source: Iran:Ci 2019
Iranian cinema is becoming timeless, one film at a time
by Mariam Habib, Kaveh Daneshmand
The 8th edition of IRAN:CI film festival in Czech Republic is set to wrap on January 26 in Bratislava. This year’s festival was curated around the theme of immortality. The festival opened with Mani Haghighi’sPig – an Iranian black comedy about a director who is disappointed to learn that he isn’t being targeted by a deranged serial killer out to murder the country’s best filmmakers. The festival line-up, which also featured 3 Faces, by Jafar Panahi and and Mohammad-Ali Talebi’s Willow and Wind, presented films that would be timeless, that would stay with audiences for years to come and continue to be discovered long after their release. In other words- art that is immortal.
source: The Other End, 2018
FCC recognizes and promotes Farsi cinema by bringing films from Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan to audiences worldwide. Through festivals like IRAN:CI, FCC introduces Farsi cinema to non-Farsi speaking viewers. By creating more visibility and exposure for Farsi films, FCC ultimately aims to integrate this growing, evolving industry into the wider global platform.
One Farsi feature film that has made global headlines in the past year is 3 Faces, by Jafar Panahi. 3 Faces, or Se Rokh (in the original Farsi) is the story of a prominent Iranian actress who leaves her shoot to rescue a young fan whose traditional rural family won’t allow her to pursue acting. The film won the award for Best Screenplay at Cannes, where it premiered, and went on to become the biggest Iranian film of 2018. Though unfortunately the filmmaker himself is legally banned from leaving the country due to a travel ban placed on him by the Iranian government, his film has struck a chord with both Farsi speaking and international audiences around the world, including in the Czech Republic. Such is the impact of IRAN:CI and other initiatives under the FCC umbrella which build a bridge between Farsi cinema and global audiences.
source: Youtube. Director: Jafar Panahi, 2018
Another notable film at IRAN:CI this year was Willow and Wind, by prominent Iranian filmmaker Mohammad-Ali Talebi. The film follows a young boy through a long and difficult journey through the woods, to complete a task given to him by his strict teacher. Regarded as one of the masterpieces of Iranian cinema, Willow and Wind returned to the big screen 19 years after its initial release. The film truly encapsulated timelessness as it closed the festival with a full house. The continued success of the film, nearly two decades after its release, shows how organizations like FCC can not only increase the exposure of emerging Farsi content, but also provide new audiences to established pieces. In this way, FCC finds new momentum for and promotes the longevity of Farsi cinema.
source: Youtube. Director: Mohammad-Ali Talebi, 2000
FCC recognizes that great art is timeless because it is able to tell the same human stories in new, unique ways. Our job is to find and uplift those unique voices. Throughout our film festivals, such as IRAN:CI, we celebrate films and filmmakers who bond cultures, identities, and languages to the the story of the individual in a way that is truly universal. Reach out to us to learn more about how we can help you elevate your story to a global platform.