International Short Film Festival 2007, Independent Films on Iran

Selected Films

  1. The Angel of Our Home
    • Writer/Director: Bakhtier Kakharov
    • Camera: Bakhtier Kakharov
    • Producer: Safar Haqdodov
    • Cast: Amir Kakhari, Tursun Urmonov, Maksud Latypov
    • 2006,Color,18 min. Fiction
    • This film was produced with the assistance of Makhmalbaf Film House and the Swiss Agency of Development and Cooperation in Tajikistan
    Synopsis:

    A young boy’s serene life is interrupted when his beloved mother dies and he is left alone with his father. He writes a letter to God, asking for his mother back, and ties the message to the branch of a tree in a sacred place. Soon, a dove appears at their house. The boy believes that the dove’s eyes are familiar to him.

    About the filmmaker:

    Bakhtier Kakharov was born in Dushanbe, Tajikistan in 1963. He graduated from Tajik Polytechnic Institute in 1985 with a degree in architecture. Between 1986 and 1990, he served as designer on a number of animated films. From 1990 to 1992, he took part in advanced courses in cinematography at Goskino USSR under the tutelage of Hitruk F. and Nazarov E.

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  2. Auto-Stop Auto-Stop
    • Director/Producer: Nasser Saffarian
    • Writers: Ali-Reza Motamedi, Nasser Saffarian
    • Editor/Executive Producer: Sohrab Khosravi
    • Still Photographer: Salar Khosrojerdi
    • Cast: Mitra Hajjar, Behnam Tashakkor
    • Iran, DVCAM, 15 min., Color, 2005 Fiction
    • Based on the story ‘The Hitchhiking Game’ from the novel ‘Laughable Loves’ by Milan Kundera
    Synopsis:

    A newlywed couple get to know each other in a new way during their honeymoon. It starts with a game, but soon love turns to hate. This movie doesn’t have a cameraman; all the images were shot by the characters. In spite of capitulation by the filmmaker to all of the adjustments ordered by the ‘Ministry of Guidance,’ Auto- Stop has not still been allowed to be screened in Iran, even in private showings.

    About the filmmaker:

    Nasser SaffarianNasser Saffarian was born in Tehran on July 9, 1975. After earning a degree in English Literature, he began writing articles on cinema in 1991, which were subsequently published in numerous periodicals and newspapers, including Film Monthly, Salam, Adineh, Iran, Cinema Jahan, Mehr, Cinema-ye No, Donya-ye Tasvir, Gozaresh-e Film, Zanan, Nowrooz, Vaghayeh Etefaghieh, Hamshahri, Film International, Akhbar, Yas-e Now, Afarinesh, Cinema Varzesh, and Sedaye Edalat.

    Mr. Saffarian has also written a book, The Chants of Sigh (Ayeha-ye Ah, 2003), about the life and works of legendary Iranian poet Forough Farrokhzad, whose work he has also translated into film.

    Filmography:
    • Forough Farrokhzad`s Trilogy (The Mirror of the Soul, Summit of the Wave, The Green Cold),2000/2004
    • The House is Dark: The Original Version, 2003
    • The Song of Sunshine, 2003
    • Auto-Stop, 2005
    • A Good Time for Tragedy, 2003/2005

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  3. Bistoon and Its Secrets Bistoon and Its Secrets
    • Writer/Director/Producer: Katayoun Afrooz
    • Camera/Narrator: Katayoun Afrooz
    • Music: Payman Yazdanian, Mohammad Reza Shajarian
    • Editors: Katayoun Afrooz, Nima Kafidavani
    • USA/Iran, 6 min., MiniDv, Color, 2007, Documentary
    Synopsis:

    In the western part of glorious Persia, there is a historical mountain called Bistoon. Some historical monuments from the ancient Persian civilization can be found there. This mountain has an astonishing carving called the ‘Daruis’ Inscriptions.’ This inscription is one of the most important documents of the ancient world.

    About the filmmaker

    Katayoun AfroozBorn and raised in Tehran, Iran, Katayoun Afrooz undertook her formal education and training in film in the United States. She is now working as a professional filmmaker and artist. She holds a Degree in both Cinema and TV Production. Bistoon and Its Secrets is Katayoun’s second short documentary. Her first documentary, Abyaneh, Red Village, premiered in 2007 at the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival. Katayoun is a US citizen living in Los Angeles, CA.

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  4. The Calm City (Shahre Aram) The Calm City (Shahre Aram)
    • Writer/Director: Mohammad Shirvani
    • Camera/Editor/Sound: Mohammad Shirvani
    • Cast: Pouneh Haj Mohammadi, Reza Hassanzadeh
    • Iran, 2 min., Color, 2005, Fiction
    Synopsis:

    A closed circuit camera for traffic control in Tehran reacts to the wanderings of a single woman on a high-way.

