18th Annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema Set To Begin at UCLA

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The UCLA Film & Television Archive will kick off its 18th Annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema at the Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood on Friday, March 14. The month long program, which concludes on Sunday, April 20th, will feature an eclectic group of new works from Iran.

This year’s celebration will include seven new feature films from Iran and the diaspora, as well as screenings of new documentary and short works on film and video. These films will all in their own way center around the theme of this year’s program, Iranian culture.

The theme of culture will be seen broadly, including films on small town Iranian culture, military culture, and city culture. Iranian popular culture is presented in “Red Car” (2006), a film about a love triangle and murder that rocked Iran in 2002 and provided steamy headlines for the Iranian tabloids for months.

Emerging young Iranian filmmakers are the source of many of the films included in this year’s program, as the celebration intends to expose audience members to the new talent coming out of Iran.

On April 11th members of the audience will be able to see filmmaker Amir Shahab Razavian in person. Razavian, director of “Tehran 7:00 am” (2003), will have his screen his second feature, “Colors of Memory”(2007) on the same day.

The schedule of this years program:
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Friday, March 14
7:30 p.m.
PERSIAN CARPET (FARSH-E IRANI)
2007
DIRS: Various
Iran’s proudest export (besides its cinema) is the focus of this film, which features contributions by 15 leading directors, including Abbas Kiarostami, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, Bahman Farmanara, Dariush Mehrjui and many others. The directors’ individual short works and approaches to the subject are as varied as the colors and designs that make up the titular focus of this ambitious omnibus film.
35mm, 109 min.

Saturday, March 15
7:30 p.m.
TEHRAN HAS NO MORE POMEGRANATES! (TEHRAN ANAR NADARAD)
2006
DIR/PROD/SCR: Massoud Bakhshi. CINE: Byram Fazli. EDIT: Ali Mohammad Ghasemi, Mohsen Shahabi.
Director Bakhshi’s playful “history” of the city of Tehran is an engaging and irreverent take on the sprawling city, it’s inhabitants and it’s illustrious and complicated past. In the film, the director and his crew document their own inability to complete the ambitious project. Aided by rare archival footage, film clips and contemporary snapshots of modern Tehran from it’s ancient bazaars, sparkling new shopping malls and congested thoroughfares, Bakhshi’s film is a fascinating tour of this great metropolis, past and present.
35mm, 67 min.

Sunday, March 30
7 p.m.
NIGHT BUS (OTOBOUS-E SHAHBANEH)
2007
DIR/SCR: Kiumars Pourahmad. PROD: Mehdi Homayounfar. CAST: Mehrdad Seddiqian, Khosro Shakibai.
An unlikely trio of men, including a quick-tempered young recruit, a worldly bus driver and an Iranian Kurd are charged with transporting 38 blindfolded Iraqi POW’s from the front back across a landmine-laden landscape to a military base in this engaging anti-war story set during the Iran/Iraq conflict.
35mm, 90 min.

Saturday, April 5
7:30 p.m.
RED CARD (CARTE GHERMEZ)
2006
DIR: Mahnaz Afzali. PROD: Hassan Pourshirazi. CINE: Mahnaz Afzali,
Mohammadreza Derakhshan, Khadijeh Jahed. EDIT: Bahman Kiarostami.
In 2002, Iran’s tabloid press erupted over the celebrity trial of Shahla Jahed, accused of murdering the wife of her soccer-star lover. The public’s fascination was fueled by Shahla’s brazen behavior in court, smirking, haranguing, cajoling and even cracking jokes with the bemused judge. Documentarian Mahnaz Afzali refrains from imposing an opinion on the case, but instead gives room for us to ponder its uncomfortable ambiguities.
DVCam, 74 min.

Sunday, April 6
7 p.m.
THOSE THREE (AN SEH)
2007
DIR/SCR: Naghi Nemati. PROD: Mohammad Reza Sharafoddin. CINE: Hooman Behmanesh. EDIT: Majid Mostafavi, Naghi Nemati. CAST: Yousef Yazdani, Dariush Ghazbani, Esmail Movahedi, Fatemeh Mir Soleimani Far.
In this spare but entertaining drama, three soldiers gone AWOL soon find themselves in the middle of nowhere during an icy winter. They are subsequently joined by a mysterious pregnant woman also adrift in this no man’s land. First-time feature director Nemati paints a visually stunning picture of a group of individuals struggling to survive against the breathtaking backdrop of this forbidding landscape.
35mm, 80 min.

Friday, April 11
7:30 p.m.
COLORS OF MEMORY
2007
Iran/Germany
DIR: Amir Shahab Razavian. SCR: A.S. Razavian, Armin Hoffman, Mohammad Farokhmanesh, Frank Geiger. CAST: Shahbaz Noshir, Ezatollah Entezami.
A recently divorced surgeon, Dr. Parsa, is called back to Iran from Germany to perform a complicated surgery. While there, his late father’s friend (Entezami) urges him to visit his earthquake-ravaged hometown of Bam to save his family’s dying palm groves. The resulting film is a compelling portrait of a man grappling with memories of his homeland, his father and a long lost love.
35mm, 102 min.

*IN PERSON: director Amir Shahab Razavian

Friday, April 18
7:30 p.m.
A SELECTION OF SHORT FILMS AND VIDEOS FROM IRAN AND THE DIASPORA
Join us for an eclectic program of short narrative and non-fiction works on film and video, which document everything from female police recruits to the perils of public transportation in Tehran. Please check our website for a complete listing of films, de scri ptions, and the program’s running order.
Various formats. Total running time: approx. 80 min.

Sunday, April 20
7 p.m.
DANDELIONS DANCE IN THE WIND (GHASEDAK-HA DAR BAD MIRAGHSAND)
2007
DIR/SCR: Mohammad-Ebrahim Mo’ayyeri. CAST: Mosa Khademian, Anahita Ghafarian.
Young Davood is a headstrong lad who is being primed for a job in his small town’s textile company. When the company withholds the workers’ pay, the townspeople take to the streets, and ultimately attempt to start a textile business of their own. This lyrical film is a joy to watch and clearly announces Mo’ayyeri as an exciting new voice in Iranian cinema.
DigiBeta, 88 min.

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VENUE: All programs screen at the Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd. @ Westwood Blvd. (courtyard level of the Hammer Museum)

TICKETS: Advance tickets are available for $10 at http://www.cinema.ucla.edu./

Tickets are also available at the Billy Wilder Theater box office starting one hour before showtime: $9, general admission; $8, Cineclub members, students, seniors and UCLA Alumni Association members with ID; $7, Cineclub members who are students or seniors.

PARKING: After 6 p.m., $3 in the lot under the Billy Wilder Theater. Enter from Westwood Blvd., just north of Wilshire.

INFO: www.cinema.ucla.edu / 310.206.FILM

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Christopher P. Duffy

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