Iranian Filmmakers to Take Academy Stage

Beverly Hills, CA (October 6, 2009) — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the UCLA Film & Television Archive will present a series of recent Iranian films, each followed by discussion with one or more of the film’s principal creators in “Up Close and Personal: Iranian Filmmakers in Their Own Words.” The five-night screening series will begin on Friday, October 9, at UCLA’s James Bridges Theater with a panel discussion hosted by Academy past president Sid Ganis. It will conclude at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater on Friday, October 16, with a program hosted by Oscar®-nominated actress Alfre Woodard.

Earlier this year, an Academy delegation that included Ganis and Woodard traveled to Iran for several days of educational and cultural exchanges with filmmakers, students and others from Iran’s creative community. To build upon the unique experience, the Academy is bringing 10 Iranian filmmakers to Los Angeles for the series.

UCLA has one of the oldest ongoing Iranian film festivals in the United States, but rarely have the filmmakers been present screenings of their films.

“Up Close and Personal” will present eight recent films and will offer the public the opportunity to hear about the creative process behind them from the filmmakers themselves.

Filmmaking has a long and impressive history in Iran. The large and well-established community of Iranian film artists currently working in Tehran and elsewhere has developed not only technical expertise, but also a lyrical narrative style
that has been embraced by film viewers and honored by numerous film festivals throughout the world.

Screenings at the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s James Bridges Theater:

Friday, October 9, at 7:30 p.m.
Panel discussion featuring the members of the visiting artist delegation:
directors Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour, Rakhshan Bani Etemad, Ebrahim Hatamikia, Reza Mir-Karimi, Mojtaba Raie and Alireza Raisian; actors Amin Tarokh and Fatemah Motamed-Aria; screenwriter Farhad Tohidi; and documentarian Mojtaba Mirtahmasb.

“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.
“Lady of the Roses” (2008), 40 minutes
Followed by a discussion with filmmaker Mojtaba Mirtahmasb.
This documentary tells the story of the late Shahindokht Sanati, 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 rose water in place of opium.

“In the Name of the Father” (2005), 105 minutes
Followed by a discussion with writer-director Ebrahim Hatamikia.
A young daughter of 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.
“Journey to Hidalou” (2005), 110 minutes
Followed by a discussion with writer-director Mojtaba Raie.
An aging university professor confronting problems in his health and marriage experiences a spiritual journey in three stages: bewilderment, awakening, and finally, enchantment.

Screenings at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater:

Thursday, October 15, at 7 p.m.
“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 involves herself in the planning of her own funeral ceremony.

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

Friday, October 16, at 7 p.m.
“Gilaneh” (2005), 84 minutes
Followed by a discussion with co-writer and co-director Rakhshan Bani Etemad and actress Fatemah Motamed-Aria.
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.” (2009), 90 minutes
Followed by a discussion with director Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour and screenwriter Farhad Tohidi.
As three Iranian women living in France face a variety of questions about life, death, love and betrayal, each asks, “Is life always worth living?”

Tickets for “Up Close and Personal: Iranian Filmmakers in Their Own Words” must be purchased separately at each venue. For tickets to the screenings at UCLA, please visit the UCLA Film & Television Archive Web site at

Tickets to the screenings at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Tickets are available for purchase by mail, at the Academy box office (8949 Wilshire Boulevard, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), or online at

Doors open one hour prior to the event. All seating is unreserved. The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. For more information call (310) 247-3600 or visit

Contact Information

For more information, contact

Teni Melidonian
(310) 247-3090

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