Up Close and Personal: Iranian Filmmakers in Their Own Words

In conjunction with the planned visit of a group of prominent Iranian filmmakers to Los Angeles, the Academy and the UCLA Film & Television Archive presented a series of recent Iranian films, each followed by a discussion with one or more of the film’s principal creators.

Filmmaking has a long and impressive history in Iran, a country of poets and storytellers. The large and well-established community of Iranian film artists currently working in Tehran and elsewhere has developed both technical expertise and a lyrical narrative style that has been embraced by film viewers, and honored by numerous film festivals, throughout the world. At the same time, new filmmakers and different narrative structures are emerging.

UCLA has one of the oldest ongoing Iranian film festivals in the United States, but rarely have the filmmakers been present at their screenings. This program offered eight recent films, representing each of the members of a visiting artist delegation from Iran, and offered the opportunity to hear about their creative process in their own words. The five nights of screenings began at the James Bridges Theater on the UCLA campus and concluded at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.

Friday, October 9, at 7:30 p.m.

At the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s James Bridges Theater

Discussion hosted by producer and past Academy President Sid Ganis

Panel discussion featuring the members of the visiting artist delegation: directors Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour, Ebrahim Hatamikia, Reza Mir-Karimi, Mojtaba Raie and Alireza Raisian; actor Amin Tarokh; screenwriter Farhad Tohidi; and documentarian Mojtaba Mirtahmasb.

As Simple As That

As Simple as That (2008), 97 minutes
Followed by a discussion with co-writer and director Reza Mir-Karimi.
Tahereh suffers from a problem common to all classes of Iranian women (and women around the world): her inner life and her artistic ambitions have been overwhelmed by the demands of her home, self-absorbed husband and materialistic children.

Saturday, October 10, at 7:30 p.m.

At the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s James Bridges Theater

Discussion hosted by Oscar winning writer/director and Academy Governor Curtis Hanson

Lady of the Roses

Lady of the Roses (2008), 40 minutes
This documentary tells the story of the late Shahindokht Sanati or “Lady of the Roses,” who transformed the agricultural destiny of an entire region in pre-revolutionary Iran through the planting of roses in place of poppies, and the production of rosewater in place of opium.

 

In the Name of the Father

In the Name of the Father (2005), 105 minutes
Followed by a discussion with writer-director Ebrahim Hatamikia.
A young girl whose father was a military commander in the Iran-Iraq war goes to an ancient hill near the Iraq border in search of old pots, only to encounter mines that were placed there by her own father.

Sunday, October 11, at 7 p.m.

At the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s James Bridges Theater

Discussion hosted by producer William Horberg

Journey to Hidalou

Journey to Hidalou (2005), 110 minutes
Followed by a discussion with writer-director Mojtaba Raie.
An aging university professor experiences a spiritual journey in three stages as he confronts problems with his health and marriage: bewilderment, awakening and finally, enchantment.


For tickets to the screenings at UCLA please visit their Web site at http://www.cinema.ucla.edu

Thursday, October 15, at 7 p.m.

At the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater

The Mother

The Mother (1991), 108 minutes
Followed by a discussion with actor Amin Tarokh.
The younger members of a family gather around their dying mother and relive their childhood memories, as the mother prepares for her passing by involving herself in the planning of her funeral ceremony.


Havana File

Havana File (2006), 94 minutes
Followed by a discussion with director Alireza Raisian and screenwriter Farhad Tohidi.
When the government cancels a promising biotechnology project, the Western-educated Iranian scientist in charge of the project finds himself discredited when he takes his complaints to the press.

Friday, October 16, at 7 p.m.

At the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater

Discussion hosted by Oscar-nominated actress Alfre Woodard

Gilaneh

Gilaneh (2005), 84 minutes
Followed by a discussion with co-writer and co-director Rakhshan Bani Etemad.
During the Iran-Iraq war, Gilaneh takes an arduous journey from her village to war-torn Tehran in search of her pregnant daughter’s husband. Fifteen years later, as another war begins in Iraq, her suffering continues as she manages her son’s war-related illness.

7:05 P.M.

7:05 P.M. (2009), 90 minutes
Followed by a discussion with director Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour, screenwriter Farhad Tohidi and actor Reza Kianian.
Three Iranian women of different ages living in France face a variety of questions about life and death, love and betrayal, each asking “Is life always worth living?”

Event Information

October 9–10 at 7:30 p.m.
October 11 at 7 p.m.
James Bridges Theater
UCLA
405 Hilgard Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90095
October 15–16 at 7 p.m.
The Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater
1313 Vine Street
Hollywood, CA 90028
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