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3rd London Iranian Film Festival
The 3rd London Iranian Film Festival is delighted to announce the opening for submissions for the film, script and poster competition. A panel of film industry professionals will judge the entries and announce the winners in following categories
Best Feature Film
Best Documentary
Best Short Film
Best Animation
Best Short Film Script


A Separation
on imdb.com


Iranian film making is enjoying an increase in popularity worldwide because of the quality of films made. Below are descriptions of some recent movies and also videos for sale. As more Iranian films become available for sale we will list them. We also will list films from other countries or regions that share the same qualities or topics.

NEWS
"A Separation" won the Oscar for best foreign language film. – Reuters News
For Iranian director Majid Majidi, it's all about balance - Song of Sparrows -read story.
Read interview with Iranian director Manijeh Hekma - read story.
Persians in Hollywood - more

READ ABOUT FILMS BELOW (you can order online)

Film Name, Director
Awards and description



People of the Wind
Leila
The Bakhtiari people of western Iran annually embark on an astounding migration that takes a half-million people, their livestock, and all their possessions across 200 miles of intensely difficult mountains. And this is no simple stroll: the Zagros Mountains, which must be crossed to reach the summer pastures, are as tall as the Alps. The tribesman relates the traditional rituals of life for the Bakhtiari, from how they tend their animals to their elaborate wedding feasts, and over the course of the film the tribe's unique mountain culture emerges.
Available on DVD.


The Fish Fall in Love, Ali Raffi
Leila
Atieh's singular passion is food, and her small but popular restaurant on the sleepy Caspian coast of Iran is her pride and joy. But when her former fiance Aziz appears after a twenty-year absence, she and her friends believe he intends to close the restaurant. So, Atieh prepares his favorite dishes, all sinfully delicious, and serves them to Aziz one after the other, in a desperate effort to convince him not to. Loosely based on the Persian fable of Shahrazad and "A Thousand and One Nights", director Ali Raffi uses the language of food to paint a richly textured portrait of life and love in Iran. Available on DVD.


The Song of Sparrows, Majid Majidi
Leila
"The Song of Sparrows" is an un-subtle but endearing morality tale by director and co-writer Majid Majidi. Karim (Reza Maji) is a family man who works on an ostrich farm to support his wife and three children. His eldest daughter's hearing aid is damaged with school exams just weeks away. With the expense of replacing it already weighing heavily him, Karim loses his job. Still determined to do something about the hearing aid, Karim makes the trip to Tehran, where he is mistaken for a motorcycle taxi. The money in this new-found occupation appeals to him, and Karim returns to Tehran every day to earn more.. Available on DVD.


Marriage, Iranian Style , Hassan Fathi

Marriage, Iranian Style
Ezdevaj Be Sabke Irani
“This is our father’s house.” Says Shirin Sar-poulaki (Shila Khodadad), the beloved girl of a trusted, influential man in the old Carpet Market in Bazaar, Haj Ebrahim (Dariush Arjmand). Shirin leads a quiet, ordinary life, but when his uncle (Saeed Kangarani) insist on and convinces her father to agree with some conditions, She begins working in an air travel agency to confront the sweet agonies of her life. She goes to work in her uniform, while her destiny comes to her for the first time. A young American boy comes to agency to buy a ticket to Shiraz, and that’s it: Love in the first sight as portrayed in any fable and fairy tale. The story has just begun; Haj Ebrahim disagrees to give her daughter’s hand to a foreigner – especially an American…

Now Playing in Theaters
(will be linked here when for sale)


Under the Moonlight, Seyyed Reza Mir-Karimi

Under the Moonlight
Zir-e noor-e maah
Seyyed Hassan, a young seminary student, is preparing to don the clerical attire. While the other students are also busy with similar preparations, Seyyed Hassan's supplies are stolen by a small boy. To identify the culprit, Seyyed Hassan sets out for the suburban area where he meets people who have never met a cleric and know nothing about the clerical profession. Under such unfamiliar circumstances, Seyyed Hassan acquires a new understanding of society and human beings.

Now available here.


