TIFF 2015: Jafar Panahi chronicles the lives of modern Iranians in the trailer for ‘Taxi’


Despite a 20 year ban from the local government on making films, Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi is once again back on the big screen with a new feature.

Titled Taxi, the film now has a second festival trailer. This is Panahi’s third feature since the ban, and sees him put on multiple hats due to his position with the Iranian government. Panahi directed and wrote the film, along with starring in it, producing it, and taking on cinematography and editing duties.

The film’s synopsis is as follows:

When you are a filmmaker and you are not allowed to direct movies any more, you have to retrain. So why not become a taxi driver? Or better, why not pretend you are a taxi driver and make a film despite everything? This is what Jafar Panahi has done. Now he invites you to get into his cab for the price of a cinema ticket, to ride through the streets of Tehran and discover its people in the persons of his various passengers.

The trailer doesn’t shy away from who Panahi is or the fact that Panahi is making a film in secret, with some passengers openly recognising him. This is the first post-ban film that Panahi has shot outside his house, and it uses non-professional actors who are all uncredited and anonymous, with the exception of Panahi’s niece Hana Saeidi. Taxi won the Golden Bear earlier this year at the Berlin International Film Festival.

The film will make its Canadian Premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, and will open in very limited US release, only in New York theatres, on October 2nd. A Canadian theatrical release date for the film has yet to be announced. The trailer can be seen below.

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