$40 for the entire Festival (including opening night reception)
$25 for a 1 day pass
$10 for an individual screening session
FRIDAY APRIL 1, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Opening Reception in Fenmore Gallery at Proctors Theater.
Light refreshments and a cash bar with poetry, music and art.
SATURDAY APRIL 2, 12:00 – 10:00 pm
Session One (12:00 – 2:00) 78 minute run time and skype interview w. director
(Documentary) Chasing Che (d. Alireza Rofougaran, Iran, 2009)
Inspired by a biography of Che Guevara, the director, an Iranian businessman, switches the course of his life and embarks on an odyssey through Latin America and Europe.
Session Two (2:15 – 4:00) 66 minute run time and discussion w. director Mara Ahmed
(Documentary) A Thin Wall (d. Mara Ahmed, Pakistan, 2015)
A personal take on the Partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, rooted in stories passed down from one generation to another.
Session Three (5:00 – 7:00) Shorts – 95 min run time and discussion
A soccer match has a surprising effect on a young fan.
A young Iranian girl’s morning walk to school is interrupted by an unexpected discovery.
Threatened by the latest model, a circular fan is afraid of becoming obsolete.
A whole life as seen through the first day of school. Oboor is an adaptation of the book Half a Day by Najib Mahfouz, who was the first Arab writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
A documentary about a school in Iran for disabled children.
A girl reconstructs the events leading to her father’s imprisonment and execution using dolls her mother made.
Shot in real-time, 4MIN47SECOND TILL… shows what profound events can unfurl in such a short time frame.
The Reminder is a visual note from a timeless moment where the space is disassembled by the language, memory and image. It is an image of a man in the past, present and future.
Contemporary man’s bewilderment in time and space yield a fruitless effort in absurd circulation.
Just an ordinary day at an old mysterious Turkish country house where its demanding resident prefers an extraordinary way of brewing tea.
In a dark word, machines keep watch in their small houses and imagine the sun will one day return and take them to the sky. Small lights barely keep them alive and dreaming, but one machine takes matters into its own hands.
A man who lost his wife and children during the mass exodus of Kurds in 1991 spends his life searching for them.
A man tries to hold on to the remnants of his life.
Session Four (7:15 – 9:00) 75 minute run time and discussion
“A student activist in Iran’s 1979 revolution that overthrew the dictatorial Shah, Nahid Persson Sarvestani fled to Sweden with her baby after Islamists seized power and began persecuting leftists who had been their revolutionary allies. Three decades later, events in Iran inspire Nahid to revisit that part of her life. Prompted by brutal crackdowns on anti-government protests in 2009 and long-suppressed guilt for abandoning a younger brother to imprisonment and death, the internationally acclaimed filmmaker locates and reunites with five female activists who survived torture and terror in the Islamist regime’s jails. Now living in exile, the women share gripping accounts of how their jailers tried to break them physically and spiritually.”
SUNDAY APRIL 3, 12:00 – 6:00 pm
Session One (12:00 – 1:30) 58 minute run time and discussion
In Afghanistan, women actors make a dangerous choice between living under threat or living without their craft. Banned under Taliban rule (1994-2001), Afghan theater is experiencing a comeback with many women at the forefront, but with powerful forces of Islamic fundamentalism, a resurgent Taliban, and patriarchal traditions in play, actresses often face the harshest criticism.
Session Two (1:45 – 3:15) 73 minute run time and discussion
Session Three (3:30 – 5:30) Shorts – 93 minute run time and discussion
Albany High School students Abdul and Ameer tell the story of their re-location to the United States from war-torn Iraq, where they were born.
A note from an immigrant after immigrating to the United States of America.
A young prince falls in love with an Armenian princess. An animated interpretation of the famous Persian tragic romance by Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi (1141–1209), which permeates the whole of Persian culture, including folklore and the fine arts.
On her first day of school, little Louly is faced with a question: what should she wear? The ugly school uniform or whatever she wants? Luckily, she is visited by a magic teardrop-keeper who helps her.
An absurd take on gender roles in Iran.