The Day I Became a Woman, Marzieh Meshkini

Under the Moonlight
Roozi ke zan shodam
This is the story of women at three stages of life in Iran. The first part centers on a young girl on her ninth birthday who is told that she can no longer play with the boys she had been playing with only the day before because she is now a "woman". Told from the perspective of a nine year old "woman" who does not feel like or know what that label refers to, we see how devastatingly this affects both the girl and the boy with whom she had been friends. The second part is about a young woman who decides to enter a bicycle race against her husband's wishes. As first the husband and then increasing numbers of men from the village ride beside her to convince her to return home, the race begins to symbolize a freedom she desperately wants from the limitations which have been placed on her. Finally, the third part shows us an old woman who has come into some money and is now free to do what she wants. The way she chooses to use this freedom, however, makes one wonder just how free she is.

Now available here.


Daughters of the Sun, Maryam Shahriar

Daughters of the Sun
Dakhtaran-e khorshid
Amanagol (Altinay Ghelich Taghani), the daughter of a poor rural family in Iran, becomes "Aman", when her father shaves her head, disguises her as a boy, and dispatches her to another village to work weaving carpets. Proficient at the job, "Aman" is nonetheless exploited by the owner and isolated from all those around her. Her secret becomes jeopardized when a young co-worker, engaged to an older man, falls in love with her.

Now available here.


Donya, Manuchehr Mosayyeri

Donya In this breezy domest comedy, Donya (Hediyeh Tehrani) returns from America to discover that it is not easy to find a place to live in modern-day Tehran. Eventually, she hires Haji (Mohammad Reza Sharifinia), the well-to-do owner of a realty company, to help her out. Though a traditional conservative and much older than Donya, Haji falls for his attractive new client. Haji's newly stirred passions prompt him to do things he might not ordinarily do, including updating his clothing style, cutting his hair, and sending his wife and family on a vacation to get them out of the way.

Now available here.


Deserted Station, Alireza Raisian

Deserted Station
Istgah-Matrouk
On a pilgrimage to Mashad from Tehran, a couple's transportation breaks down, far from any major town. The husband, a photographer, seeks help at a nearby village and encounters a teacher who offers to help. Whilst the husband and teacher go off to find a spare part, the wife, who used to be a teacher, takes over the teaching lessons in the village. It is clear that the children live there, in this strange deserted place, without any men, save the teacher and an old signal guard. As the day draws on, the children help to bring a new hope and life into the wife's heart.

Now available here.



Unwanted Woman, Tahmineh Milani

Unwanted Woman
The main character is a 35-year-old woman whose husband is unfaithful and abusive. When she meets his secret lover - along with a murderer - her life changes. Besides its engaging story, good acting and character development, "Unwanted Woman" contains metaphors about Iran and male-female relationships.

Now available here.


Letters in the Wind, Ali-Reza Amini

Letters in the Wind
Namehay Bad
The film follows a young man as he does his military service at a camp near Teheran. He has smuggled a tiny tape recorder into the barracks and listens to the voice of a woman, sometimes allowing his buddies to listen. The tape recorder is their lifeline to a more cheerful world outside the misery of their military service.

Now available here.


Last Supper, Fereydoun Jeyrani

Last Supper
Shaam-e-akhar
Mrs. Mashreghi, who is a prominent university professor, is divorced from her husband. She leads a happy life for a while until one her students who is almost the same age of her daughter falls in love with her; a love which is completely rejected by society

Now available here.


The Fifth Reaction, Tahmineh Milani

The Fifth Reaction
Vakonesh panjom
Fereshteh loses her home and her two sons after her husband's accidental death when Hadj Safdar, her stubborn and powerful father-in-law, forces her to return to her parents. She is faced with the loss of her visitation rights when Hadj plans to send his grandchildren to live in a remote town. With the help of her circle of women friends she tries to take them beyond his reach, but in a patriarchal society it is hard to find a safe haven.

Now available here.


September 11, Samira Makhmalbaf

The Fifth Reaction
Vakonesh panjom
Samira Makhmalbaf, daughter of director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, one of 11 directors to contribute to this moving compilation of stories in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The result is a daring and moving global cinematic reply that forces us to look at the entire event afresh. (NY Times)

Now available here.


