Casa Asia programmes another Iranian film retrospective for CaixaForum Madrid, consisting of 8 films made in 2017 by the new generation of film makers trained in Iran and whose contribution has consolidated the existence of an Iranian national cinema.
This cinema is not only interesting for the number of titles it offers per year, but for the narratives and contents it refers to. Most productions are full of topics, landscapes and figures of local everyday life, even though the historic topic of Iran-Iraq war (Villa Dwellers) or certain sensitive periods of the Islamic Republic (High Noon Story) also play an important role showing the ability of its authors to go to the past from a more and more open present and where cinema plays a first order role. This proposal approaches different sides of a society that surprisingly is not as well known as believed, despite the cultural potential of this country, whose discovery in many aspects is to be done. Cinema approaches worlds we could not access any other way and that however we can share easily. This is why it is interesting and attractive for our audience. As well as mentioned films you can see Mothering, Leaf of Life, Azar, Forty Baldies, Lina and Appendix that received the Award to the Best Script, granted by the Jury of the Official Section. These films were screened at the last edition of Asian Film Festival Barcelona | AFFBCN.
Saturday 25th of May 2019
6.00pm VILLA DWELLERS, Dir. Monir Gheydi | Iran | 2017 | 100 min
During the war between Iran and Iraq, many relatives of Iranian soldiers lived in residential villas close to the conflict, trying to see the relatives opposite them. Aziz goes with his grandchildren to have the chance to see her son Davoud. What’s unexpected happens as soon as they reach the core of the conflict, where episodes are multiplied until the end. Monir Gheydi was born in 1972 in Shemiran, Iran. She holds a university degree in Cultural Management by University of Azad. For a while, she was a script writer and then she worked as a director’s assistant of directors such as Majid Majidi, Kamal Tabrizi and Ebrahim Hatami, among others. She has made several short films and films for television. Villa Dwellers is her first long film.
8.00pm MOTHERING, Dir. Roqiye Tavakoli | Iran | 2017 | 84 min
Mothering is a film about two sisters who live in Yazd, a city in the desert of Iran. One of the sisters has left her partner and the other has been left by hers. So both sides of a conflict can be contemplated in the roles of victim and persecutor. It is interesting to know the circumstances of breaking up and separation in both cases, as well as corresponding locations where the action took place. This 2018 the film has been screened in festivals such as the International Filmmor Women’s Film Festival on Wheels, Tirana International Film Festival and Malatya International Film Festival. Roqiye Tavakoli was born in 1985 in Yazdan. She has made more than 30 short films and documentaries that have been acclaimed in more than 50 local and international festivals and have been awarded at festivals such as the Armenia International Women’s Film Festival Kin, Dubai Ibda Awards, Royesh Film Festival and the Parvin Etesami Festival, among others.
Friday 31st of May 2019, 8.00pm
HIGH NOON STORY, Dir. Mohammad Hossein Mahdavian | Iran | 2017 | 110 min
It’s the official narration of a historical era of the Islamic Republic that authorities consider very sensitive. The film portrays the violence of the members of Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK), including the attacks, killings and respectively the efforts of the intelligence officials to identify and arrest the leaders of the group and the events taken place until the 8th of February 1982. The film won the Crystal Simorgh award to the best film at the 34th Fajr National Film in 2017. Mohammad Hossein Mahdavian, born in 1981 in Babol was graduated in TV Production at the Iran Broadcasting University. He made his debut with the long film Standing in Dust, which was very well received in the country.
Saturday 1st of June 2019
6.00pm LEAF OF LIFE, Dir. Ebrahim Mokhtari | Iran | 2017 | 86 min
A film director is making a documentary about the cultivation and harvest of saffron in a small village, without enough enthusiasm. He has accepted to job for money, because he wants to buy a house in Teheran, but prices of housing are going up and instead of trying to make a good film, he asks his producer to buy him a house. However, he receives a telephone call and has to quit his job to go back to Teheran, after a few incidents, he goes back to the village to make a memorable film. The film has been screened in 2017 at the Fajr International Film Festival, at the Festival International des Cinémas d’Asie and in 2018 at the Santa Cruz International Film Festival. In addition, it has been winner of the INALCO Prix at the 24th edition of the Vesoul Festival of Asian Cinema (2018). Ebrahim Mokhtari was born in 1947 in Babol. Among his most important documentaries we can find Caviar, The Baluchi Bread, A fishin voyage and Saffaron. He made a debut in 1994 with a long film at the Film Critics Week, at the Cannes Festival. Also, Mokhtari has made many other films that have been presented and awarded at international film series all around the world.
8.00pm AZAR, Dir. Mohammad Hamzei | Iran | 2017 | 85 min
Azar is not the typical Iranian traditional woman and mother. Together with her husband Amir, they manage a pizza restaurant and take part in motorbike races. Azar must make a strange decision in middle of a difficult and complicated situation when a sudden catastrophic event happens. The film has been screened at the 15th Dubai International Film Festival (2017) and at the CineIrean Festival (2018). Mohammad Hamzei was born in Arak in 1979 and was graduated in film direction. Hamzei has directed a large number of short films such as As Always, Near of Far and According to a Habit or videographic works such asScratch, The Sound of Raining and Habib Agha. In 2017, Hamzei directed her first long film with Azar.
Friday 7th of June 2019, 8.00pm
FORTY BALDIES, Dir. Sadegh Sadegh Daghighi | Iran | 2017 | 86 min
Due to intense rain, the only bridge that connects the village with the city remains cut off, which causes problems to inhabitants of the village. One of the inhabitants has an illness and needs medicine urgently. The cut off bridge will cause the ill person’s family a serious problem. This film was screened last year at the Zlin Film festival for Children and Youth of the Czech Republic. Sadegh Sadegh Daghighi has not only made short films and documentaries, but he also has experience in sound recording, edition and special effects. His first film, Hero Boy (2012) won 15 awards at the Fajr Film Festival and at the International Film Festival for Children and Young Adults.
Sunday 9th of June 2019
6.00pm APPENDIX, Dir. Hosein Namazi | Iran | 2017 | 81 min
Reza takes Zari, his wife, to the hospital, where he is diagnosed with appendicitis and must be operated on. As Zari doesn’t have a medical insurance, Reza asks his wife’s friend, Leila, for her medical chart. So, Leila pretendes to be Reza’s wife, and there is tension in hospital. Hosein Namazi is director and script writer. He began to make films when he was 13 at the Youth Film Society. He has shot several short films such as Medianoche, El camerino, Dios que está cerca, Con el color del agua and La novia ganadora. APPENDIX, his first long film, has granted him the award to the best script at the 2018 Montreal International Film Series and is part of the 2019 Fajr International Film Festival. He received the Award to the Best Script, granted by the Jury of the Official Section of the latest edition of the Asian Film Festival Barcelona | AFFBCN.
8.00pm LINA, Dir. Ramin Rasuli | Iran | 2017 | 88 min
After a blood analysis, Maryam discovers that her parents are not his biological parents. Maryam has decided to discover who her real father is and why he never went back to get her. After searching she receives a phone number from Afghanistan. Ramin Rasuli has directed long films, short films and documentaries, among which we highlight El cinematógrafo, Novena planta, El accidente, El vecino and Mi muñeca. Lina is his first long film, which has been screened at the Sofia MENAR Film Festival.
Paseo del Prado, 36