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17th Iranian Film Festival

17th Iranian Film Festival

17th Annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema presented feature films, documentaries, and shorts from Iran and the diaspora.

The 17th Annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema, sponsored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, showcased a dozen features, documentaries, and shorts from Iran and the diaspora, April 7-May 11. Of note are works by emerging directors as well as works by established directors whose films we have highlighted in the past. Mainline (Khoon bazi, 2006), by Rakhshan Bani-Etemad and Mohsen Abdolvahab, focuses on a mother determined to clean up her heroine-addicted daughter before her impending marriage. A Little Kiss (Yek bous-e kouchoulou, 2005), by Bahman Farmanara, is a richly symbolic drama of two writer friends who are reunited when one returns from exile.

This year’s themes include male bonding and friendship, emigration, censorship, music, and, on opening night, mouth-watering Persian food as in When Fish Fall in Love (Mahiha ashegh mishavand, 2005), directed by Ali Rafiee, in which an ex-prisoner returns to his seaside home to find his former flame running a restaurant on the estate. Men at Work (Kargaran mashghoule karand, 2006), directed by Mani Haghighi, is based on a story by Abbas Kiarostami about four middle-aged men engaged in a hilarious struggle to topple a gigantic phallic rock. Best in the West (2006), directed by Maryam Kashani, documents the enduring friendship of her father and his buddies, immigrants to the San Francisco Bay area. Sounds of Silence (Sot-e sokut, 2006), directed by Amir Hamz and Mark Lazars, is an illuminating look at Tehran’s underground music scene and its audacious performers. Iran: A Cinematographic Revolution (2006), directed by Nader Takmil Homayoun, portrays Iran through 70 years of its cinema, featuring director interviews and rare film clips. In To Be a Star (Setareh mi-shvad, 2006), directed by Fereydoun Jeyrani, an actor encounters only heartbreak on his return to the movie business. CNES has been a steadfast supporter of the Iranian film festival from the start, and the program has become one of the Archive’s most popular annual events, with packed houses nightly.

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