The Lizard, Kamal Tabrizi

Marmoolak - The Lizard
Marmoolak
Banned in Iran but no more... now showing worldwide. This very funny film pokes fun at a career criminal's attempts to disguise himself as a mullah long enough to make plans to smuggle himself across the border to freedom from prison he has just broken out of in the most unusual way!

Although subtitled, there is no need to know Persian to get two hours of laughs!

We hope to see this cast again in comedy, they were wonderful.

Now available here.


House of Sand and Fog, Vadim Perelman

House of Sand and Fog
Shohreh Aghdashloo has been nominated for a Hollywood Oscar for her supporting actress role in House of Sand and Fog. A wonderfully made, nail biting tradegy about an American woman, Jennifer Connelly who loses her house to the highest bidder at an auction for not paying her taxes on the house. Ben Kingsley, nominated for a Golden Globe and for a Oscar for Best Actor plays the Iranian expatriate and ex-general who moves to the US after the 1979 revolution. He works menial jobs to save money for his daughters wedding and finally for a house. Kingsley and Shohreh Aghdashloo who plays his wife are marvelous. This is a must see drama by Russian director Vadim Perelman.
OSCAR NOMINATIONS: Ben Kingsley, best actor. Shohreh Aghdashloo best supporting actress.Thomas Newman, musical score and the film also was nominated for Best Documentary Feature.

WATCH TRAILER ONLINE

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Woman On Fire, Zia Mojabi

Winner Best Dramatic Feature at the New York International Independent Film & Video Festival
Woman on Fire
Simin is a hardworking humorless Iranian-American wife without much appreciation for the finer things who lives with her husband, the aloof and artistic Bijan, and their young son, a piano prodigy. Simin's entire reason for living and working is the love of her husband but he soon falls in love with a woman who is much more akin to himself culturally and class wise. Simin however is not prepared to let go of her man.

"Woman on Fire is based on the Greek tragedy Medea. By definition then, it is like a train wreck: the audience watches the protagonists as they stumble onto the inescapable horrific end," Zia Mojabi.
Woman On Fire Website
Buy Video or DVD ($15USD) support Iranian artists.

Crimson Gold, Jafar Panahi

Crimson Gold
Talaye Sorkh
For Hussein, a pizza delivery driver, the imbalance of the social system is thrown in his face wherever he turns. One day when his friend, Ali, shows him the contents of a lost purse, Hussein discovers a receipt of payment and cannot believe the large sum of money someone spent to purchase an expensive necklace. He knows that his pitiful salary will never be enough to afford such luxury. Hussein receives yet another blow when he and Ali are denied entry to an uptown jewelry store because of their appearance. His job allows him a full view of the contrast between rich and poor. He motorbikes every evening to neighborhoods he will never live in, for a closer look at what goes on behind closed doors. But one night, Hussein tastes the luxurious life, before his deep feelings of humiliation push him over the edge. DVD

Leila, Dariush Mehrjui

Leila
Set firmly in the urban world of contemporary Tehran, this story of a couple pressured by family and tradition into destroying their happy union is a window into a world uneasily straddling the past and present. Reza and Leila, an attractive and affluent young couple deeply in love and recently married, discover that Leila is unable to conceive. Invoking tradition, Reza's mother convinces her daughter-in-law that Reza must, out of necessity, talk a second wife to produce an heir. The heartbreak that follows is "in a word, devastating." (The New York Times)
Mehrjui's subdued, subtle approach rolls with the gentle rhythms of a slow-paced society like many of his contemporaries, but underneath the surface calm is a churning sea of emotions. Dariush Mehrjui has been described as the godfather of Iranian cinema, and has repeatedly clashed with Iranian censors while pushing the envelope of social issues. This understated but vivid tragedy is witness to his place in cinematic history. Available VHS Video
& DVD