A short experimental piece that comments on the place and role of women in Iranian society.
An Iraqi women faces economic, social and emotional difficulty in a male dominated country.
A girl who has no hope to continue living is given a new beginning.
Lives crisscross in modern Tehran to form a hyperlinked narrative.
Babash is a parrot and Behrouz Rae is his friend. He lives in Los Angeles, kept by an Iranian family, and he speaks mostly Farsi (with a little English and Azeri mixed in too).
An elderly couple find a creative solution for a small crisis.
Closing Statements (5:30- 5:45)
Inam Abdul-Majed was born In Bagdad, Iraq, and has lived in Sweden since 1991. She has worked as an actress more than 10 years. Sharuq is her directorial debut.
Bahereh Ahmadi was born in Yasoj, Iran in 1987. She graduated from the University of Animation in Shiraz and has worked for Iran Radio & TV since 2008. The Lives of Others is Ahmadi’s directorial debut.
Fateme Ahmadi was born and raised in Shiraz, Iran and was awarded first prize in the Literature Olympiads, a nationwide humanities competition, granting her permission to complete two undergraduate courses simultaneously. Fateme completed degrees in Persian Literature and Filmmaking at Tehran University and The Art University of Tehran, respectively. In 2009, she completed the MA General Linguistics course at the Institute of Humanities and Cultural Studies in Tehran before becoming the first individual awarded a scholarship from Magic of Persia to attend the two-year MA Filmmaking program at The London Film School. During the course, Fateme wrote, edited, and directed more than ten short films, including four documentaries for BBC World. Fateme is now working toward her feature film, set in both London and Tehran.
Mara Ahmed has lived and been educated in Belgium, Pakistan and the United States. She has a Master’s in Business and Economics. For most of her life she worked in corporate finance. In 2004, Mara resigned from her job in order to devote herself to her true passion: art and film. Mara’s artwork was exhibited at the Kinetic Gallery in 2008 and more recently at the Colacino Gallery in Rochester, NY. The shows were multi-media fusions of her collage work, photography and film work. Mara’s film training began at the Visual Studies Workshop in 2006, and later continued at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Mara’s first film, The Muslims I know premiered at the Dryden Theatre in 2008. It was meant to start a dialogue between American Muslims and non-Muslims. Her second film, Pakistan One on One, opened at the Little Theatre in 2011. Shot entirely in Lahore, it is a broad survey of public opinion in Pakistan, about issues of interest to Americans. Both films have been broadcast on the American Public Broadcasting System.
Yagmur Altan is a 3D Artist who was born and raised in Istanbul, currently living and working as a Character Artist in NYC. He has his Bachelor degree on Visual Communication Design from Sabanci University, where he won the Poster Competition Award while working as a Graphic Designer. Before moving to NYC to earn his MFA degree at SVA on 3D Animation, he worked in Istanbul as a 3D Generalist in a leading game company, Yogurt Computer Technologies. He completed his thesis 3D animated short film Tavsan Kani that he wrote and directed in December 2015. Currently he is working at Nito, Inc as a Lead Character Artist & Animator.
Pegah Arzi studied film making at the New York film academy and the Young Cinema Society of Iran, she has also attended a script-writing workshop with Paul Schrader and a film-making workshop with the acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi.
Majeed Beenteha born in Esfahan, Iran, Majeed is a self-taught aspiring photographer and filmmaker. His mixed-media, video, and photography works have been exhibited at various galleries around the world. Majeed has also written plays, short stories, and poetry in English and Persian. He has published an English language children book entitled Once Upon a Star. He lives and works between Tehran and New York City.
Majidreza Dehghani is an Iranian filmmaker who has made over 20 short films that have participated in various international film festivals.
Ali Zare Ghanat Nowi was born in Shiraz, Iran in 1981. He became interested in cinema and theatre during his teen years. Nowi started work as play-writer and assistant director in Iran Radio & TV in 1998 and completed various radio & TV training courses by 2000.
Gökalp Gönen was born in 1989 and raised in Hatay/Turkey in a pastoral environment. He was always amazed with systems of the nature and it ignited a passion for him to create systems for imaginary creatures.
