013) was made in 13 countries around the Mediterranean with a particular interest in practices in space.

Visual research leads him again and again to the African continent and the Middle East. 2014–2018 he worked with the curator Jochen Becker (metroZones) on the research, exhibition and film project “CHINAFRIKA. Under Construction”. In 2017–2020 he worked on the documentary film trilogy “Hashti Tehran” (2017), “Desert View” (2018) and “Rift Finfinnee” (2020) about urban peripheries in Tehran, Cairo and Addis Ababa. “Hashti Tehran” won the special award of the German Short Film Award.

Daniel Kötter is currently working on a series of spatial performances and 360° films on the landscape and social consequences of extractivism in Germany, West Papua, DR Congo and Estonia under the title landscapes and bodies.

Shouting at the Wind

Shouting at the Wind. Film still

Shouting at the Wind

Iran 2018
62 min, Farsi with English subtitles
Written and directed by Ata Mehrad, Siavash Jamali
Camera: Ata Mehrad
Available 12 June, 14:00 – 21 June, 13:59
Due to license rights this film will be only available for users from Germany.

Meysam, a 17-year-old boy, lives in Darvaze Ghar, Tehran’s poor neighbourhood known as the last stop for prostitutes, heroin addicts, thieves, and the fringes of society. Meysam is witty, good-looking and funny, and he loves underground music. He also helps his father, a former heroin addict, who now runs a grocery store.

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Music is Meysam’s passion, his way to challenge the destiny of those doomed in the gateway to the cave. He wants to create a band and considers himself an aspiring singer and songwriter. But as underground music is forbidden in Iran and Meysam’s idol singer was banned from the country, his parents are more and more worried. They fear that the contents of Meysam’s lyrics can get him in trouble with the authorities. Therefore they push him to concentrate on his studies and work more at their grocery store. But Meysam doesn’t want to obey.

Siavash Jamali

Siavash Jamali was born in 1984 in Tehran. He started acting in theatre in 2003 and went on to direct several plays. He started his career as a filmmaker with his first movie “Once Upon a Time There Was a Man” in 2014. Now he is working as both producer and director and he was executive producer of “Sunless Shadows” (directed by Mehrdad Oskouei).

Ata Mehrad

Born in 1989 in Tabriz, Ata Mehrad was always fond of the arts. He started playing the guitar when he was 15, thinking he could be a musician. Later in 2004, he tried graphic design by designing posters, editing images and studying digital art. In 2006, he entered university and began his professional life as an artist. He wrote screenplays, acted and directed several plays. In 2014, he focused on cinema by attending courses on documentary filmmaking, production and scriptwriting. Since then, Ata Mehrad has been working as an independent filmmaker.

Tamaroz (Simulation)

Tamaroz (Simulation). Film still

Tamaroz (Simulation)

Iran 2017
84 min, Farsi with English subtitles
Written and directed by Abed Abest
Camera: Hamid Khozouie Abyaneh
Cast: Abed Abest, Vahid Rad, Majid Yousefi, Danial Khojasteh, Shahrzad Seifi, Asghar Piran, Javad Pourheidari, Javad Pouladi, Alireza Saveh Doroudi, Iman Basim, Hananeh Shahrokhi, Hassan Jafari, Hossein Jafari
Available 12 June, 14:00 – 21 June, 13:59
Due to license rights this film will be only available for users from Germany.

Three young friends are planning for a party during the weekend at an old man’s house. Little do they know that this gathering will lead to a tragic turn of events for them all.

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“One night, three bored young men in a car decide to pay a visit to an older man they only know vaguely. At first he’s glad to see them but soon afterwards he thinks they’ve come to burgle him and turns a gun on them. When the police turns up, they’re all taken into custody. This already simple story is pared down even further: Filmed entirely in a black box, “Tamaroz” turns green screen technology on its head. Apart from the green studio walls, which are usually used to copy objects and characters into other environments, the props are green and remain visible as projection screens. The cars are white. The male characters wear jeans and T-shirts, while the protagonist’s sister and niece are dressed in black. All of them wear the same blue plastic shoes and act in a slowed down, emotionless manner within an environment akin to a huge void. Only the iridescent blue light and a few external noises remind the viewer of what might be an outside world. The monotony creates suspense: The impossibility of coming into contact with reality becomes increasingly tangible. In “Tamaroz”, abstraction becomes a place of exile.”
(Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst e. V.)

Abed Best

Abed Abest, born in 1987 in Bandar Abbas, lives in Abadan and is a theatre and cinema actor who has already acted in several prestigious stage productions by prominent Iranian directors like Amir Reza Koohestani and Reza Gooran. He was the lead actor in the internationally well-received film “Fish & Cat” by Shahram Mokri. Abest directed his first short film “I Haven’t Seen Hossien Since the Day Before Yesterday” in 2011. “Tamaroz” (Simulation) is his debut feature film and premiered at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival.