Beyond Words, Jahanshah Ardalan

Leila
After being away from his country of birth for close to two decades, the Iranian born filmmaker goes back to discover his roots and the land of his ancestors, Kurdistan. During the many trips there, he realizes a lot more than just his own family background.
The film was mostly shot in the Iranian Kurdistan. At first I went there to look further into my family's 1000 years of documented History in Kurdistan. An old childhood mystery about Kurdistan gradually took over and changed my focus. That enigma shrouded in myths and folk tales, centered on the elusive men of the Ghaderi order of Derwishes or Sufies in Kurdistan. DVD

Women's Prison, Manijeh Hekmat
Leila
Banned in Iran, this taboo-breaking film uses the claustrophobic life of women behind bars as a metaphor for Iranian society since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Mitra, in prison for killing her violent stepfather, confronts new warden Tahereh on the eve of a riot, fearlessly challenging her dogmatic views - which, over time, began to change. Available on DVD.

This film is making the rounds at various film festivals around the world. It was well received at Italy's Venice Film Festival and at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Read an interview with the director here.



Baran, Majid Majidi
Winner for Best Film at the Montreal Film Festival
This wonderfully romantic and uplifting story is from the acclaimed director of the Academy Award(R) nominee CHILDREN OF HEAVEN (Best Foreign Language Film, 1999). In a Tehran building site, a 17-year-old Iranian named Lateef is known more for his playful antics than his hard work. Then things take an unexpected turn when an Afghan coworker falls from the building and the worker's son, Rahmat, enters the scene to become the new provider for his family. But even as Lateef finds himself irresistibly drawn to Rahmat, it's not until the revelation of Rahmat's secret (that he is actually a young woman, posing as a man) that both of their lives are forever changed! Although it could be easily categorized as a humorous and moving love story, this film goes much deeper. None of the main characters are trivialized, they all have qualities and character that show the best of human nature, compassion and generosity. Unlike Romeo and Juliet they sacrifice their (potential) love for the greater good. This is one not to be missed! . available on DVD

Dayereh (The Circle), Jafar Panahi
Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival 2000 -- available on DVD
A woman gives birth to a baby girl. Little does she know, but she and her daughter are already unwanted. Three women are released from prison and their need for money leads them to take desperate measures. An unmarried woman seeking an abortion is rejected from her father's house by the violent threats of her brothers. Their crimes are vague, their guilt or innocence unimportant. Their paths cross, the suspense of their intrigues heightens. Their plights are often too tragically similar. Their world is one of constant surveillance, bureaucracy and age-old inequalities. But this stifling world cannot extinguish the spirit, strength and courage of the circle of women.

Marooned In Iraq, Bahman Ghobadi
Winner Cannes Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival
From the director of "A Time For Drunken Horses" this moving film takes place during the Iran-Iraq war, when an aging Iranian-Kurd musician hears that his wife, a singer with a magical voice who deserted him for his best friend and fled Iraq, is in trouble. He cons his two sons into acompanying him on his search for her, and they embark on an adventure filled with music, romance and danger. One of the best made films I've seen in years. Available on DVD

The White Balloon, Jafar Panahi
Written by Abbas Kiarostami. Panahi was Kiarostami's former assistant. This sweet story which takes place in a poor family shows the perseverance of a young girl to resolve the problem of losing her money, the money which she acquired by persistence. Cannes Film Festival Winner - This sweet film is bursting with universal appeal, as it offers an engaging picture of everyday humanity. Available VHS Video

Hidden Half, Tahmineh Milani (2001)
A husband is sent on a fact finding mission by the government, which will determine the fate of a female political prisoner. The wife knew the woman in question over twenty years ago when they both were searching for truth (during the revolution). She writes a letter to her husband describing the events that led to the imprisonment of the woman. Available on DVD

The Wind Will Carry Us, Abbas Kiarostami (1999)
A serene film with a life and death theme, suffused with humor and irony. It is a story about a group of men from Tehran go to the tiny Kurdish village of Siah Dareh to witness the local mourning ceremony. However, as the main character waits for the woman to die so he can witness the ceremony, his priority changes. Available on DVD .

