International Short Film Festival 2007, Independent Films on Iran

Selected Films

  1. Security Security
    • Director: Matthew Linnell
    • Script: Israel Horovitz, based on his play
    • Camera: Rick Siegel
    • Production Design: Jory Adam
    • Sound: Matthew Polis
    • Music: Todd Michaelsen
    • Editors: Matthew Linnell, Paul Frank
    • Producer: Shilpa Mankikar
    • Executive Producer: Matthew Linnell
    • Casts: Lanna Jeffrey, Mani kassaii
    • USA, 19 min., HD, Color, 2007, Fiction
    • Winner, 2007 National Board of Review Award Columbia University Film Festival; Official Selection 2007 Palm Springs International Film Festival - included in Best of Festival Program; Official Selection 2007 Next Reel Festival, Singapore

    Dark humor veers into tragedy in Security, a drama about an American Immigration agent at Newark International Airport whose private fears spill into his professional life when he confronts an Iranian mother and her son. Starring Chris Messina (‘Six Feet Under’). Based on the play by Israel Horovitz.

    About the filmmaker:

    Matthew LinnellMatthew Linnell, Columbia ’08, is the director of Security, winner of the 2007 National Board of Review Award at the Columbia University Film Festival, an official selection of the upcoming 2007 Next Reel Festival, Singapore and the 2007 Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films as well as a Faculty Select film in the 2007 Columbia University Film Festival. Matthew was raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is a recipient of the 2007 New Visions New Mexico contract award for his upcoming film Uncovered and the writer and producer of Calm, winner of the 2005 Palm Springs International Short Film Festival best Short Under 15 Minutes. In 2003, Matthew traveled to New York City where he accepted a scholarship to Columbia University’s MFA program in Film Writing and Directing and was subsequently awarded the Prestigious F.M.I. Fellowship in 2005, for his directing work. In 2006, Matthew was awarded the James Bridges Fellowship from the James Bridges Foundation and Columbia University for his outstanding work with actors as well as a Panavision New Filmmaker Grant. Currently Matthew is developing a feature film version of his short Security, as well as a TV drama set in New Mexico.


  2. SmoQing smoQing
    • Writer/Director: Daryush Shokof
    • Camera: Daryoush Zandi
    • Sound: Tom Dokoupil
    • Music: Tom Dokoupil
    • Editor: Daryush Zandi
    • Producers: Daryush Shokof, Bahman Maghsoudlou
    • Executive Producer: Tom Dokoupil
    • Production Company: Godhattan Productions
    • Cast: Melina Y. Cohen
    • Germany/USA, 10 min., Color, 2007, Fiction.

    A young woman is attempting to break her horrible addiction to cigarettes. As the excruciating hours pass, she faces the demons of addiction: screaming, depression, helplessness, crying for help, and especially itching. Does she have enough bandages to cover all the marks caused by scratching her body?

    About the filmmaker:

    Daryush ShokofDaryush Shokof was born in 1954 in Tehran, Iran. He studied physics and mathematics in the United States before turning to art at the age of 22 in New York City. He traveled to Europe to expand his artistic activities in Germany. He soon coined the term Maximalism in the art world and wrote a Maximalist Manifesto, which gained attention through a number of exhibitions dedicated to the same philosophy.

    Shokof began writing film scripts at the age of 11, and continued writing while simultaneously pursuing an active career as an artist. He began making experimental films using the then burgeoning medium of video.

    His first film was an 18-minute conceptual video short called Angels Are Wired, which attracted the attention of some prestigious film festivals. Having shown himself to be a developing talent in the medium, new doors were then opened for him to begin his film career in earnest.

    His first feature film, Seven Servants, was a daringly conceptual story about the human condition, fueled by the filmmaker’s belief in the importance of the unity of people all over the world. The film starred Anthony Quinn in his final leading role, as well as David Warner and Alexandra Stewart. Seven Servants was screened at a number of prestigious festivals.

    Despite the considerable difficulties of being an independent - and independently-minded - filmmaker, Shokof has managed to persevere, making films true to his own vision often under very trying circumstances. He currently lives and works in Germany.


  3. Solayman Minassian: A Man with a Movie Camera (Mardi Ba Doorbin Filmbardari) (Out of Competition) Solayman Minassian
    • Writer/Director: Parviz Jahed
    • Camera: Parviz Jahed
    • Sound: Hassan Zohorie
    • Music: Selective
    • Editor: Alireza Rasoulinejad
    • Producer: Parviz Jahed
    • Executive Producer: Parviz Jahed
    • 2006, England/Iran, 34 min., Color & B&W, Documentary

    The House Is Black (by Forough Farrokhzad, 1963) was the first Iranian documentary to garner international acclaim and it received several awards from around the world, including the Best Documentary Prize at the 1963 Oberhausen Film Festival. The cameraman of this outstanding documentary film was Solayman Minassian. This short documentary is about him and his career. Minassian was one of the great Iranian cinematographers of the early 60s. He shot some of the most brilliant Iranian documentaries when he joined Golestan Film Unit. He was the main cinematographer of Ebrahim Golestan’s controversial documentaries and fictional films, such as Wave, Stone and Carol, Marlic Hills, The Royal Treasures, and, of course, Golestan’s masterpiece, Brick and Mirror.

    Brilliant camera movement, extremely realistic use of lighting, impressive monochrome photography and artistic composition are the main characteristics of Minassian’s stylish cinematography. In this short documentary we find Minassian sitting with his wife Parkoee in a relatively small apartment, as he talks about the past: of Iranian cinema in the ‘60s, the role of Golestan in pioneering the New Wave of Iranian cinema, as well as the making of The House Is Black and other intriguing issues regarding the man and his profession.

    Despite his talent and great passion for cinema he has not gotten involved in the film industry since he entered in the UK. Instead he runs a dry-cleaning store in London, which he has done ever since the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1978.

    The film is a profile of a great, talented artist and outstanding cameraman whose skill and capability have gone to waste in exile.

    About the filmmaker

    Parviz JahedParviz Jahed was born in 1960. He received a BA in Dramatic :Literature from the University of Tehran and an MA in Cinema Studies from the University of Art (Tehran). Jahed is currently working on his PhD on the New Wave of Iranian Cinema at the University of Westminster in London. He has been writing articles on cinema since 1988, which have been published in such Iranian film and cultural magazines as Donya-ye Sokhan, Gozaresh Film, Faslname-ye Farabi (Farabi Film Quarterly), Ketabe Maah, Monthly Film, Kalemeh and Kelk.

    He has made a number of documentaries and short films, as well as teaching film at Iran’s universities and film institutes. Daybreak (Rooz Bar Miaavad), his most recent short film, and Ta’zieh: Another Narration, his feature documentary about a traditional type of Iranian performance and passion play, have been screened at film festivals, art galleries, universities, and on television in Iran and Canada.

    Mr. Jahed has also written book on cinema and theater. His forthcoming book is an in-depth interview with Ibrahim Golestan, the prominent Iranian filmmaker and writer and one of the forerunners of the Iranian New Wave.

    Jahed is currently working with the BBC Persian radio/website and Radio Zamaneh in the Netherlands as a freelance journalist.

    • The Lark (Chakavak), 1988, short documentary
    • The Grass (Alafzar), 1990, short documentary
    • A Fault Circle (Dayereye Mayoob), long documentary
    • Coffee Cup Reading (Fale Ghahveh), 1998, short fiction
    • Daybreak (Rooz Bar Miaavad), 1999
    • Ta’zieh: Another Narration, 2000, long documentary


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