My eyes, your eyes… We present a selection of Iranian documentaries

From January 13 to 17, the 5th edition of the Festival of Iranian Films will be held in Prague. In the two weeks from January 4 to 17, DAFilms will offer an exclusive selection of documentary films closely related to the festival programme.

The Festival of Iranian Films will again include four sections: Feature Film Competition, Documentary Competition, Short Films and Non-Competition Films. The winning film of the documentary competition will be selected by internationally acclaimed Iranian documentarist Mohammadreza Farzad whose documentary films Blames and Flames and Into Thin Air are presented at DAFilms. The feature films screened at the Festival of Iranian Films will include Jafar Panahi’s Taxi and the strongly anti-regime Manuscripts Don’t Burn. For a complete cinema programme of the festival, go here.

Into Thin Air, screened in world premiere at Berlinale in 2011, has nothing to do with the eponymous American book and film. The film searches for the victims of the massacre on Tehran’s Jaleh Square on Friday, September 8, 1978. Several archive shots and photographs become a basis for a both real and imaginative search for the identity of unknown participants in the demonstration which was crushed by the army and became a memento of the victims of the Iranian Revolution.

Blames and Flames, another film by Mohammadreza Farzad, recalls that the Islamic Revolution of 1978 was closely associated with movie screens, cameras and television images. At its outset, there were the arson attacks on more than 130 movie theatres, and the revolutionary events themselves were spontaneously recorded on film by the participants. Using only period footage, the filmmakers meditate upon the role of cinema, television, and film in society.

A female representative in the documentary selection, Firouzeh Khosrovani made her filmmaking debut with a documentary about the Iran-Iraq War, also capturing audiences by her film Rough Cut, where female mannequins become a metaphor for the position of Iranian women. While the festival will screen her film Fest of Duty (screened at IDFA among others) in the documentary competition, DAFilms will complete her profile by presenting her chapter from the documentary series Profession: Documentarist made by seven Iranian female film directors.

“My name is John Ford and I make westerns” – this is how the famous American filmmaker used to introduce himself. His statement inspired the title of the film My Name Is Negahdar Jamali and I Make Westerns. The feature-length debut of Kamran Heidari was screened at festivals such as IFF Rotterdam and Busan IFF in Korea. Heidari’s latest film Dingomaro about the unexpected African influence in the south of Iran will be screened at the Prague festival and personally introduced by the director.

Selected films is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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