Art And Culture

Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco in Sept

 A screenshot from “Mountain”  A screenshot from “Mountain”

The 11th annual Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco will be held in late September.

The festival shows independent feature and short films made by or about Iranians around the world, according to the website

Amir Naderi’s film “Mountain,” a joint Italy, France and US production, will be shown at the event.

Shot in Italy, the highly symbolic movie is set centuries ago in 1350, and tells a dramatic story of a man who makes every attempt to bring sunlight into his village, where his family is barely able to survive because of the ubiquitous darkness.

IFF will also screen “Mohey,” a 2016 drama fiction by Davood Khayyam. The 94-minute film is based on real events. It tells the story of a woman by the same name who gets involved in an international money laundering racket and black marketeering.

Mohey lives in Iran when the country is struggling with international sanctions imposed due to its nuclear program. To have a better life, she marries a wealthy man but achieves nothing but more trouble when she finds herself in criminal deals and power games.

The cast includes Anahita Nemati, Mehran Ahmadi and Homayoun Ershadi.


Aside from fiction, IFF pays special attention to documentaries and animations. The event will screen “Iran’s Arrow - Story of Paykan,” a 78-minute documentary by Shahin Armin and Sohrab Daryabandari about a British car that was introduced in Iran in 1967.

The car was produced under the name “Paykan” for more than four decades. The film shows the impact the once bestselling car had on Iranian society and vice versa.

The documentary “Razor’s Edge: the Legacy of Iranian Actresses,” written and directed by Bahman Maqsoudlou will be on the screen. The 130-minute film explores the works and lives of actresses in the Iranian film industry prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution. It includes a myriad of interviews and rare film clips.

“Mrs. Saidi,” a short documentary by Bijan Anquetil and Paul Costes is the portrait of a woman in her 70s who is the mother of a soldier killed in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, a renowned figure in Aliabad, a working class neighborhood in south Tehran.

In the lineup, there is a documentary on the rise of skateboard culture in Iran. “We Skate in Iran” is a 24-minute doc directed by Benjamin Aryani.  


Animated film “Switchman” directed by Mehdi Khorramian tells a 10-minute story of an old switchman at a train station. He has been waiting for his beloved for long years only to belatedly realize that the woman was nothing but a figment of his imagination.

Another animation to be screened, “Dash Akol,” directed by Hajar Mehrani, is based on a namesake short story written by renowned Iranian writer Sadeq Hedayat (1903-1951).

“Hezar Afsan” (One Thousand Myths) is an animation rendered in the style of miniature painting. Directed by Asghar Safar and Abbas Jalali-Yekta, the 2017 work is an adaptation of Ferdowsi’s epic poem Shahnameh (Book of Kings). A white ogre attacks a city and kidnaps the king. Rostam, who is the famous hero of the epic poem, sets out to find the king and bring him back.

The 2-day festival, set for September 22-23, will be held at San Francisco Art Institute. It will screen films related to Iran by filmmakers from around the world.

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