Saman Hosseinpuor was born in 1993 in Kurdistan/Iran. He started acting in Theater when he was just 14 years old, and started filmmaking at 2008. Hosseinpuor earned a Diploma of Cinematography and an Associate’s degree of Graphic Design.
Vahid Mobasheri was born in Shiraz, Iran in 1987 and graduated from the University of Animation of Shiraz. He started work as play-write and assistant director for Iran Radio & TV in 2008, and has produced more than 15 works for TV
Hawraz Mohammed (born 1983, Sulaymaniah, Iraq/Kurdistan) earned a BA in Sociology from the University of Sulaimanyah. He has over ten years experience in filmmaking for Sky TV in Kurdistan, and he has made several documentaries for community channels worldwide.
Behrouz Nouranipour, born in 1982 in Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province, Iran, has received his Bachelor degree in Cinema at Soore University of Arts. He has directed more than 25 documentaries to this day. His latest production, A157, won the Special Jury Award at the international section of Iran’s Cinéma Vérité and received an honorary diploma at the full-length documentary section of International Shahid Avini Award.
Anneta Papathanassiou has a bachelor΄s Degree in Economics, University of Athens and a diploma from E.Hatzikou, Drama & Cinema School. She studied theatre in HB Studio and New York University. She has been acting on Stage and Television for over 20 years. She is teaching drama courses at the American College of Greece – Deree and “Theatro ton Allagon” and she has published two books about theatre. In 2010, she established an independent theater in the heart of Athens. She has directed seven documentaries which include Living is Cool (2003), After the Tsunami – Sri Lanka (2005), After the Tsunami – Sumatra (2005), Tsunami – A Year After (2006), Qadir – An Afghan Ulysses (2008), The Nymphs of Hindu Kush (2011).
Nahid Persson Sarvestani was born in 1960 in Shiraz, Iran. She is a director and writer, known for Prostitution: Behind the Veil (2004), The Queen and I (2008) and My Stolen Revolution (2013). She has been married to Thorbjörn Persson since 1987. They have three children.
Behrouz Rae is a Los Angeles-based Iranian filmmaker and artist. His more recent cinematic approach is deeply informed by his fine art practice in photography, collage, drawing, and painting. His group and solo exhibitions have been hosted by the III Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, the Kunstraum der Deutschen Bank in Salzburg, and the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris. He is currently an M.F.A. student in the Film/Video program at Calarts.
Elika Rezaee was born as Elika Rezaee Shoustari in 1985 in Teheran. She studied Graphic Design and also works as a film editor.
Alireza Rofougaran was born in Tehran, Iran; June, 1965. He was a businessman until 2004, when he changed careers to make his first film: Chasing Che, inspired by reading and translating Jon Lee Anderson’s biography: Che Guevara; A Revolutionary life. His other translations include Isla Negra, selected poetry of Pablo Neruda and Evita, a biography of Eva Peron. He has also taken acting parts in several films, including an interactive video of Anna Gutto’s New York play: In Security April 2009, Mona Zandi’s Tv film Intercepted Lines, Adel Yarghi’s feature Meeting Leila and Ashgar Farhadi’s latest unreleased feature; The Salesman. In addition to Chasing Che he has also directed Huma Bird of Fortune and Ali vs. Ali. He currently lives in Tehran, translating books and making films.
Fatemeh Sohani earned an M.A in animation directing (Tehran Art University). She is a Concept Artist, Texture artist and Storyboard artist, and The Fan is her directorial debut.
Aden Suchak is a young filmmaker and writer from Albany, New York. He has built his skills as a member of the Youth FX film program, and through Youth FX he has have been screenwriting, acting in and creating short films since he was 12. Changing Perspectives is the third short documentary that Aden has directed. He is a freshman majoring in Journalism and Documentary Studies at SUNY Albany.
Lisa Truttmann (*1983, AT) works in the fields of film, video, photography and installation, participating in exhibitions and festivals since 2005. She studied Transmedia Arts at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and is currently a Fulbright student in the Film/Video Program at the California Institute of the Arts.