The Iranian Film Festival of Australia (IFFA) invites audiences to celebrate the resilience and creativity of Iranian cinema in this year’s Festival taking place in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth from 16 Nov to 13 December.
Forced to pause in 2022 in response to the recent social and political changes in Iran, the festival this year returns with a remarkable program of thought-provoking, heart-warming, and award-winning feature films and documentaries showcasing the rich cultural tapestry of Iran and demonstrating that the unwavering spirit of storytelling shines brightly despite challenging times. Thirteen films will be presented, including eleven Australian premieres and both the 2023 UK and the 2024 Iranian official entries for the Academy Awards, as well as six award winning shorts. A late addition to the program is a retrospective honouring acclaimed director Dariush Mehruji who was tragically killed last week.
Festival Director Armin Miladi said: “The 11th Iranian Film Festival Australia (IFFA) carries extra significance this year. Against the backdrop of Iran’s evolving landscape and challenges, we’ve shifted our focus to films about filmmaking, particularly highlighting the burgeoning underground cinema movement in Iran. Amid bans and societal divides, a new wave of underground and independent cinema has emerged, demonstrating the resilience of Iranian filmmakers. IFFA spotlights this resilience, featuring five films that showcase the innovative approaches of filmmakers who overcome obstacles. We invite you to join us and experience the diverse facets of Iranian culture and cinema, from emerging talents to the legacy of iconic masters, offering an unfiltered perspective on Iran through the lens of its tenacious filmmakers.”
Opening this year’s festival is The LOCUST, written and directed by Faeze Azizkhani and winner of this year’s Global Award at the South By Southwest Festival. Hanieh is a forty year old woman who has written a film script based on her own life. Now she is faced with the judgment of the others who call her ’bastard’ The film stars Pegah Ahangarani who has now left Iran and Hanieh Tavassoli who was temporarily detained this year because of her political remarks on social media but has recently been released.
Closing the Festival is WINNERS, written and directed by Hassan Nazzer. The UK official entry for the Oscars, the 2023 multi-BAFTA nominated film has won multiple awards including the Edinburgh Film Festival Audience Prize. In a small provincial Iranian town, the children work hard to support their families. One day nine-year-old Yahya and his friend Leyla find a precious statue. Sharing a passion for cinema, Yahya’s boss decides to help them find the owner.
Iran’s controversial official entry for the 2024 Academy awards is THE NIGHT GUARDIAN, directed by Reza Mirkarimi Due to drought, Rasoul has left the village. He is glad to find a job as a night guardian at a complex under construction. In the deserted construction site, something wrong is going on. In the strange circumstances around him, Rasoul finds himself trapped…
Two documentaries honour Iranian filmmakers who inspire audiences worldwide.
For more information, visit Iranian Film Festival Australia