International Short Film Festival 2007, Independent Films on Iran

Selected Films

  1. Pedal Around the World for Peace
    • Director: Behrooz Afrakhan
    • Script: Frank Wyman, Behrooz Afrakhan
    • Camera: Hesam Moussavian, Mohsen Alipour, Ali Maddahi, Behrooz Afrakhan
    • Sound: Amir Homayouni
    • Music: Ahmad Pejman
    • Editor: Amir Homayouni
    • Executive Producers: Ali and Maryam Mansouri
    • Producers: Ali Mansouri, Behrooz Afrakhan, Amir Homayouni
    • Post-Production: Amir Homayouni, Nama Studio
    • Production: LA Blues-Soccerweek
    • Cast: Hasan Alizadeh, Amir Ahmadi
    • Cyrus the Great’s Voice: Behrouz Vossoughi
    • Narrator: William M Thornton
    • USA, 27 min., Color, 2006, Documentary
    Synopsis:

    In September 2000, two Iranian students started on a world tour with nothing but their ordinary bicycles to convey a message of peace and friendship of the Iranian people to every single human being they would come across in as many countries as possible. During their unique, physically challenging adventure, they chose to give up the safety and comfort of home to pedal through extreme heat and cold, sleeping in deserts and jungles with the ever-present danger of bandits and wild animals, hazardous road conditions, and access to clean drinking water and food in unfamiliar territories.

    While carrying a sign on their bicycles that read AROUND THE WORLD FOR PEACE, Hasan Alizadeh and Amir Ahmadi wondered how far they could manage to pedal and how their message would be received in foreign lands!

    About the filmmaker:

    Behrooz AfrakhanA graduate of Columbia College-Hollywood with a TV-Film degree, Behrooz Afrakhan’s background spans over two decades of professional experience in various facets of film production and broadcasting. Working on numerous sports-related programs at entities like KSCI-CH.18, KVEA-CH.52 (the flagship TELEMUNDO station), Behrooz has been involved in broadcast-related positions for the quadrennial World Cup Soccer spectacle since 1986. Most prominent has been as segment and highlights producer for live international telecasts at UNIVISION. As an independent producer and collaborator in various projects, Behrooz has received such accolades as the FICTS Special Award from the International Sport Movies & TV Festival. A member of the Screen Actors Guild since 1988, he’s had acting parts in the Julia Roberts vehicle Dying Young, Contact with Jodie Foster, Robin Hood with Kevin Costner, the CBS series ‘JAG,’ and Academy Award-nominated actor Pat Morita’s TV series ‘Ohara’ on the ABC network. Behrooz Afrakhan has also been interviewed and quoted in several Los Angeles Times and Daily News articles.

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  2. Persian Tree (Parrsic Tree)
    • Writer/Director: Hassan Naghashi
    • Camera: Hassan Naghashi
    • Editor: Hassan Naghashi
    • Sound: Ahmad Saraf
    • Production: Iran’s Art House
    • Iran, 17 min., Color, 2006, Documentary
    • Winner, The Best Film Prize from the Panorama of Our Beautiful Homeland section of the 23rd Tehran International Short Film Festival
    Synopsis:

    The history of Iran, as narrated by a five thousand-year-old cypress tree in Yazd.

    About the filmmaker:

    Hassan Naghashi holds a degree in dramatic literature from Yazd University and another degree in filmmaking from the Cinematic Art School. He is a standing member of the Iranian Documentary Society. He has participated in the Fajr International Film Festival three times with his films Soshiuos (2004), Mashi & Masshianeh (2005), and Tishtar (2006), all in the Documentary Competition section. His films have also been selected for numerous foreign festivals, among them Vancouver 2003, Sweden 2003, Statina 2004, Montenegro 2005 and 2006, Tampere 2006, Vancouver 2006, and Italy 2007.

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  3. Reza Lost in Time
    • Writer/Director: Nader Davoodi
    • Camera: Nader Davoodi
    • Editor: Abbas Ahmadi
    • Producer: Nader Davoodi
    • Executive Producer: Soureh Kabiri
    • Production Company: Box Office International
    • Cast: Reza Davoodi
    • USA, 30 min., Color, 2007, Documentary
    Synopsis:

    Like many other youngsters, Reza did not like some of the new laws and regulations enforced after the Islamic Revolution in Iran. To make his mark abroad, he took refuge in Canada. To do so, he had to use a fake identification and flee with the help of smugglers who specialized in getting people out of the country.

    Upon his farewell to his family, he promised he would do his best and would send for them to come live with him when he was successful and had enough money to take care of them. After unsuccessful years in Canada, Reza, hopeful and charming, moved to another land of opportunity - New York - where he again tried to do his best in his most beloved fields: soccer, cinema & music.

    To survive, he worked different jobs including taking a small part in a movie starring Anthony Quinn. But at the end of the day, he could not find a better job than being a cashier in a video rental store. While his family was still hoping for good news, nobody had heard anything from him since 9/11. It was as if he had decided to remain silent and anonymous so that the others would forget about him.