Hojoom (Invasion)

Hojoom (Invasion). Film still

Hojoom (Invasion)

Iran 2017
90 min, Farsi with English subtitles
Directed by Shahram Mokri
Written by Shahram Mokri, Nasim Ahmadpour
Camera: Alireza Barazandeh
Cast: Abed Abest, Babak Karimi, Elaheh Bakhshi, Behzad Dorani, Mohammad Sareban, Pedram Sharifi, Mehdi Etemad Saied, Levon Haftvan, Milad Rahimi, Faraz Modiri, Saied Zareie, Mohammad Berahmani, Iman Sayad Borhani, Sajad Tabesh
Available 12 June, 14:00 – 21 June, 13:59
Due to license rights this film will be only available for users from Germany.

A mysterious murder takes place and the police is carrying out investigations to solve the mystery. Assuming that they have already arrested the murderer, all that is left to do is to figure out how the crime actually happened. As the police officers attempt to reconstruct the crime scene, more crimes are arranged during the re-enactments.

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Eternal darkness seems to shroud the stadium where men with bizarre tattoos pursue a sport that is never shown or named. A body has been found here, and the police have already identified a guilty party. Now the circumstances of the crime are to be reconstructed, so that the case can be quickly shelved. However, the real killer and his teammates want to use the reconstruction to commit another crime. The twin sister of the victim, who is said to be a vampire, is to be killed. But during the re-enactment of the murder, the players forget their roles, chaos breaks out and the characters seem to be caught in an endless loop in which events repeat themselves in different ways.

The disquieting feeling that time is dissolving, that past, present and future are becoming one and that history has been halted is likely to strike a chord with how many young Iranians feel about their lives. Shahram Mokri’s intimate drama ominously interweaves place, space and time in the stadium’s labyrinthine corridors to form a dark allegory.

Shahram Mokri

Born in Marand, Iran, in 1977, Shahram Mokri studied film at Sooreh University in Tehran and then began making short films. He has also worked as an editor on television films, series, short films and documentaries. His feature film debut “Ashkan, the Charmed Ring and Other Stories” (2009) premiered at the Busan International Film Festival. It was followed by “Fish & Cat” (2013) which won a Special Jury Prize at the Venice International Film Festival, screened at over 60 festivals worldwide and was a huge box-office hit in Iran. “Hojoom” (Invasion) is his third feature film.

Fight or Flight
Siah-o sefid (Black and White)

Siah-o sefid (Black and White). Film still

Siah-o sefid (Black and White)

Iran 1972
4 min, no dialogue
Written and directed by Sohrab Shahid Saless
Camera: Mehrdad Fakhimi, Sohrab Shahid Saless
Cast: Jafar Zehni, Habibollah Akbariani, Mohammad Reza Zehni

This film is an important part of the film series, but unfortunately cannot be shown online due to licensing reasons.

A stop-motion animated film in one take, shot in one day as a commission for the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults. Two boys quarrel over a football, which then turns into a bigger fight between their parents. The film received awards at the Tehran International Children’s Film Festival.

Sohrab Shahid Saless

There are two distinguishing features about the life and work of Sohab Shahid Saless (1944-1998) that are not widely known in these parts: For one, he is one of the most important filmmakers of modern Iranian cinema. With “A Simple Event (Yek ettefāq-e sāde)” from the year 1973 and “Still Life ((Ṭabiʿat-e bijān)” from 1974, he created two films that have had an epochal impact on intellectual Iranian cinema regarding both their form and their content – their deliberate bleakness and stasis and their focus on the simple, diffi-cult lives of poor people, on their speech- and helplessness. His inspiration by European cinema, such as François Truffaut’s debut “Les Quatre Cents Coups” (1959) can already be traced in his early films. And on the other hand, Shahid Saless is also a protagonist of New German Film. Born in Tehran in 1944, he lived in Vienna and Paris from 1963, where he studied film, until 1968, when he returned to Iran to make documen-tary films for the Iranian Ministry of Culture. After both his Iranian feature films had received several interna-tional awards – including the Silver Bear of the Berlinale – Saless, whose politics leaned towards the left, decided to go into exile in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1974. Here, Shahid Saless shot 13 feature, television and documentary films, with a focus on German and Russian literature. For “Grabbes letzter Sommer”, based on Thomas Valentin, he received the Grimme Award in Gold for the best screenplay, the best performance of a male actor and as the best director. In 1981, he paid homage to his greatest teacher, as Shahid Saless once called him, in “Anton P. Čechov”. In 1984, Saless became a member of the Berlin Academy of the Arts, in the section Film- and Media-Art. In 1991, he returned to Germany after a six-year sojourn in Czechoslovakia, only to leave the country again four years later, when he headed for the USA. As if his cinematic work had been completed, Shahis Saless received the Great Prize of the Foundation Verlag der Autoren in late for his oeuvre. In 1998, he died of internal haemorrhaging.