A Taste Of Cherry, Abbas Kiarostami (1997)
Abbas Kiarostami @ zeitgeistfilm.com
Winner of the top prize at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, Palme d'Or . Considered a masterpiece and Best Film of the Year.
A Taste of Cherry is an existential fable of weight and clarity from director Abbas Kiarostami. It is a story about a man who is determined to commit suicide at nightfall, but seeks a living assistant to check his hand-dug grave the following morning. If he is dead, the person will fill the grave with dirt; if not, he will help the man out of the hole -in either event receiving a handsome reward for the task. He drives around searching for and interviewing various candidates for this "job," each lends a new perspective on what it is that makes life worth living in the hopes to convince him to reconsider his plan. * A film you can watch again and again. Includes theatrical trailer and exclusive interview with Mr. Kiarostami. Available VHS Video and DVD

Close Up, Abbas Kiarostami) Available VHS Video
The film weaves dramatic reconstruction and documentary reportage in the actual story of a man - Hossain Sabzian - who is charged with fraud and impersonation, when he ingratiates himself into the midst of a well off Tehran family, who take him for the famed Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Against the background of the real court case, Kiarostami examines the relativities of truth and untruth, playing with the fabricated artiface of film, and evolving ultimately a celebration of the human spirit and imagination, and of cinema itself.

Kandahar, Mohsen Makhmalbaf (2000)
An Afghan female journalist who grew up in Canada attempts to slip across the Iranian border to Kandahar to save her sister who has decided to commit suicide during the solar eclipse. The sister's depression is a result of the hardships, a result of the oppression of the Taliban. This well-paced film combines a story of suspense with good acting and cinematography. It was inspired by a true story. Richard Corliss of Time magazine named it "Best Film of the Year." Available on DVD

Gabbeh, Mohsen Makhmalbaf
This elegantly lyrical, stunningly visual fable allows a peek into a non-Western culture and the way it records its history. My Thumb Is Up on this one! Available VHS Video

Color of Paradise, Majid Majidi
A wonderful and moving movie showing the conflict between a father and his young blind son. The father is widowed and wishes to remarry but sees the blind son as a liability and considers giving the boy to a blind carpenter. The carpenter, the boy's sisters and grandmother's love for the boy provide a balance to the fathers apparent selfishness. Beautiful scenery of Northern Iran. This is a very moving film, one that you will not forget. Available VHS Video.

Children of Heaven, Majid Majidi
Award winner at Cannes and Sundance and the first Iranian film nominated for an Oscar, this tender and loving story is about a brother and sister whose life is still sweet in spite of economic hardship. As the brother loses his sister shoes, the two of them come up with a creative solution to replace them. Majid Majidi reminds us of the immediacy and essence of childhood and takes us on a great ride through a wonderful and ancient culture with characters that are fearlessly believable in this wonderful film. Four Stars! Available VHS Video

Willow And Wind, Mohammad Ali Talebi (1999)
A film about a young boy/student who has not seen the rain before moving to North of Iran where it rains most of the time. Another young boy /student is held responsible for breaking a large window and he has to replace it before the next day. The story shows friendship between this two young boys and how they overcame the difficulties presented to them.

The Tree Of Life (Derakht-e-jan), Farhad Mehranfar (1998)
Best actress, Fajr Film Festival, Environmental Prize, castellinaria FF. A beautiful setting, a rich story that takes place with a nomadic tribe who live in the misty forests of Talesh mountains in the spectacular scenic Gilan province. The film shows the ceremonies and belief of these fascinating tribal people who still live according to the ancient customs and lifestyle which synchronizes with the seasons.
His previous work "Paper Airplanes" was a hit.

Dance Of Dust, Abolfazl Jalili (1991)
Awards: Silver Leopard, 51st Locarno International Film Festival. Best Asian Film, 11th Tokyo International Film Festival. A moving masterwork about the harsh life of a young boy who lives and works in a brick kiln. The extreme poverty that the boy lives in has been considered to be an unpatriotic image of Iran, but only the ignorant do not know that poverty is everywhere and this film is a harsh reminder that today's world still has much poverty.

VIDEO & DVD
You can easily order these online.
All films on VHS Video unless otherwise stated as DVD only or Video and DVD.