    About the filmmaker

    Mohammad ShirvaniMohammad Shirvani was born in Tehran in 1973 to a religious family who did not approve of the cinema. He has a bachelor degree in painting and design from Tehran University. In 1998 he made his first short film, The Circle, which brought him a lot of success, including an award at the Cannes Film Festival, and established him as a filmmaker to watch. He has made seven fiction shorts, one experimental feature, and three feature documentaries. His films have been screened at more than two hundred festivals, and have cumulatively won twenty-five national and eleven international awards.

    Filmography:
    • The Circle (Dayereh), 12 min, Short fiction, 35mm, 1999 (Winner, Honorary Diploma awarded by film critics, Cannes Film Festival, France, 1999; Best Short Film award, International Fajr Film Festival, Iran, 1999)
    • The Candidate (Kandida), 15 min, DV to 35mm, Documentary, 2000 (Winner, Grand Prize, Marseille Documentary Film Festival, France, 2000)
    • To Consent (Rezayat Name), 20 min, Short fiction, DV, 2001 (Winner, Gold Butterfly for Best Short Film, International Isfahan Children Film Festival, Iran, 2003)
    • Souvenir (Kado), 20 min, Doc fiction, DV, 2001
    • The Cherries Which Were Canned (Gilas-ha’ee ke kompoot shod), Short fiction, 13 min, 35mm, 2002 (Winner, Best Short Film Award, International Fajr Film Festival, Iran, 2003)
    • Iranian Conserve (Konserv-e Irani), Short fiction, 14 min, DV, 2004 (Winner, Reflet d’Or Award, Cinema Tout Ecran, Switzerland, 2004; Special Jury Prize, Cracow Short Film Festival, Poland, 2005; Special Jury Prize, Archipelago Short Film Festival, Italy, 2005)
    • Navel (Nahf), 82 min, DV to 35mm, Art fiction, 2004 (Winner, Grand Prix for Best Feature Film, Split Film Festival, Croatia, 2004)
    • The Calm City (Shahr-e Aram), 2 min, Video Art, 2005
    • President Mir Qanbar (Re’ees Jomhoor Mir Ghanbar), Documentary , 65 min, DV, 2005 (Winner, Award of Excellence, Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, Japan, 2005,Magnolia Award for V=Best Social Documentary, Shanghai TV Film Festival, China, 2006)
    • Where’s Leili (Leili Kojast), Documentary 75 min, upon UNESCO’s Command
    • Seven Blind Female Filmmakers (Haft Filmsaz-e-Zan-e-Nabina), Doc [Episodic], 150 Min, DV, 2007

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  5. Drug of Choice Drug of Choice
    • Writer/Director: Saman Keshavarz
    • Camera: Saman Keshavarz
    • Sound: Parvveen Sharma
    • Music: Parveen Sharma
    • Editors: Saman Keshavarz, Sean Rivers
    • Producer: Saman Keshavarz
    • Executive Producer: Saman Keshavarz
    • Production Company: RGB Productions
    • Distribution Company: Indieflix
    • Cast: Matthew Lengerich, Megan Harrington, Ashley Cano
    • USA, 12 min., Color, 2006, Fiction
    Synopsis:

    Drug of Choice follows a young man, Jonathan, struggling to live with himself. After a recent break-up with his girlfriend, Mackenzie, he finds his life turned upside down. With his thoughts haunting him, no family to love him and no motivation left in this young man, what will he do and how does he carry on?

    About the filmmaker

    Saman KeshavarzSaman Keshavarz was born in Tehran, Iran. He moved to the States in the summer of 1988. He has lived in California since and remains the first generation in his family to be raised within the USA. He visits his home country every few years.

    Saman has been passionate about film since the age of 9. By the age of 13 he had definitively decided that he wanted to make movies and become a director. However, a part of his upbringing had been that he was to have an ‘honest’ and ‘normal’ career, so he decided to study Business (like his parents), relegating film to a hobby. After having focused on Business for five years, Saman reached the age of 18 and began his freshman year of college. It was at this point he decided that he could no longer focus on a career chosen for him by someone else. He would soon change his major, change his courses, and focus his attention on making films. Nine months later he had finished his first film Drug of Choice, which has won several awards including a ‘Viewer’s Choice Award’ at the Small Screen Film Festival (Hollywood, CA). His latest short film, Routine, is currently on festival circuit.

    Keshavarz will attend Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA in the Fall of 2007.

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