Kicking off the I for Iran: A History of Iranian Cinema by Its Creators on March 5th is a short film program introduced by Roya Akbari, an actress from Kiarostami’s acclaimed film Ten. A filmmaker in her own right, her poetic short Only Image Remains headlines the day’s programming and initiates a month long series on Iranian cinema. Over the course of the month a variety of films that have helped define Iranian cinema will be screened, many of which are rarely seen due to rigorous domestic censorship and poor international distribution.
The series originated last year during the Fribourg International Film Festival 2014 after Artistic Director Thierry Jobin invited 14 contemporary Iranian filmmakers including Asghar Farhadi, Jafar Panahi, Mohammad Rasoulof , and Mohsen Makhmalbaf to select their favourite films from the entire history of Iranian cinema. Fribourg sought to present as many of these films as possible at the festival, and now TIFF Cinematheque is proud to continue this initiative and offer Toronto audiences a unique opportunity to see these masterpieces on the big screen. Several films will be introduced by prominent critics and filmmakers.
Amir Naderi will be introducing three of his films, The Runner, A Simple Event and Water, Wind and Dust – all of which are very difficult to see. They will be shown at the TIFF Lightbox on March 13th and 14th.
Renowned scholar, Hamid Naficy, who is a leading authority in cultural studies of diaspora, exile, and postcolonial cinemas and media and of Iranian and Middle Eastern cinemas will also be introducing the award winning film Still Life on Sunday March 8th. Still Life won the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1974.
Two of Iran’s greatest films, Abbas Kiarostami’s Close-Up and Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation will be introduced by Toronto based critic Tina Hassannia. Her recent book, Asghar Farhadi: Life and Cinema (Critical Press), is the first english language account of his work, has received much acclaim. She also hosts a podcast on Iranian Cinema with Amir Soltani (who is presenting the Screening of Haroun on March 28th), called Hello Cinema.
For a complete program of events and screenings, check out the TIFF.net website or Click Here.