Your purchase of videos helps support the artists and this site.

The Wind Will Carry Us
The Wind Will Carry Us

(Persian, English subtitles)
Baran
Baran
(Persian, English subtitles)
DVD only
Secret Ballot
Secret Ballot

(Persian, English subtitles)
Children of Heaven
Children of Heaven

(Persian, English subtitles)
The Circle
The Circle
(Persian, English subtitles)
Kandahar
Kandahar

(Persian, English subtitles)
The Color of Pardise
The Color of Paradise

(Persian, English subtitles)
Marooned In Iraq
Marooned In Iraq
(Kurdish, English subtitles)
The White Balloon
The White Balloon

(Persian, English subtitles)
The Taste of Cherry
The Taste of Cherry
(Persian, English subtitles)
VHS Video or DVD
Leila
Leila
(Persian, English subtitles)
Gabbeh
Gabbeh

(Persian, English subtitles)
Hidden Half
The Hidden Half
(Persian, English subtitles)
Woman On Fire
Woman On Fire
(English, Persian subtitles)
Crimson Gold
Crimson Gold
Life and Nothing More...
Life and Nothing More...
(Persian, English subtitles)
Smell of Camphor
Smell of Camphor
Close-up
Close-up

(Persian, English subtitles)
The Silence
The Silence
(Persian, English subtitles)

GOOGOOSH: Iran's Daughter
(English, Persian, English subtitles)
Hamoun
Hamoun
The Cow
The Cow
Blackboards
Blackboards
The Peddler
The Peddler
(Persian, English subtitles)
The Last Act
The Last Act
(Persian, English subtitles)
Narges
Nargess
(Persian, English subtitles)
The Need
The Last Act
(Persian, English subtitles)
The Sealed Soil
The Sealed Soil
*Special Order
(Persian, English subtitles)
Boycott
Boycott
*Special Order
(Persian, English subtitles)
Marriage of the Blessed
Marriage of the Blessed
*Special Order
(Persian, English subtitles)
Once Upon A Time, Cinema
Once Upon A Time, Cinema

(Persian, English subtitles)
Where Is the Friend's Home?
Where Is the Friend's Home?
(Persian, English subtitles)
Images From the Qajar Dynasty/The School Blown Away By the Wind
Images From the Qajar Dynasty/The School Blown Away By the Wind
(Persian, English subtitles)
The Cyclist
The Cyclist
(Persian, English subtitles)
Zinat
Zinat
(Persian, English subtitles)
Stardust Stricken Makhmalbaf:Portrait
Stardust Stricken Makhmalbaf:Portrait
*Special Order
(Persian, English subtitles)
Legend of a Sigh
Legend of a Sigh
(Afsane-ye-ah)

(Persian, English subtitles)
The Actor
The Actor
(Persian, English subtitles)
No Video Box Image Available


Ahmad Shamlou : Master Poet Of Liberty
(Persian, English subtitles)

Close Up - Abbas Kiarostami
(Persian, English subtitles)


Rumi-Poet of the Heart VIDEO
Rumi - poet of the heart (DVD or VHS Video)
(English, Poetry, Music)

A beautiful and inspiring film about one of the greatest poets of all time. This video provides an additional spiritual dimension to the often passionate words in Rumi's poetry.


* Format: Color

(To Rumi's life & poetry)



Rumi, The Wings of Love VIDEO Rumi: The Wings of Love (VHS Video)
Director: Shems Friedlander
* Format: Color
* NTSC format (US and Canada only)


The word Baraka means "blessing" in several languages; watching this film, the viewer is blessed with a dazzling barrage of images that transcend language. Filmed in 24 countries and set to an ever-changing global soundtrack, the movie draws some surprising connections between various peoples and the spaces they inhabit, whether that space is a lonely mountain top or a crowded cigarette factory. Some of these attempts at connection are more successful than others: for instance, an early sequence segues between the daily devotions of Tibetan monks and Whirling Dervishes, finding more similarity among these rituals than one might expect. (music, no dialog)

VHS Video --- DVD Version

Baraka
Baraka

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