Falgoosh (Blames and Flames)

Falgoosh (Blames and Flames)

Iran 2011
28 min, Farsi with English subtitles
Written and directed by Mohammadreza Farzad
Available 12 June, 14:00 – 21 June, 13:59

The history of the Iranian revolution as the history of cinema: In 1978, on the verge of the Islamic revolution, more than 130 cinemas burned down across Iran, including 28 in Tehran. Great strikes, signs of the onset of the revolution, affected cinema at large. The debates also addressed the films as such: Which films should be shown, which should be made? Which cinema could or should be abandoned, what did people want and what were they allowed to see? After the cinemas were closed or burned down, the state of things is inverted in “Falgoosh”. The characters abandon the screen, the people take to the streets and try to direct themselves. And cinema becomes the spectator.

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“When films don’t represent and show the people, people will not wait for films but rather make their own picture.” Interview with Mohammadreza Farzad on the Berliner Festspiele Blog

Mohammadreza Farzad

Mohammadreza Farzad, born 1978, lives and works in Tehran. He works as a filmmaker, translator, writer, researcher and actor. He launched his film career by acting in several short and feature films and then moved into documentary cinema as researcher and film editor. As a documentary filmmaker, he has made films that won awards and were screened at national and international film festivals. His films have been shown at the Berlinale several times. In an intensive editing process, Farzad deals with the effect and after-effect of cinematic images. He subjects short scenes, marginal figures, seemingly trivial things, family videos, and archive material to precise questioning, thereby revealing something new and surprising.

Survival

Survival

Iran 2015
8 min, Farsi with English subtitles
Written and directed by Masoud Hatami
Camera: Mohamad Hadadi
Cast: Parham Deldadeh, Sirous Gholipour, Masoud Hata
Available 12 June, 14:00 – 21 June, 13:59

In the middle of nowhere, two people are living in a lake and they are using corpses to survive.

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Masoud Hatami

Masoud Hatami is an Iranian director, editor and visual artist. At the age of 12, he acted in a movie. Since then he has been active in cinema. Masoud left his hometown Rasht after school in order to start cinema studies at the Tehran Film School, Karnameh Association, and Youth Cinema Society, where he received his Bachelor of Arts. “Survival” was awarded the Best Experimental Film Award at the Tehran International Film Festival and Hatami was given the ISFA’s Medal of Honour at the Tehran International Film Festival in 2015 for this film.

Koshtargah (Slaughterhouse)

Koshtargah (Slaughterhouse)

Iran 2015
24 min, Farsi with English subtitles
Written and directed by Behzad Azadi
Camera: Shahin Araqi
Cast: Bahram Azadi, Mohammad Karimi, Mohammad Rahmati, Parmida Ekrami, Himan Azadi, Salah Adim, Roshanak Shokri, Fawzie Alami
Available 12 June, 14:00 – 21 June, 13:59

Four teenage friends have big plans for their lives. They want to get rich quickly by dealing drugs in their neighbourhood. First, they have to test the drug they got from the smuggler. But there’s an unexpected twist in the plan and the situation gets out of control.

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Behzad Azadi

Behzad Azadi, born in 1990 in Shahindej, Iranian Kurdistan, is an film director. He studied Dramatic Literature in Art University of Tehran. He has been making short films, photographing and script-writing since 2009. His short film “Koshtargah” was nominated in the Cinéfondation Selection at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and he was the winner of the Special Jury Award of Busan International Film Festival in 2013 for his short film “Temporary”.

Heyvan (AniMal)

Heyvan (AniMal)

Iran 2017
16 min, Farsi with English subtitles
Written and directed by Baham Ark, Bahram Ark
Camera: Ali Abpak
Cast: Davoud Nourpour
Available 12 June, 14:00 – 21 June, 13:59

A man who wants to pass the border, disguises himself as a ram.

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Bahram & Bahman Ark

Bahram and Bahman Ark are 29-years-old twins born in Iran. Bahman has studied Painting and Bahram Car-pet Design. They have been writing and directing films collaboratively for number of years. Their latest film “Heyvan” was the 2nd prize winner at Cannes’ Cinéfondation 2017.