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This Saturday marks the beginning of UCLA’s Celebration of Iranian Cinema – a three week long film festival screening 11 films from Iranian filmmakers – both from within Iran and around the world. Sponsored by Farhang Foundation and held at the Billy Wilder Theatre at the Hammer Museum in Westwood Village, the film festival aims to “explore the diverse currents of Iranian cinema with its annual series highlighting recent and classical films from Iran and the Iranian diaspora.”
The festival kicks off this Saturday, April 25th at 7:30 PM with award-winning filmmaker Rakhshan Banietemad’s Tales (Ghesse-ha / قصه ها) who will be in attendance for a Q + A after the screening of her film and a VIP reception [check out the trailer for her film below]. This year’s festival line up will screen films by by both established filmmakers and highly regarded emerging artists. Along with Rakhshan Banietemad, Shahram Mokri, Kamran Heidari, Sepideh Farsi, Zhinous Pedram and Amir Badie will also be in attendance for Q + A panels and sessions throughout the festival.
Iran’s cinematic history is a long and fruitful one, spanning more than a hundred years. Since the 1990s, Iran has been widely considered one of the best exporters of cinema in the world, with figures such as Abbas Kiarostami, Jafar Panahi, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Samira Makhmalbaf, Asghar Farhadi, and Majid Majidi being amongst the most prolific and highly regarded filmmakers of Iranian New Wave cinema. What’s incredibly exciting about this film festival is not only that it is one of the longest running Iranian film festivals in the United States, but that it consistently serves to bridge the gap between the two countries and creates a dialogue between people separated by more than just physical miles. One can only imagine that cultural exchanges such as this only continue to blossom hope in the hearts and minds of everyone who takes part.
The festival runs through Saturday, May 16, 2015. For more information about program schedule, please visit Farhang Foundation’s event page. For tickets, please visit https://www.cinema.ucla.edu/events/2015/iranian-cinema!
Trailer – TALES (Rakhshan Banietemad, 2014)
UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema
When: Saturday, April 25 – Saturday, May 16, 2015
Where: Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles
Cost: $10; FREE to all UCLA students with valid ID; $8 other students, seniors and UCLA Alumni Association members with ID.