    About the filmmaker

    Born on January 9, 1963, Nader Davoodi has worked both as a cinematographer and photographer as well as a director. His documentaries include Ta’azieh Galoubandak, a film about Iraqi Shias ceremony of Ashura; SOLO, about New Yorkers; The History of an Ancient Land, 10-15-minute series about Iranian historical sites; Reza Lost in Time, a documentary about an Iranian youth who emigrated to Canada; 13½, about the backstage of an Iranian theatre; and Canadian Muslims, 10-27-minute series about the views and challenges of Canadian Muslims.

    Mr. Davoodi has an M.A. in Communication and a Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology and Art History. He is currently finishing his first docu-drama film, titled Aref ^2.

    Filmography:
    • The History of an Ancient Land, 1995; SOLO, 2001; Ta’azieh Galoubandak, 2004; Aref ^2, 2007

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  4. The Sacred, The Absurd The Sacred, The Absurd
    • Writer/Director: Ghasem Ebrahimian
    • Music: Banan-Mahler
    • Editor: Sebastian Sarraille
    • Production Company: Ebrafilms
    • Cast: Mohamed Marbouh, Kawter bel Bashir, Hamid Farjad, Françoise Atlan
    • USA, 15 min., Color/B&W, 2005, Fiction
    Synopsis:

    The last day and night in the life of Sadegh Hedayat,an Iranian writer in Paris, who committed suicide in 1951. The film is projected on three screens that resemble the walls of a room, and also represent the parallel narratives of Hedayat’s mind.

    About the filmmaker

    Ghasem Ebrahimian is an award-winning writer and director. He came to the US in 1974 to study cinema and graduated from SUNY Purchase in 1979. His thesis film, Willie, earned him a student Academy Award and was shown in festivals around the world and on Public Television’s Independent Focus. He formed Ebrafilms with Coleen Higgins in 1980 and the company produced over forty documentaries for Italian and French television among other commercial productions. His feature film, The Suitors, was an official selection for the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Camera d’Or. The Suitors was theatrically released in the US and was shown on Germany’s WDR and UK’s Channel 4. In 1997 he began his collaboration with Shirin Neshat on a number of filmed video installations. Their first collaboration, Turbulent, won the first international prize at the 1999 Venice Biennale. The following installations, Rapture, Soliloquy, Possessed, Fervor, Pulse, and Mahdokht have been shown in museums and galleries around the world. Ebrahimian also wrote and directed the film portion of Logic of the Birds, a multi-disciplinary theatrical piece in collaboration with Sussan Deyhim, Ms. Neshat and Shoja Azari. Logic of the Birds premiered in New York at Lincoln Center. In 2002, Logic of the Birds was presented at the Union Chapel by ArtAngel in London. Ebrahimian has worked with Susan Shaw on a number of documentaries for the South Bank Show, the longest running arts program in the UK, including ‘Cinema of Fire: Iranian Cinema,’ which focuses on the works of Bahram Beyzai, Abbas Kiarostami, Darius Mehrjui and Jaffar Panahi. His short film The Sacred, The Absurd premiered at Victoria and Albert Museum in London and was nominated for Best Short Film at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Ebrahimian has taught a course on Directing for Film at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

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  5. The Season of Soil (Fasle Khak) The Season of Soil
    • Director: Shahrokh Babhrololumi
    • Script: Bahman Ghobadi
    • Camera: Hamid Ghavami
    • Editor: Mastaneh Mohajer
    • Music: Navid Fashami
    • Sound: Diaco Rezaei
    • Producer: Hamed Behdad
    • Executive Producer: Elnaz Farzadmehr
    • Production Company: Persia Film
    • Cast:with participation Naderi family(Abdolraouf anaderi- Amir -atefeh-zeynab)
    • Iran/Canada, 14.5 min., Color, 2007, Fiction
    Synopsis:

    In a remote region of Iran, a family composed of a father, mother and two children live and toil. The man of the house, after many years of hardship as a brick baker, constantly suffocated by the cloud of dust that surrounds his kiln, falls ill with asthma. As his relentless cough prevents him from continuing to bake bricks, it falls on his children to maintain the fire of the kiln and the legacy of hard work set forth by their parents.

    About the filmmaker

    Shahrokh BahrololumiShahrokh Bahrololumi first entered the movie business at the age of 14 when he starred in Ziyafat, a movie by Masoud Kimiyai. By the time he received a degree in Dramatic Literature from the Art and Architecture University in Tehran, he had already begun writing for various Iranian film magazines. Having worked as Assistant Director on several famous Iranian films (Soltan, Mercedes, Faryad, Eteraz), he directed his first film, The Neighbor’s Son, in 2001 about war-ravaged children in Afghanistan. In 2003, he began a documentary on the life of prominent Iranian poet, novelist, critic, human rights activist, and former President of PEN Canada Dr. Reza Baraheni; a project that began in Iran, continuing in Turkey and ending in Canada. His most recent short film, The Season of Soil, is a collaboration with the director Bahman Ghobadi who wrote the screen play. Bahrololumi has also worked in television, including a televised feature on the 22nd Fajr Film Festival in Tehran. He is a permanent member of the Iranian Film Critics Association and the Association of Iranian Directors as well as a film critic with Shahrvand Publications.

    Recent Filmography:
    • The Neighbor’s Son, 2001; Tomb, 2004; The Season of Soil, 2007

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