Spotlight Iran

Through poignant stories, we put the spotlight on Iran during this year's festival.

With a fascinating mix of storytelling of the highest class, we shine the spotlight on Iran during this year's Films from the South festival, through selected films, talks, director visits, and various events. We highlight female directors, based both outside and in Iran, who, with their strong stories, capture the unique and at the same time universal Iranian folk soul.

Australian-Iranian Noora Niasari with the Sundance winner SHAYDA, a powerful and beautifully crafted story about Persian mother Shayda and her 6-year-old daughter Mona, who have sought refuge in a shelter in Melbourne. The screening of the film at Vika Cinema on Tuesday November 14th is a collaboration with Cinema Tehran, Oslo, and there will be served Iranian food and poetry reading by Fatemeh Ekhtesari before the film starts.

American-Iranian Maryam Keshavarz is behind the documentary THE COLOR OF LOVE about fearless women in Iran, the drama CIRCUMSTANCE which challenges our notions of women, love, and power relations in Iran, and THE PERSIAN VERSION a screwball comedy and family drama where Leila, a young Iranian-American in New York is torn between two cultures, desperately trying to balance her conflicting identities. Keshavarz will come as a guest at the festival to present her films.

The animated gem THE SIREN by Sepideh Farsi depicts the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980, through 14-year-old Omid's struggle to escape from a besieged city. Farsi lives in exile in Paris, but she has maintained a close and heartfelt relationship with her homeland, through all her films.

With the documentary SEVEN WINTERS IN TEHRAN by German Steffi Niederzoll, we will address the situation for women's rights in Iran, just over a year after Mahsa Amini was killed, in The critical room. Niederzoll's documentary tells the story of 19-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari and her fateful encounter with Iran’s incredibly misogynistic legal system.

In collaboration with PEN Norway, we are also very happy to present this year’s Peace Prize laureate Narges Mohammadi's harrowing documentary WHITE TORTURE, which is based on her book of the same name. Based on the documentary, we highlight the tremendous human rights struggle that Mohammadi has fought for many years, which has given her a prison sentence of 31 years.

In addition, we show Ahmazadeh's CRITICAL ZONE, which won this year's main prize in Locarno, which has led to him not being allowed to make films anymore by the Iranian authorities.